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June 2, 2013

Lauren Gibson

Ellen Renfroe

Ivy Renfroe

Ralph Weekly


Tennessee – 2
Texas – 1

THE MODERATOR:  We are now joined by Tennessee co‑head coach Ralph Weekly and student‑athletes Lauren Gibson, Ellen Renfroe and Ivy Renfroe.  We'll start with an opening comment from Coach and go to the floor with questions.
COACH WEEKLY:  On behalf of Karen, Marty, and Marc, my staff, for whom all won be possible, we love this team and we commend this team for doing what they've done.  You saw three of the greatest pitchers in our era on the field tonight, and I'm serious about that.
Ivy and Ellen are both fantastic.  As I said the other night, they would have had 30‑win records if one of them would have pitched on their own.  And Blaire Luna was sensational.  I take my hat off to their staff and their coaches and their team for their run here at the College World Series.
I'm just very proud to coach at Tennessee.  I'm very proud to coach these young ladies, because, again, it's all about the players.

Q.  Lauren, just talk first of all about the home run, and then the second run which turned out to be critical?
LAUREN GIBSON:  Well, the home run I just went up there looking for a good pitch to hit.  I know Blaire Luna is a really good pitcher.  She's had a great four years, and I was just going up there looking for something that was in my zone, saw it and hit it.  Obviously, the second run was critical.  One run is great, but to put two on the board for our pitcher to have a little cushion for when we went out into the seventh inning, and sixth inning was a really big deal.

Q.  Was your first career home run off Blaire Luna?
LAUREN GIBSON:  Yes, my first career home run was off Blaire Luna.

Q.  Ivy, talk about your night and the illegal pitch.  What happened there?
IVY RENFROE:  I was a little confused.  I think it was stepped out of the box or something.  I don't even know.  That's probably not good to not know that, but I think that's what happened. (No Microphone) I give it all to the Lord, because without him, being with him I relaxed, because I was pretty nervous for going out there.  But, yeah, I'm just giving glory to Him?

Q.  Did you sense anything slipping there in that inning or not?
IVY RENFROE:  Maybe a little bit, just thinking too much.  But like I said, thanks Lauren for coming and having my back.  (No Microphone).

Q.  Can you talk about what it means to get to this point and obviously now that you're in the finals?
LAUREN GIBSON:  Honestly, this is what we've all worked for.  This is my third time going to the World Series, and this will be my third time in the World Championship Series.  I can't even explain the feeling.  Just so excited and feel so blessed to have this opportunity to play another game with my teammates and my friends, and just to continue our season.
ELLEN RENFROE:  Oh, yeah, I think it's pretty much another opportunity to play with a great group of girls.  We all love each other and I think it's just gives us another day to continue to play.  It's obviously what we've worked for all year.  From the very beginning back in August our goal was to win a National Championship, and this is just another step that we had to take was winning tonight's game to get to the championship series.
IVY RENFROE:  It's just very surreal.  It's hard to think right now.  It's like we really want to be playing in the championship series, but we're just so blessed and it's an honor to play with these girls.  It's been such a fun ride and I'm glad to see it keep going.

Q.  What was the basis for them calling an illegal pitch?
COACH WEEKLY:  What happened was Hannah Akamine who has been perfect all year just stepped out of the box.  You've got to stay in the box.  You've got to keep at least one foot in the box when you're taking those threes, and she stepped out of the box.  It was just inadvertent and something that she never does, but we did.  That was the only thing.  It wasn't on Ivy.

Q.  Ellen, just talk about coming in in this situation, and how did you feel coming in there?
ELLEN RENFROE:  I felt pretty good coming in knowing that Ivy had worked so hard and I needed to hold them to no runs.  So I was just going in and doing it for my sister.

Q.  Lauren, refresh my memory, when did you hit your first career home run off Blaire Luna?
LAUREN GIBSON:  I think it was March, maybe.  It was our first time we've ever played each other my freshman year.  I don't remember the date or anything, but that was the first time I hit a home run off her.

Q.  Ivy, when did you find out you were going to get the start today?
IVY RENFROE:  Do I have to remember?
COACH WEEKLY:  It was at our pregame meal.
IVY RENFROE:  Sorry.  It feels like a long time ago.

Q.  Ralph, could you discuss Lexi Overstreet and putting the freshman in in that situation?  It was a pretty high‑pressure situation, and the fact that she was able to work it off?
COACH WEEKLY:  Yes, as her teammates know up here, we're blessed, to use that word, we're blessed to have a pretty deep bench.  Lexi Overstreet would play on most teams and be one.  She's the kid that hit the walk‑off home run to win the Gold Nationals a few years ago.  She's a really good player.  But she's a catcher, and Hannah has been doing most of the catching.  So we felt pretty good putting her in.

Q.  Obviously you were in this position a few years ago.  Would you talk about getting back to the finals and how you feel heading into it?
COACH WEEKLY:  I almost don't remember that.  I'm serious.  It's been a long time ago.  I do remember how amazing it was, and I'm so excited for our players to get to experience it, because all of America tunes in for the finals.  I just remember that we won the first game and then lost the second one in 11 innings, and the third one was a tough game, but 0‑0 for five innings.  But whoever comes out on the other side, it's going to be a great series, I'm sure.

Q.  Ivy and Ellen, talk about what it means to be here at this stage.  But as sisters, what's it mean to have gone through all these years together?
IVY RENFROE:  It's just tremendous to be together and for me to come with Ellen and Anna too, it's really cool.  It's really awesome for the Lord to be able to bless us like that, to come to the World Series.  It's all softball player's dream to come to the World Series, and to come with my sisters is really cool.
ELLEN RENFROE:  It is an amazing opportunity for all of us to be here together.  This is something all three of us will cherish for the rest of our lives.

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