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June 3, 2013

Lauren Chamberlain

Patty Gasso

Destinee Martinez

Keilani Ricketts

Brianna Turang

Brittany Williams


Oklahoma – 5
Tennessee – 3

THE MODERATOR:  We are now joined by Oklahoma's head coach, Patty Gasso, and student‑athletes Lauren Chamberlain, Destinee Martinez, Keilani Ricketts, Brianna Turang, and Brittany Williams.  We'll start with an opening comment from Coach and go to the floor with questions.
COACH GASSO:  I don't even know what to say, except I think that was the greatest game I've ever been a part of.  I think both teams just battled and both pitchers were exceptional, defense, exceptional.  Pitchers were owning it.  You know, Tennessee put some things together, but the resiliency of this team and the fight, and them following instructions of just find your way on, don't try to be the big hero.  Just find your way on, find your way on, and here we go again from your 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, back to Lauren.  It was phenomenal how we ended up tying that game with just some clutch hits, and it all came in one inning, so sometimes that's all you need.
I really don't even know what to say.  That was one of the most amazing comebacks I've ever seen.  I can't imagine.  I mean, it's nervous on the field, I can't imagine how people were watching it.  But this is a team on a mission, and, man, I've never seen anything like it.

Q.  Keilani, 188 pitches, can you describe what you were going through mentally as your team struggled to get a run, but you're coming back out every inning knowing you have to get a zero on the board, and you just kept going out there?
KEILANI RICKETTS:  Well, Ellen did a great job battling our hitters.  And we struggled off her the entire game until the end, but I was just trying to get my team in there, because I knew they were going to come around.  Even if we hadn't come around in the first ten innings or whatever.  I just believed in them, and that's what we had to do if we wanted to put ourselves in the best chance to succeed.

Q.  Lauren, what was your approach going into the last at‑bat?  Was it base open, and are you surprised they didn't walk you there?  What was your mindset going into that at‑bat?
LAUREN CHAMBERLAIN:  I knew Ellen had success with me in the past few at‑bats before that.  I was just trying to make an adjustment, clear my hands a little bit.  I felt like I was missing the whole game, so I felt do.
But at the same time, I'm so proud of my team.  I can't even talk about myself right now, I'm just so proud of my team.

Q.  Lauren, Patty said it was nerve‑racking.  Can you talk about what it was like being on the field throughout that whole thing?
LAUREN CHAMBERLAIN:  I think it was nerve‑racking and the nerves were there because this is the championship series.  It's supposed to be a game like that.  I was just‑‑ we were honestly just trusting our training.  Glory to God for giving us patience and trust knowing that it was going to fall and knowing that Keilani was going to keep working her hardest for us on the mound as well.

Q.  Lauren, can you describe that trip around the bases?  What it was like at the end?
LAUREN CHAMBERLAIN:  On my way to first, I was watching to see if it was foul or fair, and I was like praying that it was fair.  As soon as I saw it was fair and just seeing the crowds reaction and my teammates going nuts at home, I really couldn't believe it.  It was awesome.

Q.  Coach, can you talk about the 11th inning where you all came back and scored the three runs on four multi‑base hits?
COACH GASSO:  I don't think I can.  I don't even no remember where it started.  I think we just looked at each other and looked at these guys and said find your way on.  That was just the whole motto the whole way.  Talking to each one of these guys up here, find your way on, get yourself on, find your way on.  That's all we talked about.  There is a runner at third base.  I just said don't worry about the RBI, find your way on.  If you're going to find your way on, you're probably going to get an RBI.  But they didn't care about that.  It was just be selfless and find your way on, find your way on.
The one thing I'll always remember is Callie Parsons running around second.  I could have just put my hands behind my back because she was going the whole way no matter what.  She was absolutely rung up at third base.  But adrenaline was flying.  I don't know.  I have to go back and watch this, because I think we're still in disbelief somewhat.
But the fight that these guys had, and Keilani and looking at Ellen and Keilani's numbers and they're almost identical throughout their line.  The amount of pitches they threw, the strikeouts were the same.  It was such a match‑up for the ages.  I thought, again, it's the best game I've ever been a part of.  To be on this side and to see how this all transpired is something that right now I can't remember, but I will never forget.  If that makes sense.

Q.  Destinee, you were down to your last strike.  Will you take us through what was going through your mind during that at‑bat and on that last hit?
DESTINEE MARTINEZ:  My previous at‑bat she had struck me out on a changeup, so I kind of was telling myself to sit late because I knew that could be one of her next pitches.  But I just stayed confident in myself, and I knew that it had to be a selfless at‑bat.  Like Coach said, she did tell me that it wasn't about the RBI.  It was about getting myself on and handing the bat down the lineup.
So I think just staying confident, and knowing that even if there are two strikes, I can get the job done?

Q.  Brianna, can you just talk about how this sort of fits into this season of magic you guys have had?  All these wins, all this dominance, how does tonight fit into all of that for you?
BRIANNA TURANG:  I think this whole season we've been consistently fighting.  That is our big thing.  I think as we were going into those last few innings, that's all we could do.  Keilani was pitching a great game, and I guess even when I was up I was like we've got to do it for her.  I mean, she's pitching so well.  She's helped us out so much throughout this season.  I think with our lineup it's about who is going to do it, and there is no question with us.

Q.  Brittany, can you talk about this team, you're always trying to pass the bat to the next hitter, especially when you come up and you're down in that game and you guys are coming along, and you had a big hit late in the game as well.  Can you talk about how that motto held strong for you in this game?
BRITTANY WILLIAMS:  When I went up to bat, I wasn't trying to press or anything, because I trusted my teammates behind me that if it didn't go my way, they could pick me up right away.  I mean, everyone can hit in this lineup, so I trust everyone behind me.

Q.  Lauren and Brianna, and anyone else that wants to jump in, what did Ellen have tonight that kept her so consistently good, and what was it that baffled in the beginning?
LAUREN CHAMBERLAIN:  She was really spinning the ball.  I think it was kind of different where we were in the box.  It just kind of threw us off a little bit for the first couple at‑bats and just trying to stay short on the spins.
BRIANNA TURANG:  She definitely had spins.  There were some pitches that looked like they were going to rise and they didn't.  They ended up being right there.  And her rise ball was awesome.  I mean, it's so hard to layoff of.  But I think she had a really good mix and really good speed differences.  So I think it made it tough because you didn't really know what was coming next.

Q.  Keilani, are you ready to throw tomorrow?
KEILANI RICKETTS:  Of course.  Of course.  It's a championship, why wouldn't I?

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