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May 28, 2014

Whitney Canion

Courtney Ceo

Cheridan Hawkins

Maddie O'Brien

Shelby Pendley


THE MODERATOR:  Thank you for being here today.  I'm Brian Davis the director of media relations with the National Fast Pitch Coaches Association, and I'm proud to be here to announce the 2014 All‑American Teams.  We have been doing this for 29 years now, announcing the All‑Americans, and I think in introducing Lacy Lee, Baker, our Executive Director, as well as North Carolina Head Coach, Donna Papa, head of our committee.  They have done a good job of picking these teams, and I think they can speak to how much the sport has grown over the years.
To that end, they decided this year, to add an extra All‑Region Team, so we have three All‑Region Teams in ten different regions to give players an opportunity to qualify and potentially become All‑Americans down the line.
I will start out with a few notes.  I will read off the All‑American Teams for this year, first, second and third teams.  We will talk a little bit to our players here.
As you can see, we have Shelby Pendley from Oklahoma; Whitney Canion from Baylor; Maddie O'Brien O'Brien from Florida State; Cheridan Hawkins from Oregon, and Courtney Ceo from Oregon.
So basically, start off the notes, we have the five conferences that are participating at this year's women's College World Series picked up 39 of the 54 total selections this year, including 16 of the 18 members of the first team.  The Southeastern Conference led the way with 14; Pac 12 had 13; ACC had 5; Big 12 had 4, and the Sunbelt Conference, obviously represented by Louisiana Lafayette had 3.
Oregon, Auburn, Washington and Notre Dame led the country with three total selections each, while Florida State, Oregon, Alabama and UCLA led the nation with two first‑team selections.  Now I will read this year's All‑American Teams.
On the first team, pitcher position from Florida State, Lacey Waldrop; Oregon, Cheridan Hawkins; and from Alabama, Jaclyn Traina.  At catcher, Taylor Edwards of the University of Nebraska; first base, Hallie Wilson of the University of Arizona; second base, Alex Hugo of Georgia; third base, Courtney Ceo of Oregon; short shop, Sierra Romero of Michigan.  Our outfielder slots, Haylie McCleney of Alabama, Brandi Melero of Auburn and Victoria Hayward of Washington.  At utility pitcher, Ally Carda from UCLA.  At the DP or utility nonpitcher position, Stephany LaRosa from UCLA.
We had five at‑large selections on the first team.  Shortstop, Maddie O'Brien from Florida State; Madison Shipman from Tennessee; Whitney Canion from Baylor; Shelby Pendley from Oklahoma; and Kelsey Stewart from Florida.
(Second and Third Teams Announced.)
THE MODERATOR:  Maddie, talk about what it means to be an All‑American.
MADDIE O'BRIEN:  It's quite an honor to be recognized not only with the athletes up here with me, but just those before me, and like I said, it's just an honor and another benchmark for our programs to keep working and very exciting for Florida State.
THE MODERATOR:  Whitney, how about you?
WHITNEY CANION:  There are a lot of great athletes to choose from, and it's an honor for Baylor, and I couldn't have done it without my teammates this year.  They obviously make me a better pitcher and give credit to my catcher, Clare Hosack, who is out there catching every game, when I'm pitching, so just a credit to my whole Baylor team.
THE MODERATOR:  Shelby how about you?
SHELBY PENDLEY:  It's quite an honor and it would be hard to accomplish this without my teammates and coaches and family and just thanking everyone around me.
THE MODERATOR:  And Cheridan, either you or Courtney?
CHERIDAN HAWKINS:  The same as them.  I think we're really honored to be chosen and just to get to represent the University of Oregon and play for the University of Oregon, and I think we would both agree that we couldn't do it without our team and we definitely couldn't do it without one another, and we're just extremely thankful.

Q.  Can each player talk about your match‑ups and what you see in your opponent?
UNIDENTIFIED ATHLETE:  I mean, looking at numbers and stuff, our numbers match up pretty evenly to Alabama, and we're both pretty solid this year, and I think it's going to be a pretty even match‑up.
UNIDENTIFIED ATHLETE:  We're starting off with Florida tomorrow morning.  I am very excited.  I started my career off with them a long time ago.  Just excited to get out there and play tomorrow morning.  Very good match‑up, good pitching, good bunting, good hitting.  I think both of us all around can play the game.
UNIDENTIFIED ATHLETE:  We play Oregon tomorrow, and just looking at them, they're a very good team, great pitching and hitting and lots of speed.  So we're prepared for everything.  It should be a good match‑up between both of us.
UNIDENTIFIED ATHLETE:  First of all, congratulations to all you guys up here and the all the other All‑Americans.  It's a real honor as well for all of us.  Our match‑up against Florida State tomorrow, it's going to be a great game, it's gonna be an opener, you know.  They're a team that we necessarily haven't seen, especially here in my four years at Oregon, so it's going to be a good match‑up.  We're going to see something different, just see how it ends up.

Q.  Courtney, how have you seen Cheridan grow this season, filling that role for you guys?
COURTNEY CEO:  Last year Cheridan was a big help for us, as long as‑‑ as well as with Jess Moore, but this year being our ace she had to step up quite a bit and take that role and she took it right away.  She stepped up, grew mentally, grew physically and she has done a really great job for us in the circle being that ace pitcher for us.

Q.  Shelby, can you talk about what makes Jaclyn Tranor such a tough pitcher?
SHELBY PENDLEY:  She throws hard, moves the ball in and out.  She hits her spots pretty well.  She has a decent change‑up, and she can get you on the up‑pitch that's pretty hard, also.  The main thing she has is speed.  She throws harder than most, which is kind of hard to adjust back and forth from hard to the slow change‑up.  She is just an all‑around good pitcher.

Q.  Whitney, you made All‑American three years ago, you had to battle back from an injury.  Does this have more special meaning?
WHITNEY CANION:  Yeah, I'm so thankful for this last year to get to play and to see that the rehab has paid off and think about the hours that I put in for the two summers.  It's nice to see it all pay off and see where our team is going and take our seniors back to the World Series.

Q.  Whitney, Coach Moore was asked earlier if you're the, "tour guide" In Oklahoma City.  You've been here before and been at Baylor a while.  Do you try to be the Momma hen?
WHITNEY CANION:  It's gone from mom to grandma, but I'm the tour guide everywhere.  We went to Georgia again, when we had the selection show, telling the freshmen okay, if we see Waco regional, that means we're hosting.  Then you'll see home/visitors.  I feel like I'm just kinda explaining the route to everyone.  Been to a lot of places since I've been here, a lot of tournaments.  But definitely the team mom, showing them the ropes and they love to ask questions, always asking me questions about things.

Q.  Whitney, how odd is it that you started your career against Florida and seeing them again?  I know that's a long time ago, but do you remember much from that weekend?
WHITNEY CANION:  I remember a lot from that weekend, because it was my first time to pitch at Baylor, and they were ranked No. 1 when the preseason rankings came out.  That was my first collegiate game, I could hardly eat that first day, very nervous, but not a lot of the same players from then to now, but great program.  We have played a lot of teams in the SEC ‑‑ in our conferences, but it's going to be a great program, because I think then they were mostly long ball, and now I think they have more short game, because back then with the hitters they had, they were basically trying to hit a lot of home runs.

Q.  Shelby, coming out of high school did you want to keep pitching in college?  What led you to approach Patty this season about that?
SHELBY PENDLEY:  No, actually in high school I didn't like pitching at all.  I liked to play the infield.  We had a pitcher end up leaving the team in the middle of the season and we needed another one, and I brought it up, said that I could pitch and Coach Gasso thought it was kind of funny.  She had me do a little try‑out one day and every since then I've been pitching.

Q.  Shelby, Lauren was on this team as a third‑teamer because she was unavailable for a lot of the season but what does it mean to you guys and you in particular next to her there in the order to have her back and hitting the ball well again?
SHELBY PENDLEY:  It's always great to have Lauren in the lineup, and the times she was out, it was an adjustment for us, just learning how to play without her there.  When she came back, she was doing some great things, hitting a lot of home runs, a lot of RBIs, and it's just nice to have her back in that lineup, and it makes us that much more solid.

Q.  Whitney and Cheridan, as pitchers, have you guys ever considered wearing a mask while you're pitching?
UNIDENTIFIED ATHLETE:  I never have worn a mask.  I did get hit in the face before my freshman year of high school but I just‑‑ I don't know, that was never something I felt the need to do.
UNIDENTIFIED ATHLETE:  I've been hit in the face in travel ball, but masks weren't really a thing or never thought about it.  I think with my wind‑up, if I wore a visor or anything, I'm sure I would hit the mask.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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