NCAA Softball Columbia Regional: Bradley/DePaul Post-Game Quotes



May 15, 2009

Bradley Head Coach Amy Hayes
Opening Statement:
“I think there are a lot of people that didn’t expect us to be here and we just kept fighting through the season. It’s been a little bit of an up and down season. In the end, it’s all about getting these kids to the lead. I think today was a sign that even when it gets tough in the later innings and they’re putting pressure on us, these kids are ready and they’re standing up. We’re excited, it’s a big win. We have a lot of respect for the DePaul program and Coach Eugene Lesti, and it is a very big win for our program.”

On the team’s late resurgence in the season:
“I think a lot of people look at the fact that three-fourths of the way through we had a bad run. But really, early on we were .500. I think we’re dealing with a lot of history in our program. It’s a program that has struggled a little bit and has never really found its groove. But we have a new president who really believes in the women’s side of athletics. Knowing that you have that kind of support, and we have a tremendous administration, I really felt that we could win here. Sometimes it just takes a good attitude, new expectations and some more pressure and the kids rise to it. They always do.”

On pitcher Ashley Birdsong:
“You know, honestly, Birdie [Ashley Birdsong] did not have a very strong warm-up for Birdie. I think she may have been a little nervous about everything but she deserves to be here. That kid can throw. She had some good stuff today, and I keep saying this every interview, but her ball breaks more than anybody I’ve ever seen when she’s really on. She was able to stick with the game plan, which was to keep Amber Patton off the base path, and to keep the bottom of the order off the bases so that Amber [Patton] couldn’t do any damage. She followed through with that plan and pitched a tremendous game.



Senior RHP Ashley Birdsong
On the keys to her pitching:
“The umpire was giving corners—I mean, that’s kind of your approach from the first pitch is to see what you get and work with what you get. So if you’re getting the corners, you can’t throw it over the middle of the plate obviously. Jack (Jacqueline Vitale) did a really good job of making sure it caught the corner.”

On expectations for the team:
“I don’t think anybody expected us to be here, but I think everytime we put on our uniforms we expect to win. So surprising? Yes, just because we’ve had ups and downs. But I think from the past 10 games on, with the way we’ve been playing, I’m not surprised. I don’t even really know what’s changed—we’re just swinging the bats, and we’ve really gelled as a team. We’re just kind of climbing to the peak right now. “

Senior RF Amber Creighton
On the team mentality:
“Every team has ups and downs, and we’ve just fought through it and kept going. I think we’re underestimated a little bit, and we’re kind of the dark horse in the race. But I think they know our name now. We’re all just having fun and playing together. The team chemistry right now is just unbelievable. It’s awesome.”

DePaul Head Coach Eugene Lenti
On DePaul’s Team Performance:
“We got beat by a team that played better than we did today. You can’t get shutout and think you are going to win the game, it’s plain and simple.”

On DePaul’s Team’s Focus:
“We only focus on what we do. It doesn’t matter to us if we are playing UCLA, Bradley, Alabama, Arizona or Missouri. It doesn’t matter. We focus on what DePaul does and we did not do today what DePaul does well.”

On Bradley Pitcher Ashley Birdsong’s Performance:
“She did a great job of hitting her corners and we got ourselves out a lot. I never thought we would get shutout. You have to give credit to Birdsong. We did a great job of helping her without making adjustments at the plate and just swinging and missing.”

On His Coaching and His Team’s Outlook:
“I tell them all the time, I will not make a mistake. I take the blame for the loss. It goes on my shoulders because I’ve got the biggest shoulders around. But when it comes to strategy, it’s up to them. Each one of them has to take it upon themselves. They need to find the inner strength inside themselves.”

Senior 3B Amber Patton
On losing the game to Bradley:
“After a loss like that, there isn’t much you really want to say. You come out here to win everyday. It’s unfortunate. Student-athletes hate losing more than we love winning. We didn’t come through when we needed to. We have to regroup and come back tomorrow.”

On Bradley pitcher Ashley Birdsong’s performance:
“She was hitting her corners. We didn’t adjust like we needed to.”

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