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June 9, 2021

Lonni Alameda

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA

Florida State Seminoles

Postgame Press Conference

Oklahoma - 6, Florida State - 2

THE MODERATOR: We're joined by Coach Alameda.

Q. Do you look at tonight's game as not only a chance for a learning opportunity, but a way for your team to drop the hammer, get whatever, maybe the jitters out, the negatives and come back for Game 3 refocused with all the right things ready to do?

COACH ALAMEDA: How do we do that? Sorry, I couldn't hear you in the beginning.

Q. With that game, do you look at it as just learning opportunities, and now just kind of getting the nervous jitters out, all the negatives and just being able to come back refocused for Game 3?

COACH ALAMEDA: I don't think there's any negatives. We're playing for a national title. There's two teams left. It was a dogfight. They took advantage of some swings. And there were a couple of extra base runners that we allowed to happen. And pitching and defense have been a thing for us. I knew it was going to be a tough game. So it's just more about showing up tomorrow and playing than anything that was negative.

I think it was very positive. It was fun. It was a great environment. I thought our team showed up, did great, nothing to hang their heads about and get after it tomorrow.

Q. It was really just one big inning tonight that really doomed your team. Do you think that and the fact that you guys have been super resilient all year that that would help you tomorrow to come back and play better?

COACH ALAMEDA: Definitely. You're not any different this year than you've been all along. I think that we'll be able to flush it and get after it. It's Game 3 for a national championship, and I think we keep saying it over and over again, but the opportunity to play tomorrow is going to be so much fun.

So, I know every one of our players wants to be out there. And I think Elizabeth said it the other day, you've got to risk it to win it, or whatever her comment was. That's the point tomorrow. It's do or die; one goes home with a trophy and the other one is the number two team in the country. It's pretty awesome. Tonight, get some rest, get some water. It's supposed to be hot tomorrow. And just get after it.

Q. Kathryn's stat line not indicative of her performance tonight, especially through the first five innings. She seemed to be pretty upbeat talking to us now. Do you see her bouncing back quickly? I'm sure you'll need her in some capacity tomorrow.

COACH ALAMEDA: For sure, probably a little nervous in the beginning, like everyone when they get out there for the first time and kind of leading the team. But I think she settled down fine and got after it and gave us a chance. We were right there and gave us a chance and you've got -- you're facing a home run-hitting team. And if they get solo shots, so what. We get a chance to go to bat. We have all our pitchers ready to go.

Everyone got a taste of it. Even Emma Wilson got out there. So all hands on deck tomorrow. We got a lot of information on their hitters. We got a good feel of the pitching staff and the defense, what they bring. And so, just gotta get after it and compete tomorrow.

Q. Who do you think you'll start tomorrow?

COACH ALAMEDA: I don't know yet.

Q. It seemed like Elizabeth and Kathryn were embracing the mindset that you're kind of embracing right now. Was the whole team that way? Did you have to talk about that? Or did they just have that organically through the course of the game?

COACH ALAMEDA: No, Travis Wilson brought the group together right afterwards, and just, hey, we knew it was going to be tough. And at the beginning of the year if you said we were one of the last two teams in the country would you want to be in Game 3? Heck, yeah, you would.

Let's go. Flush it. Let's get home, get some rest, watch a little video and let's go play for it. It doesn't take too long to talk to the players and their heads are up. And, yeah, let's play. So you're over it. You flush it. And you move on.

So I think the message was sent but I also know all the players are into that too.

Q. I think the ACC is probably a little undervalued this year. Do you think Duke and Clemson, Virginia Tech, Notre Dame, NC State, all very good teams. How much did they help you prepare for the postseason?

COACH ALAMEDA: How does today help us prepare?

Q. No, how did the ACC schedule, including those teams, help you prepare for postseason?

COACH ALAMEDA: I think just playing softball but definitely the ACC has risen. We didn't get to play Clemson and got to see them at the ACC Tournament. Didn't play them.

Cagle is awesome. They're going to be great in the future. Va Tech, look what they did. I think Keely Rochard is awesome. She's going to be in our league for a long time.

You've got to earn respect. And year in, year out, I still don't think the ACC -- even though we won a championship -- I know at times now people don't even know who is coaching on our coaching staff.

Half the time they're getting our names wrong. But year in, year out you've got to prove it. And we've got to do it as a conference. And we're up for the challenge.

And we're here representing the ACC, but there's going to be way more teams here in the future at the World Series that are from the ACC too, just because of that fight mentality. And we want to be here.

Q. Not obviously the offensive production in terms of showing up with hits and runs from the other night. But seemed like even a lot of the outs were kind of loud outs, a lot of barrelling up Juarez. How much kind of confidence does that give if you're facing her tomorrow, what maybe some of those might find on the ground?

COACH ALAMEDA: Definitely, it was both ways. Throwing punches, throwing punches, the loud outs. You've got to take advantage of the errors or the miscommunication or the walks, like those are the big things. When you're facing a team that is home run, extra base hit, obviously every one of their hitters can do some damage. But you're holding them down.

It's the same mindset with us. They made some great plays with us too. We've seen all their pitchers. We know what they have; they know what we have. There's going to be no secrets tomorrow, just guts and grit tomorrow, and who can take advantage of the momentum.

Q. You just touched on it in your last answer, but both teams made some fantastic defensive plays. Seems like the overall play for the series has been really high level. How much fun has it been as a coaching staff to just to be a part of this battle?

COACH ALAMEDA: A team prepares all season long, not just for the big swing. I mean, it's the pitching, it's the defense, the base running. This series right now has shown the cuts and relays, the great plays in the outfield, the great glove work in the infield, the communication.

Any little kid watching the softball game and this tournament right now has to be pretty excited about making her entire softball game pretty complete.

As a coach it's really cool to see, because way back in the day, probably when I played, it was a lot of pitching and hitting and that was it. It wasn't too athletic in the playing field.

Now there's so many great plays and shifts. It's just a lot of fun. And as a fan I can't imagine the momentum swings back and forth and every person that comes up to the plate, there's something that's going to happen. And it's just really engaging, which is why our sport is so popular right now and so many people are tuning in. It's a really fun game. So from the dugout it is too.

Q. You mentioned how popular softball is getting. Last night it was the third highest rated sporting event on TV, with almost 1.9 million viewers. Do you guys feel that? Are you guys extra pumped that you are helping the game? But also Florida State is getting some super good exposure as well.

COACH ALAMEDA: Yeah, it's hard to comprehend sometimes. We've always been about growing the game. So it is definitely about Florida State softball and the ACC for sure. But you want the game to be great. And you want people to fall in love with what our passion is all about.

I think right now I've been more wowed just because I'm here living it and there's 10,000 people in the stands yelling for softball.

Maybe 9,000 are for Oklahoma. Maybe a thousand are for us. But the game of softball is what brought us together. And I think that's so awesome. And so having been here as a student and played here at the University of Oklahoma and to see how it's grown, just super proud of all of us that put the time in.

I'm really excited for the kids that are playing on the field because they'll continue to grow this game. And just taking it all in, in these moments right now. It's a very fun, popular, exciting game that we're putting on the field.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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