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May 31, 2014

Kailee Cuico

Cheridan Hawkins

Janie Takeda

Mike White


Oregon: 4
Oklahoma: 2

THE MODERATOR:  We're joined by Oregon Head Coach Mike White, Cheridan Hawkins, Janie Takeda and Kailee Cuico.  We will start with comments by Coach.
COACH WHITE:  First off, I want to say congratulations to Oklahoma.  What they've achieved this year has been tremendous.  A lot of people wrote them off, said they couldn't do it with the people they'd lost and I think they proved everybody wrong.  They came back and had their best hitter up in the country or one of the best hitters in the country up there in the last innings and they fought right to the very end.  Hats off to the seniors, Henson, Martinez, and‑‑ I'm missing one, Williams, I believe, yeah, Williams.  Great careers, won a World Series ring, tremendous for them.
Thank you to the Oklahoma public for coming out and supporting this are tournament.  I think this was the third largest session crowd which is tremendous and shows why we want the tournament in this city.  The way it's been run is tremendous and I think it continues to get better and with the improvements they're bringing to this stadium it's tremendous.  We're in seventh heaven coming here, it's every little girl's dream to be here, and for my girls it's surreal, and maybe in a couple of weeks you start to think, hey, we were there.  It's tremendous, so thank you very much.

Q.  Did you want to talk about just the strategy with the pitching, bringing Cheridan out and back in there in the last inning?
COACH WHITE:  Yeah, the No. 9 hitter, had some pretty good at‑bats off Cheridan and I thought she was on her and I thought I would bring in just a different look and it worked good for the first two pitches and then a coach's nightmare, 0‑2 pitch and it gets hit and you go what are you doing out there but I think she was pretty pumped up sometimes you get the best of the moment, but she hung on their and made some good plays.  Obviously it was a great dig by our first baseman on the throw, that's the difference in the game it's always about inches.  I know Cheridan struck out Williams before on the rise ball and I felt pretty confident with lefty versus lefty in that situation and that's why I brought Cheridan back in.

Q.  Kailee, when did you find out you were going to be moved up in the order and what was your reaction, you came up with a couple of big RBIs.
KAILEE CUICO:  I found out in the locker room right before the game and I don't know, it made my presence here on this team and solidified why I'm here and the trust that my coaches have for me and that my team has and it felt really good.  It was great to be back in a spot that I'm pretty familiar with.

Q.  Coach, in retrospect how big was that play where their runner was caught off third on the missed bunt.
COACH WHITE:  Definitely, I love the strategy she was employing there, the first time it was a fake bunt, threw our defense off, taking time, expecting the same play and she threw a squeeze out there.  Unfortunately for them we were thrown outside by quite a way and that's what happened.  You roll the dice, things happen that way.
In retrospect you say why did you do that.  If it turned out to be a great bunt it would have been a tremendous call.  But Patty does a tremendous job and I appreciated the strategy.  I thought it was pretty good.  Just didn't turn out for her.

Q.  What challenges does Alabama present?
COACH WHITE:  A lot.  I mean, obviously they've got a good pitching staff, Jackie Traina, when she is on, she is pretty tough and obviously right now she is throwing pretty well.  We've got to be patient, hold them down and do a better job of scoring our runners and zoning the ball up.  We're letting too many pitches go, we have to be aggressive in the strike zone because you can't let a pitcher like Jackie Traina get ahead of you and of course their offense is very tough.  We will see what tomorrow brings, we'll come out and do our best and hopefully on the right side of the score.

Q.  Cheridan, from your perspective, can you give us your thoughts as you got back on the mound for that final out?
CHERIDAN HAWKINS:  You know, I was really happy for Hove, I thought she did a great job getting those 2 outs and she came in and did a good job and I was glad to get out there and help her finish it, and I was glad I was given that opportunity to get that last out for my team.  It was exciting.

Q.  Janie, talk about getting that early lead and the early jump and what it provided for Cheridan giving her that early lead.
JANIE TAKEDA:  I think especially on our team we really try to work for your pitchers and our pitchers work for us so that's huge.  I come up and tell myself to see the ball.  So it was obviously an exciting moment, and I was glad that I could come up clutch for my team.

Q.  Kailee or Janie, you guys had a rough day at the plate yesterday.  What was the difference for you guys today?
KAILEE CUICO:  For me it was just settling in and just getting really comfortable.  Yesterday I didn't really hit the ball, but I did feel more comfortable in the box, and that's just a feeling you know yourself.
Today was just about seeing the pitch in the zone and putting a swing on it and hopefully it comes out for you in the right way for you.
JANIE TAKEDA:  Yesterday I hit a couple balls hard on the inside part of the ball so I wasn't too disappointed with my performance, they just went right at people, so you gotta think about if you hit the ball hard not how many hits did you actually get, so it's just a mind‑set.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you.

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