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June 4, 2021

Kelly Inouye-Perez

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA

UCLA Bruins

Postgame Press Conference

Alabama - 6, UCLA - 0

THE MODERATOR: Questions for coach, please.

Q. Just seeing your lineup go up against Montana Fouts tonight, what adjustments are you focusing on making for tomorrow?

KELLY INOUYE-PEREZ: Hitting the ball. That's probably the biggest adjustment. We did not do a good job of hitting the ball tonight. So that's it.

Q. What was the game plan against Fouts and what parts of that kind of fell short when it actually came time to hit?

KELLY INOUYE-PEREZ: I think the girls talked to that. We know that she pounds the zone and to be able to come out aggressively was our plan and I don't have answers for why we weren't able to come out and execute it. She's obviously a great pitcher. I think it's more about giving credit where credit is due. Credit Alabama. Montana Fouts was dominant tonight, clearly. She was perfect, right? And Alabama executed on offense and executed on defense.

So I don't think there's anything more to say except for we didn't play our game and credit Alabama more than I say anything else. For us, we have got to have short-term memory playing our game. And I've seen this team do it so much. I've seen them play multiple games, as Aaliyah said, in the PAC-12 that I have a great vision of where we're going. But we got to play the game one pitch at a time, have a short-term memory, and get back to just playing our style of play. We did not execute tonight and you can't win ball games at this point in the season against a quality team like Alabama without being able to execute.

Q. Like you said about short-term memory, because during this game we saw also some mental mistakes that's not normally seen from the UCLA team. So do you think you don't even need to preach down about the mistakes that you made and you believe that they're going to push on and move on to the next goal?

KELLY INOUYE-PEREZ: No, actually, after every game from February, even at practice, we have a consistent routine. We always come in and we always, I always have them own what they could be better at. And they do an excellent job. We owned it. We didn't play defense. We weren't aggressive. We didn't work ahead in the count. We didn't have each other's backs. So I didn't even have to say it. It is part of our routine to own it. We understand what we did and we have got to learn from it. But I always say very simply, it's not what happens, it's what you do next that is your defining moment. So this team has no problem owning when they fall short. They don't get emotional. They get upset. But I think in the bigger picture they respond and I'm going to rely and hope that that team shows up tomorrow.

So to answer your question, we definitely owned it tonight. You don't have short-term memory and say, oh, you know, let it go. We owned it, but then we're going to do something about it and that's the plan is to be able to come out and play our style of play because we clearly did not play that tonight.

Q. You guys lost a game against, in super regionals last weekend against Virginia Tech and came back and responded really nicely, won those couple games. How can you kind of draw back on that experience in this kind of a similar situation?

KELLY INOUYE-PEREZ: Yeah, it's exactly what you said. It's experience. So we have had actually a lot of adversity through this season, so it hasn't been an easy ride at all. And the best part about the journey, a season, is that when you have those moments of adversity, you have the ability to do something about it. If it was easy all the time, then when things like this happen, you don't know what to do. But we actually have a lot of experience in adversity, in not being able to execute, in not having each other's backs. That's what a season provides. And with that, we have great experience and we showed it in super regionals.

Now is the time to just get really committed and really convicted and what you're going to do and put yourself in a position. Our sport is interesting. There's no timeline on it. We got to play the game one pitch at a time and this team knows that they got to come out and throw some punches tomorrow and I have no doubt that we will.

Q. How do you feel like Rachel performed today?

KELLY INOUYE-PEREZ: Rachel did the best that Rachel could do. It's out of her control, a lot of things that were happening around her. But we did put a lot of pressure on her and we own that as well. I simply said that Rachel can't do this on her own. There's things that she owned as well that she could have done a better job of coming up with pitches or working ahead in the count, but I made sure that she was clear, and the team made sure that she was clear, that we were all clear, that it's not on Rachel Garcia. We didn't lose tonight because Rachel Garcia was not on her A game. We lost because we didn't play great defensively and we didn't make adjustments at the plate and defense wins championships here at the end, we know this, and we did not have her back. So it's not on Rachel Garcia. She did everything that she could and we're going to wipe the slate clean and I say bring it on. I'm going to give Rachel the ball and we're going to see just what this team is made of.

Q. You got Holly in the game and a good opportunity for her and there may be some opportunities moving forward for her to come in and pitch some, so how significant was it and what did you think of her performance?

KELLY INOUYE-PEREZ: That was a bright spot. That was the first thing that I said when I came is Holly came in and she was prepared for that moment. This team has confidence in Holly because we have seen her do it in the PAC, she's pitched great games for us, she's shut down offenses and we know that she will put balls in play and the defense has to have her back and they actually did that tonight. Holly came in and did what Holly did and it really, for me, it was a very huge pick me up that Holly was prepared for that moment, to switch a little bit of the momentum back to us. She's ready to do whatever she can, it's all hands on deck, we know that this team trusts her, we know Rachel can't do this by herself so we're going to once again just play the game one pitch at a time and see what happens.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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