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Mizzou / Washington Game 2: Post-Game Quotes

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MUTIGERS.COM

MUTIGERS.COM

May 24, 2013

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HEAD COACH Ehren Earleywine
Opening Statement…
"First of all, obviously, I have three very special people here. I didn't always show it probably, or I'm not good at showing it, I'll put it that way, but I care about each of these three kids deeply and I'm going to miss them a great deal. They've done a lot for this program, they've done a lot for me and my family and I'm going to miss them a great deal."

On the hitting tonight…
"I can't explain it, especially the offensive part of it, you know, we've swung the bat pretty well all season. We hit well in the SEC tournament, we hit over.300 as a team this season, we probably hit close to .300, maybe even better in the SEC over 24 games. I don't know the explanation, I'm like Nicole, I don't know the answer, if I did I would've done something to fix it. They talked about being tight, potentially that could've been the thing. My mind works a little bit different, it is always working mechanical, the x's and o's of it, we were swinging down at a drop ball and up at a rise ball. That's the way I saw it. Our offense hit the skids, that's all I can say. Chelsea was good enough, Chelsea was way good enough."

On what he said to the team after the game…
"I couldn't say much. I just felt like it was an injustice to try to capture all that they've done. To try just wasn't fair. I couldn't talk anyway, I was hurting pretty bad. Not necessarily because of the loss, because of what those three girls have meant to me."

On Chelsea Thomas' situation this season…
"It has just been like ebbs and flows every day, every week, every month. It has been a very emotionally fatiguing season for everybody involved. I hate it for Chelsea. I hate it for her because I feel like she's as good a pitcher as there is in the country and I feel like the rest of us let her down to be honest with you. When you have a pitcher of that caliber, you should play for national championships often. And that's my fault. I'm not only the head coach, I'm the hitting coach, so I take all the responsibility for that. I feel like we missed a great opportunity in her four years here to maybe win it all. And we did not."

On Chelsea's career…
"I've been a Mizzou fan since I was a little boy and I can't remember anybody having any more success in any sport than Chelsea Thomas. And in a non-revenue sport, to be as popular as she is, and to create the excitement around the state that she's created; she's put softball on the map for us in the state of Missouri. The stands are packed, kids line up for her autograph and she can't go to the mall.

On Chelsea's start…
"73. I mean I don't know what other coaches were looking at her but they had to be blind and a number of other things as well. There was no "chance," I didn't take any chance on her. As soon as I got in the car, I called everybody I knew and said we've got a chance to be really good if this kid comes Mizzou. She's humble, 'he took a chance on me,' yeah right. You were throwing 73 miles an hour, if anybody in the country knew that, everybody would've been recruiting you. Truth of the matter is she didn't play on the travel ball circuit and that's where all of the kids get recruited. And that's how we got into the Chelsea Thomas situation."

On next season…
"Our team is going to be really good for a really long time. Plain and simple. If I didn't recruit another kid, we're set for the next seven years."

SENIOR P Chelsea Thomas
On her feelings after the game…
"I'm pretty disappointed, obviously this wasn't the end result to the season that we wanted but I've tried to look back on my career the past couple weeks and it's been more than I ever could've expected. The opportunities that I've been given and the people that I've met, this University and all of the community support has been unreal and I wouldn't pick any other place. I'm just very thankful and grateful for everyone that's helped make my career so successful."

Looking back at the way her career began…
"Hardly anybody wanted me to play on their team, he {Coach Earleywine} took a chance and gave me the opportunity and I owe him forever for that. I wouldn't be here without him."

On what she told teammates after game one…
"I think the first thing I told everyone was, 'my arm has two games left in it for tomorrow,' and I mean, just try and stay positive and go our way."

On how she was feeling in the circle today…
"I knew yesterday that I had two games to throw today so I really prepared mentally. I can't tell you enough how, if you get yourself to be mentally ready, it can affect your body physically. I didn't want to be done but as far as the team, they've carried me through parts of the season when I couldn't even hold the ball, and I feel like that's just part of being on a team. You pick each other up. We had a lot of plays in that game that maybe could've gone through. They had a lot of good plays, there were a lot of things that could've gone our way but didn't. It just wasn't in the cards for us."

SENIOR C Jenna Marston
What was it about Washington that made the hitting difficult…
"We couldn't make an adjustment. Yesterday they had a drop-ball pitcher and we were on top of it, today they had a rise ball pitcher and we got it underneath a lot. You can't win ball games like that, you have to make adjustments."

SENIOR 3B Nicole Hudson
Looking back at her career…
"My dream from as far as I can remember was to come here to Mizzou and play softball. I'm just incredibly blessed that I get to live that out, because, how many people actually get to do that in their lives? I've grown so much as a player, I learned so much more about the game. I owe Coach E a lot for that, I had no idea how sensitive this game was and how much there was to learn. Up until this day, the very last day of my career I continued to learn more and become a better player and I'm really thankful for that. And more so than the softball part of it, I'm thankful for the relationships that I've built and the friends that I have, and the family that they've become. Because, win or lose the softball game, that's going to be around for the rest of my life, I have the best memories with this team and with these girls."

HEAD COACH HEATHER TARR
Opening Statement…
"First of all, I just want to thank the University of Missouri for a great opportunity to come here and play. We knew all along that we had to come out here and play. It's obviously not your destination to come and face Chelsea Thomas and Missouri. We obviously know what's that like. We didn't have a very good time out here on the field in 2011, but I couldn't be more proud of the group of people that I've coached ever and I've coached some pretty good ones. Specifically, our pitching coming together, working together, finding ways to win games together. Also, Victoria Hayward coming through all weekend long. As a leadoff hitter, she hasn't had a lot of those opportunities to come through for our team and she got to shine this weekend, and it's really good to see her get to do that. I can't forget to mention our defense, robbing a homerun in the first inning. Kylee Lahners has never played outfield in her life and started playing outfield for our team because Kelli Suguro was playing second base. Two very unselfish that were reasons why we won this weekend and played so well throughout the tournament so far "

On Mizzou's six hits over the two games…
"I think that our pitching staff has been challenged this season. We've played a great schedule. We play in the Pac-12 Conference and you have to play everybody in the Pac-12 Conference. You don't miss a team. You play everybody. We play Arizona State, we play Oregon, we play UCLA. We play nine games in 12 days and it's crazy. That has definitely prepared our team to be in this place and it doesn't matter who shows up, we're prepared."

On key to quieting Mizzou's bats…
"I don't think there's really a mystery. You try to mix and pitch different to different teams and you're going to ride a roller coaster. All we're trying to do is throw good pitches in good spots and get outs."

On robbed homerun…
"It's weird because we don't have a short wall at home, so when we prepare in our practices, she doesn't have an opportunity to reach over like that, but she's pretty long, which is sometimes not good for hitting, but it's good for us on defense and it was just really good to see her hard work pay off in a real game."

JUNIOR OF VICTORIA HAYWARD
On first inning homerun going over the fence…
"I saw the ball and felt good about the swing and just sticking to a plan and just bring that confidence to a play."

On pitch that she homered…
"I think it was inside. I was just looking for a hard pitch to slug and I got the ball I was looking for."

On whether she thought homerun was out or not…
"No, I did not think it was out. The right fielder looked like she was going to catch it at first and then she started drifting back. I think a gust of wind helped me out and pushed it out."

On Chelsea Thomas' pitching…
"She's a really great pitcher. She throws a lot down and mixes a lot of highs levels and throws changeups. I just didn't try to do too much…just think about where it's pitched and let the rest take its course."

On Chelsea's pitches…
"I know she's a pitcher that doesn't like to walk too many people, especially the leadoff in a game when you know they will come out fighting. I just didn't want to get behind."

JUNIOR P BRYANA WALKER
On keeping the Mizzou offense off-balance…
"For me, it was just getting a good mix of pitches in. Obviously Missouri is a good hitting team and they're aggressive and we knew they were going to come out, looking to score, try to get runs first because, as you know, Chelsea Thomas is a good pitcher and you get her a couple and she just kinda rolls with it. For us it was just about keeping it mixed and keep attacking and keep them guessing and putting up pitches in good spots. "

On seeing centerfielder "rob" homerun…
"Maybe the single greatest moment of my life. It was really exciting. I'm really proud of Kylee."

JUNIOR P KAITLIN INGLESBY
On keeping Mizzou off-balanced…
"Last night I wasn't as fine as I should have been pitching and pitching good pitches in good spots and they are an aggressive team and so today I just wanted to come out just put good pitches in good spots and Shawna really helped me out and that was successful for me today."

On interchangeable pitching with Bryana…
"That's the best part about Bryana and I and this pitching staff is that nobody is the one starter and no one is the one reliever or saver, but we all know we have a huge role to play and we are willing to do whatever it takes to get this team to seven innings and come out with more runs than the other team, so if that means going in twice and then flip-flopping with Bryanna, whatever it takes, we're willing to do it, and we've really come into that this year."

On comparison to two years ago…
"This is definitely better than what happened two years ago, but I think that we've grown so much as a staff and as a team that we expect to be where we are today."