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June 10, 2021

Jayda Coleman

Nicole Mendes

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA

Oklahoma Sooners

Postgame Press Conference

Oklahoma 5, Florida State 1

Q. For both of you, what was it like watching Giselle get this opportunity? I don't know if we all thought she would get it. And not just being good but being really good, just delivering.

NICOLE MENDES: I just remember being so proud. I remember last year whenever she got hurt and her not knowing if she would be able to come back. I remember two years ago in '19 being on the other side of this ball and her pitching her heart out, and to see her come back from both of those two big adversities and to be where she is, I just can only smile because it's such a G thing to do, to come in and to say, okay, you know what, I'm going to own this one, and I'm going to bounce back from this injury, and I'm going to carry my team to this championship. Such a special moment.

JAYDA COLEMAN: She just came out on fire this weekend. I mean, she is built for the College World Series. Her mindset is for the College World Series. We've had Nicole come in for her earlier in the season, but she came in to be G-Juarez this week. She came into this game saying, I'm G-Juarez, I'm about to do G-Juarez thing. I'm so proud of her. Great super senior to look up to. It was great.

Q. Nicole, a game like this, a championship, how big is it for the younger players on the team, and they experienced it, you got to experience it with them. How big was this win moving forward for the Oklahoma program? And also for Jayda, how big is it to win one as a freshman and have this your first year?

NICOLE MENDES: Whenever I think of Oklahoma, I think of championships. This is what we do here. For this freshman class, they stopped being freshman in the fall. They are so talented and they are so confident, and they play the game with such grace and maturity that I don't even think of them as freshmen.

Moving forward, they have three more years of this, and the talent that's coming in is only better. I just think Coach has done a great job building this program, not just for this year or next year but for the future. Definitely am ready to watch them and see what they do, because getting to be in these games and getting to win these games and have a season like this whenever they're juniors and seniors, that season mentality, that experience is going to help them in more ways than they can count.

JAYDA COLEMAN: Winning a national championship my freshman year, it was high expectations, but you know that when you commit here and when you sign here you have very high expectations. You're the best of the best, and you play the best of the best all the time.

I can't believe I'm sitting here right now actually having this hat on and this shirt. Like I knew I believed in this team that we were going to do it, but to actually do it, I just like want to cry. This is my dream, and to do it my freshman year, now I've just got to keep doing it, not give up and just keep working.

Q. Nicole, just to bookend your time at Oklahoma with two national championships, just how do you look back on your own career here?

NICOLE MENDES: I think that I grew from a young girl into a woman during these past five years. Coming in as a freshman and winning it and then struggling and grinding and working with different teams to get back to this moment and finally in my last year winning it again, I don't know, it just seems like such a way to go out, and I know a lot of athletes don't get to experience this kind of closure the way that us super seniors have been able to, but I mean, I wouldn't have it any other way.

The ups, the downs, the trials, I'm at peace, and I am so grateful for the time that I've had at OU and for the experiences Coach has taught me and what the team has taught me.

Q. Nicole, the other day after the first loss you said this team doesn't lose twice, and you weren't right, you guys won the next two, won the national championship. Can you just talk about the resiliency of this team? Every time you lost a game you came back and won it to win the national championship. Jayda, if you could talk about the resiliency of this team and how it made this team so special.

NICOLE MENDES: I just think this past year and a half has built this team, and we definitely took advantage of the time that we could have together with the incoming freshmen, with COVID and the rule changes and all that stuff.

I think ultimately at the end of the day, one, it's a complete belief in one another. You can't be resilient if you don't believe in the person beside you, the person in front of you, the person behind you. If you don't have that belief and that trust you're not going to go anywhere.

It's a pride thing. I'm proud to represent OU and I'm proud to represent my sisters, Coach Gasso, this university, and I'm not going to let anybody come out and beat me twice, and I take that personally if I get a loss, and we take it personally and we fight for each other because it's not just me, it's just my team, it's OU, it's this university, it's all that kind of stuff. I think that definitely plays into the resiliency factor.

JAYDA COLEMAN: We've been resilient since I stepped on campus just with COVID and just with all the things that we've had to go through.

The pride of not letting a team beat us twice is something that I hope to take into next year, and we've shown throughout this season, like we can't let this team beat us twice. Let's trust in each other and let's keep on moving and let's just fight, fight to the end.

Q. Nicole, I wanted to see if you could talk about that play there right before the end when you face planted. I hope you're okay, but can you talk me through that? Jayda, I was wondering if you could also talk about Jocelyn's hitting, a huge homer to start the scoring today. I think about the fact that she only played that designated player role -- I don't mean only, but just the fact that hitting is her thing, to come out and have that kind of performance, how difficult is that and what has she meant to you guys?

JAYDA COLEMAN: Yeah, Jocey starting the game off like that was a big momentum shifter. Just for us to start, we needed momentum, we needed to get that, all right, like let's go, like that's going to be our spark type of thing. For her to come in and relay like what she's seeing, what she's feeling so we know how to feel like when we go up to bat, and it was huge for her to do that so early in the game and just start the pace for our first three.

NICOLE MENDES: I think you can kind of like see right here there's a little bit of a mark. But I just remember thinking before that pitch, the girl had already hit two to me in right so I was kind of ready for something my way.

Like I said earlier, this team, we do it for each other, and I just remember thinking to myself, especially like towards the later games whenever it's like bigger moments, I always say to myself, I would run through a wall for my pitcher. That ball came and I was like, well, I'm either going to catch it or I'm not, but I'm not going to drop it because I slowed down on anything. So I ran right into that wall, smacked it right in the face and knocked off my glasses.

But yeah, I just remember thinking, I'm going to go all out. She's going all out, why wouldn't I go all out for her. But I do think it's really fitting that the game ended in the circle and G got to get the last out. I think that was something really special.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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