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NCAA WOMEN'S COLLEGE WORLD SERIES


May 31, 2014


Ari Hawkins

Robin Landrith

Rachel Lawson

Heather Stearns


OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA

Baylor: 8
Kentucky: 7


THE MODERATOR:  We are joined by Baylor Head Coach, Glenn Moore, and players, Heather Stearns, Ari Hawkins and Robin Landrith.  We will begin with an opening statement from Coach Moore.
COACH LAWSON:¬† Wow!¬† I won't forget that one until I forget who I am!¬† (Laughter.)¬† These girls are incredible.¬† You know, they just didn't quit believing.¬† For five games we weren't even‑‑ for five innings we weren't even in the game.
That's why you play seven, I guess.  Just thought we were facing a team destined to win and nothing we could do about it.  3 outs to go and thinking there is not much hope, I turned to my little boy in the dugout and I said "you aren't going to cry after this are you?"  And he said "cry?  ****we're going to win!"
And I was like "yeah!  That's the kind of faith I need right now!"  Just unbelievable execution and fight from these girls.  At the beginning of the game we couldn't throw it anywhere in a strike zone the size of a refrigerator that they couldn't hit.  It was pretty amazing.  I've never seen a team free swing the way they were at everything we let go of and we were hitting it.  With every pitch, we tried everything and they were hitting it.
Let me say, hats off to Kentucky.  What Rachel has done there is just a phenomenal job.  I think they're a lot like our program, and I just really respect the heck out of what they've done and the way they play the game.  I have to give it up to the girls and let them talk about it.  Amazing, amazing feat.

Q.  Ari, talk about the getting it going in the 6th, like Glenn said y'all didn't have much going the first five.  You had the hit to get it going.
ARI HAWKINS:¬† Right before that our seniors pulled us together and said "hey this is not going to be our last game!"¬† They really‑‑ I mean, put the scare in me!¬† (Laughter.)¬† But they really‑‑ I just took that to heart and I was not going to go out losing, so I just went up there and tried my hardest.¬† I knew I was struggling with that inside pitch.¬† I was really upset, but, yeah.

Q.¬† Robin, what were you thinking when you were down 7‑0?¬† Did you feel like you had a come‑back in you?
ROBIN LANDRITH:  Any team down 7 runs you're going to get frustrated, you're going to be upset.  I just think that we just took it the whole 360 and like I said, we were not going to lose.  We really wanted to stay and we really are competitors and fighters at heart, so we just weren't going to give up.

Q.  Glenn, you've been coaching softball a long time.  7 runs in the last, you know, 2 innings of a game.  Have you ever seen anything quite lake that?  Speak to the power that you guys have in this lineup that you can erase a deficit like that.
COACH LAWSON:  I think it speaks to the offense that we have.  We've seen that throughout the year.  We've put up some big numbers.  But to do it against a pitcher who is as dominating not only for that length of time, to be able to stay that composed and focused, it's just a tough game.  It's a tough game to score runs throughout the season, much less here in a World Series like that.  So I have to credit the confidence our hitters have and the job coach Lumley has done with our hitters this year and moving to more of a power lineup and believing in themselves and enjoying that type of game and embracing it.

Q.  Coach Moore, you guys are down 7 runs, most fans at point in the 6th inning probably would have left but your fans stuck with you to the end.  Talk about that.
COACH LAWSON:¬† I'm glad you asked that question because I really think that‑‑ these kids would never throw in the towel, but at some point in time you know when a game is hard to come back from, I guess, and then you start living off of pride and, you know, the things you hear about your university and things like that.¬† But the fans never gave up.¬† Our fans were loud and they were right above our dugout and we could hear them constantly.¬† I think that was an energy that propelled us to get a few breaks and a few hits and really start believing we could come back.¬† Outstanding fans!

Q.  Robin, can you talk about the double there?  When you first hit it, did you think it was going out?
ROBIN LANDRITH:¬† I thought it had a chance.¬† I hit it square on the barrel and I just‑‑ I mean, it had a chance and it tied up the game so I mean, that's all I can ask for.¬† I was happy that it happened.

Q.  Heather, what did you do against Kentucky hitters?  They were so hot and you seemed to shut 'em down.
HEATHER STEARNS:¬† Yeah, I mean, just like earlier, try to hit my spots.¬† They were very, very aggressive, like they were‑‑ you know, all game they were aggressive.¬† And honestly at that point going off adrenaline, hitting my spots.¬† Claire was talking to me back there and just want to, you know, when my team is scoring 7 runs in the last 2 innings, you have to come out and throw the game because when your team is backing like that you have to go out there and do it for them, too.

Q.¬† Coach Moore, you guys are down 7‑0 in the bottom of the 6th, huddled up the team at that moment outside the dugout and really the game changed after that obviously, completely.¬† What did you say to your team?
COACH LAWSON:  I just tried to be a cheerleader for them.  They've given so much to the University and our program.  I just wanted to not give up on 'em.  At that point in time that's all you can do.  Let 'em know you love 'em and keep cheering as hard as you can.  We'd made some adjustments and it really hasn't worked out for us, so just cheering them on "come on, we can do it, believe in yourself."  Trying to come up with a unique phrase every now and then to catch their attention, but basically being a cheerleader.

Q.  Ari and Robin, the third time around against Kelsey you guys kind of caught up with what she was throwing?  Or did something change or click for you guys all of the sudden?
ARI HAWKINS:¬† For me, it was continually‑‑ she was throwing the same pitch to me every time and she knew I was struggling with it, so I just barreled it up and swung at it!
ROBIN LANDRITH:¬† For me she was throwing me outside and I was definitely looking there, but at that point, at least in my last at‑bat.¬† I was down 2 strikes and 2 outs, and I thought this could be my last bat of the season so don't strike out looking.¬† So I swung.

Q.  Heather when you came back out in the 8th was there extra adrenaline?  It looked like you had extra umph on the ball.
HEATHER STEARNS:  Oh, yeah, I had that adrenaline going and it picked up like it was in the game this morning.  Like I said, I just wanted to do it for them.  For a team to come back and an offense to come back 7 runs is amazing.  Just as a pitcher you want to give your team that support and, you know, shut them down, since they are trying so hard.
COACH LAWSON:  If I can jump in here, I thought it's amazing she has not pitched in a month and she has two World Series wins in one day.  I'm just very proud for her.  She is outstanding.  Did a great job keeping her composure that long and not letting the game get away from her and pitching the way she did in these two outings today.  I think the future of Baylor softball is in pretty good hands.

Q.  Ari are you icing your back from that last play?
ARI HAWKINS:  Not from that last play, I always have an achy back after running and stuff like that, it was fine.  Actually the ball hit my hand.

Q.  I saw the ice bag.
ARI HAWKINS:  No it's normal.

Q.¬† Glenn, the way you win this one, do you try to, you know‑‑
COACH LAWSON:  Top it?

Q.¬† Top it would be wonderful, but do you try to‑‑ want them back on an even keel or ride the momentum somehow tomorrow?
COACH LAWSON:  I hadn't thought about that, that's a good question.  We're going to ride the wave for a little while.  We're going to enjoy it for a little while, and no I'm not going to bring 'em back down, that's crazy.  We're going to play ball for as long as and as hard as we can.

Q.  Was there any thought of how that would have been a terrible way for Whitney to end her career, going out early and all the kids been through the six years or even as you look back at it now, how extra special is it knowing the team did that for her and gave her a shot for tomorrow?
COACH LAWSON:¬† I will say that I did think about‑‑ I always think about that when‑‑ not just for Whitney but the seniors, it's a tough way to go out.
She is a horse that we've been riding a long time and, yeah, I thought about it.  It would have been nice to be able to get her an opportunity to come off the field, off the stage.  Final curtain call, if you will, appropriately and you can't always script that.  I've been doing it too long, I know that.
So, yeah, it entered my mind.¬† We're playin' to win, number one, and I think Holly asked me that during the game, you know, about the‑‑ the pulling her and you know, but we're playing to win and she understands that.¬† And for her whole career she's played to win, so she knows we're not going to do anything that would jeopardize a chance of winning and that's what we needed to do at the time.¬† And having said that Liz Paul came in and shutdown a team that was really hot‑‑ I wouldn't say shutdown, she gave up 2 runs, but she really did a great job for us and she hasn't thrown, really any more than Heather has for us over the last month.

Q.  Glenn, they were free swinging early on in the game.  What wasn't working for Whitney and how does that make you think about tomorrow?
COACH LAWSON:¬† You know, I was talking with Britni Newman, pitching coach, and I said "what's going on?"¬† And she said "coach we're in every plain and they hit balls out that were in the eyes and hit a ball that was halfway down the ankles."¬† I don't remember seeing that, especially not off Whitney when she is throwing mid‑60s, and she was, her velocity was up there 65, 66, and it was as if they knew where the pitch was going to be thrown.¬† I'm sure they didn't, but they were fouling off pitches that were in the eyes constantly and I haven't seen anything like that.¬† Like I said earlier, it was almost as if we were destined to lose that game from the beginning, but we weren't going to quit fighting, of course.
I can't tell you that she‑‑ I would have to let her answer that question.¬† I just told her when she came off the field be ready to go back in.¬† We could reenter her so if we were closing to a point where I thought we might have a chance to win, and got in trouble, I would have gone back to her.¬† I tried to get her out of this thinking this is my last‑‑ this is a curtain call, you know, it's too early in the game.¬† We could have used her.¬† We didn't have to, thank goodness.

Q.  Coach, what you said with Whitney, do you think it was something mentally that was hurting her, or was it physically at all?
COACH LAWSON:¬† It's not physically.¬† To my knowledge she was throwing‑‑ she was pitching.¬† So I credit Kentucky.¬† You know, sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug and they were aggressive and going after it.¬† That was their game plan.¬† They weren't zeroing in on the screw ball thigh high.¬† They were going for whatever came out of her hand, and they had some success with it.¬† We changed speeds, fooled them a few times, but we couldn't consistently fool 'em and that's why you make a pitching change.¬† And we had a little different style and Liz did a good job of mixing it up and Heather came in and did an outstanding job.

Q.  With Nunley staying in for most of the game throwing 120 pitches, 130, I don't know, did you get a repetition and predict what she was going to throw?
COACH LAWSON:  I think she was fairly predictable, or we thought she was.  She was making no bones about it, she was going after us and throwing hard and coming right in there pretty much as we had scouted her.  She is a good pitcher, very good, but really you start picking us out of the plate and wait until she comes there and that's what you hope to do.  Didn't work for 5 innings but eventually it did.
THE MODERATOR:  Thanks guys.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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