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June 6, 2021

Loren LaPorte

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA

James Madison Dukes

Postgame Press Conference

Oklahoma - 6, James Madison - 3

Q. Your teams have split now the two games, and you used the same pitcher twice. I know you won't give us an idea what you're going to do. Talk about who is on your staff outside of Odicci that you can go with because you have got talent in the circle?

COACH LAPORTE: Yeah, I think with this team, when C.C. (phonetic) was out in the middle of the year with an injury, we had two pitchers really step up for us, Alissa Humphrey and Alexis Bermudez. They all have great numbers. Just the way C.C. is pitching, we're going to go with her. Like I said, we'll go back and game plan a little bit. I don't know what we'll do quite yet. But you'll know in about three hours.

Q. You're accustomed to playing double hitters, usually 30 to 40 minutes in between. How will this be different for you? You have a lengthier time period but you've got to stay close to game mode?

COACH LAPORTE: We'll go back in the locker room, sit down, stretch out and eat some lunch and just kind of decompress a little bit. I kind of like that we can have that kind of downtime and our adrenaline and energy can kind of go down, and then get it back up in another hour or so. I think it's good for our team just to be together and laugh again and, like they said, they'll bounce back.

Q. We did see during the game that Odicci did get hit by the pitch. While you were watching, did you see any change in her? Did it affect her in the game?

COACH LAPORTE: Not really. We talked a lot. I asked her if she wanted a runner and she doesn't like to be taken off the base paths.

Yeah, it hurts, but I don't think it changed anything with her pitching. I feel she did a really good job. Like both of them said, they got on base they were able to get timely hits. I felt like we did the same thing. We outhit them. We just weren't able to get that big hit to score those runs. I think the team knows that and we're going to get right back at it.

Q. What's the message to the team? I don't know if you've talked to them yet or not. But what's the message as you get ready for this game that's obviously a do-or-die situation?

COACH LAPORTE: Honestly, I was so happy with that effort in that game. I feel like we were right in it the entire time. And it's just like it goes back to when we were at Missouri; they won that battle but the war's not over. So that kind of same mindset that we had when we dropped Game 2 at Missouri, just bouncing back, staying together, playing with nothing to lose.

Q. I couldn't forget about talking about Sara. During that moment when you were down 3-0, that was a moment that really electrified your team that showed again they're gutsy. So just talk about that moment when it happened.

COACH LAPORTE: Sara, honestly, all year has been our most clutch hitter. I think Kate did a really good job at drawing the walk there, not trying to hit balls outside of the zone. Really happy she was able to pass the bat to Sara. Sara's so clutch, so composed, and she loves that moment. She always does really good for us in those moments. Super proud of her. And hopefully we're going to have some more in a couple of hours.

Q. When did you know you had a special team? When did you know you had a special team this season?

COACH LAPORTE: You know, I think this year has been extremely hard for this entire team. And we have a lot of seniors, as you can tell, and with COVID and some things that went on, and we had some injuries.

I think when Odicci got back from her injury, it was just one of those things. She got back in the conference series. And both her and Alissa, they were throwing lights out. You could see our team like start believing, oh, my gosh, like this is something special here. They were throwing no-hitters and perfect games and our offense was coming alive, 1 through 9.

And I think it was that mid, end of the year when I think just the team just realized what they had and what we all had and they've just been full force ever since.

Q. On Madison's ground rule double, in the third inning, did the umpires explain the ground rules there, explain, like -- afterward they seemed to put some kind of pool noodle or PVC pipe under the left field fence. What was their direction on that?

COACH LAPORTE: It's kind of a shame because I was going to send Logan. I hoped it was going to bounce off the fence a little funky so I could get her to the plate. It's a shame there's gaps in the field where that could happen.

But we play on fields like that all the time. It is what it is. You can't do anything about it, when the ball gets stuck under and you can't make a play, it's really nobody's fault. But it would be nice to have that gap closed up.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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