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June 6, 2021

Lonni Alameda

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA

Florida State Seminoles

Postgame Press Conference

Florida State - 2, Alabama - 0

THE MODERATOR: We're joined by Coach Lonni Alameda.

Q. The process is not always pretty but the end result is beautiful. Tell us your perspective about tonight's game?

COACH ALAMEDA: It's been a grind. A lot of us don't know what day or time it is and we're just rolling. And with that rain delay, what Syd alluded to, we bend but we don't break. It's been a mantra all season. Maybe COVID has prepared us for this all season. You just roll with it and the girls have been outstanding with that.

And just during the game, I -- there's so many cool moments I can think of. And I know everyone likes the long ball and the home run, but the extra bases we're getting on decision-making from balls in the dirt or balls in the gaps, just scratching and clawing.

Syd's walk, when she got to first base, it's just incredible. Like a big moment, you can get outside of yourself and swing yourself out of it. She's got the plan to be there for her team. A walk's a walk; that's what they need. It's so cool to see those moments. And the pitchers, I'm so, so proud of them.

Q. Just your thoughts on just getting the chance to rest tonight, not having to play Alabama again later tonight. Do you think that's something that would benefit your team? Would you have rather done the late night warriors thing again?

COACH ALAMEDA: I don't know if it's the "World Series after dark" hashtag yesterday; something we don't want to do again. That was super late.

I definitely think knowing that we only had a single game was a little more energetic for our team and to know they get to sleep in tomorrow. We don't have to worry about getting up for any testing or anything like that. We can just get some good rest and get some good recovery, I think is huge.

And to speak on that, I don't really know where it goes in our game, the coaches, the talk with the NCAA, whatever it might be, but we've got a really good game. It's really exciting. These girls work really hard. I think from the viewership you see, people love fast pitch softball.

And sometimes when you're playing until 3:00, 4:00 in the morning and getting back up, maybe we're not going to get the best game to put on TV. And not the most for the kids when they've played 60 games in the season.

So I don't know. Having lived it now, I really want to be a part of bringing that discussion up, because I know in our sport, we'll play until all hours, we'll do what's ever needed because we're a blue-collar sport. But on the other side, when we've got something so great we've got to protect it and take care of it. So that conversation has to start happening. Now that I've lived it I can help that conversation move along.

But really proud of the product that we're all putting out there, from Alabama to James Madison to Oklahoma, it's just a really exciting game.

Q. You mentioned before the importance of having your team enjoy the moment, have fun. How important was that for the team today coming off of maybe three to four hours of sleep?

COACH ALAMEDA: Definitely. I think the thing that maybe a lot of people don't realize, there are so many highs and lows in the game. The emotions of a game: The bases loaded strikeout or ground out, it's an emotional high. You come back into the dugout, kind of chill a little bit. And then you're back into a high again.

Then you win a game and you get some rest. And then you get on the bus and you come here. And you've got music in the bus and it's a high. You get loose and it's a high. Then you sit for two hours because there's a rain delay.

Those emotions up and down it's very draining. And we want to be here for sure. And I think six of our kids took a 30-minute power nap in one of the locker rooms and the other ones went and played games because they knew if they took a power nap they knew they weren't waking up. They were on adrenaline and they said sleep wasn't good for them at that point. They played some games with each other.

It is what it is right now, but they're going to get going. And I think we were kind of motoring along there for a couple of innings. And then Kat and Caylan were getting after it in the circle for us. And then the team rose up later in the fourth and fifth and got after it. Got the bunt and the break, got a run. And we did what we did. It's pretty awesome. We do small ball, team ball, and it's really exciting.

Q. Were you expecting to see Montana Fouts from this first game? And with them starting Lexi, how did that change things how you guys approached batting today?

COACH ALAMEDA: I mean, Fouts is awesome. But Kilfoyl is awesome, too. They have five amazing pitchers in their staff. And Montana and what she's done for them in postseason is incredible.

But Kilfoyl is just as good. Obviously today she threw very well. I think when you're going to a doubleheader and it's easy to go to have Montana for Game 2. But when we got the rain delay, they're probably of the mindset it's only one game today and that might change a little bit.

So I don't know what they were thinking on that, but I don't think there's a whole lot of difference with the two of them. I know Montana has been lights out for them. But I know Kilfoyl is good too. And she kept them right in that ball game.

Q. Wanted to ask you about your managing your pitchers. When you found out that you were only going to have one game today, did that change your decision on how you were going to manage Caylan versus bringing in Kat?

COACH ALAMEDA: Yeah, it did. I knew with a doubleheader, if we want to get to the championship series we've got to win both. We've got to get through Game 1 first. And Kat pitched great yesterday and had two games under her belt -- well, a game and a half.

I knew we have Watson too with a really good rise ball. And so trying to manage 14 innings and figure out how to do it. Kat could be on the back end of the second game to get us to the championship series.

When we went to one game, then I thought, you know, Caylan for sure with the rise and change. She's been great. She's been able to handle righties and lefties and get to the third and fourth inning. And then Kat could do what she does by keeping the ball on the dirt which is huge.

If we can get a lead or two and then keep the ball in the dirt, that could help us a little bit. Obviously to have Watson to go to there too. It did change our game plans a little bit. And definitely worked in our favor with the single game.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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