NCAA WOMEN’S COLLEGE WORLD SERIES
May 30-June 5, 2013
ASA Hall of Fame Stadium
Oklahoma City, Okla.
Game 3: Texas 6, Arizona State 3
- In the third game of the 2013 Women’s College World Series, No. 4 seed Texas defeated No. 5 seed Arizona State, 6-3. The Longhorns improved to 50-8 on the year while the Sun Devils dropped to 50-11.
- Texas now leads the overall series 7-6 and tied the season record at 1-1. In its fifth WCWS, Texas is now 6-8 all-time. Arizona State is 18-17 in its 11th WCWS appearance.
- Neither team recorded a hit or run in the first four innings. The two squads combined for six runs on six hits in the fifth inning.
- The six runs scored by Texas were its most ever in a WCWS game. The win was Texas’ ninth come-from-behind victory this season. In the fifth inning, Texas broke a 19-inning WCWS scoreless streak that dated back to 2006.
- Arizona State junior Alix Johnson hit a two-run double to left center in the fifth inning to give the Sun Devils a 2-0 lead. It was Johnson’s eighth double of the season.
- Texas scored its first run of the game off a Taylor Thom double. On the same play, an error allowed a second run to cross the plate, knotting the game at 2-2. The RBI was Thom’s 66th of the season, extending her single-season school record. It was her team-leading 11th RBI this postseason.
- With a two-run home run in the fifth inning, senior Kim Bruins gave the Longhorns their first lead of the game at 4-2. Bruins’ home run was the fifth for the Longhorns in WCWS history and the first since June 1, 2006 (also against Arizona State).
- Arizona State sophomore Haley Steele sent a solo home run over the left field fence in the top of the sixth inning, cutting Texas’ lead to 4-3. It was Steele’s 12th home run of the season.
- Texas added two more runs in the sixth inning. Freshman Stephanie Ceo laid down an RBI bunt single, and senior Taylor Hoagland hit an RBI double, increasing the Longhorns’ lead to 6-3.
- Texas senior pitcher Blaire Luna extended her streak of not surrendering a hit to 12 innings before Arizona State sophomore Elizabeth Caporuscio singled in the fifth inning. Luna improved to 31-5 on the season. She struck out 10 batters, her 23rd double-digit strikeout game this season. She allowed four hits and three runs in 6.0 innings.
- Bruins came on in relief of Luna and faced five batters in the seventh inning. She struck out two and earned her third career save and first of this season.
- For the Sun Devils, junior starter Dallas Escobedo (30-5) allowed six hits and six runs and struck out five batters in 5.1 innings of work. Escobedo also walked a season-high six batters.
- Junior Mackenzie Popescue came on in relief for Arizona State in the sixth inning, making her first-ever WCWS appearance. She faced three batters in 0.2 innings of work.
TEXAS COACH CONNIE CLARK
THE MODERATOR: We are joined by Texas head coach Connie Clark and student‑athletes Kim Bruins and Blaire Luna. We’ll start with an opening comment with Coach and open the floor with questions.
COACH CLARK: What an exciting match‑up, and I will tell you the one thing we talked about before the game started with the group is probably the first team to relax is going to have a good opportunity to win it all. I thought we were tremendous tonight, which is very exciting coming off of yesterday’s practice, because we were just a little bit nervous, I thought. We were able to work it out. They kept assuring me today that they were ready to go and feeling good. They were as loose and looked like the Texas team that I knew and did a tremendous job.
Kim Bruins and Blaire Luna to share that was tremendous, and Kim Bruins obviously just had a stellar night and she was a star for us. Great match‑up with a great ball club in Arizona State.
Q. Was there a time around the fourth inning where it was feeling a little too much like old times; 0‑0 and no hits either way? Were you seeing positive things from your hitters at that point?
COACH CLARK: We haven’t been here in so long. I don’t know if I remember what old times felt like, to be honest. No, I felt very confident. I thought we were getting great looks at Dallas (Escobedo), and she’s a tremendous pitcher. We saw her back in March as well. We were able to look at some film. The hitters, I think, really even in warm‑ups were confident in regards to what they were going to look for, and we had to establish what the strike zone was going to be with our particular umpire. I just thought we made great adjustments and looked very focused. I really was confident in the fourth inning that it was just a matter of time, and we stayed together and just kept making adjustments. They made some great plays on us as well.
Q. Kim, tonight you almost had two homers, did have one, a couple RBIs and got to close out the game. Can you just talk about in your senior World Series what today was like for you?
KIM BRUINS: It was so intense. I was just trying to leave it all on the field for my teammates. I was seeing Dallas pretty well all night, so I was just hoping to go just put something into play and it just kind of fell in my favor. Pitching, I was a little nervous, but I had to just kind of sit back and take some deep breaths and realize that my teammates, my defense, had my back.
Q. Kim, did you think the first time you hit the ball that it was going to be a home run?
KIM BRUINS: I didn’t. I hit it and I thought it was going to be a flyout, but the wind kept pushing it and pushing it, and I was like, yeah. And I saw her reach over and just snag it.
Q. The second one, did you think that was going to be a home run? Or did you think the baseball Gods just evened it out?
KIM BRUINS: Yeah, they just evened it out for me. They threw me a bone.
Q. Connie, first talk about the decision to go to Kim in the seventh; and after that, Kim, if you could talk about the emotions? You haven’t had a save all year. Talk about the emotions in that situation?
COACH CLARK: Well, I’ve been talking to KB (Kim Bruins) about it for about the last month, to be quite honest, and she’s been working.
ARIZONA STATE COACH CLINT MYERS
THE MODERATOR: We are now joined by Arizona State head coach Clint Myers and student‑athletes Dallas Escobedo, Alix Johnson, and Haley Steele. We’ll start with an opening comment from Coach and go to the floor with questions.
COACH MYERS: I think it was a pretty good softball game. I thought Texas executed. Unfortunately, we didn’t execute as well as we should have. We didn’t have timely hitting. I thought we swung it a little better. I thought we made a change. No excuses, we got beaten.
Q. Obviously, you guys face a tough challenge from this point on. What was your message to the team after the game to try to keep their spirits up?
COACH MYERS: Spirits are up. It’s a situation where we’ve got to come out and play Arizona State softball. Had we done that tonight, we probably would have won. We just didn’t make it happen. Again, no excuses. I mean, you get what you sow, so to speak. It has to be pitch better, hit better, field it better, throw better. We did make some adjustments, and we faced a very good pitcher, but we made some adjustments and so we were moving in the right direction. We just ran out of time.
Q. Dallas, obviously the wind was blowing out a little bit. Did you try to do anything differently knowing that it was blowing out? I mean, you’ve obviously given up a few home runs.
DALLAS ESCOBEDO: I mean, those hits that I did give up, I thought they were just pop‑ups, but knowing the wind was blowing out, I should have looked at it a little more. But I still stuck with what I was going to throw with my plan. I could have done better throwing between the wind. When it slowed down I could have thrown. But sometimes it blows over the fence, and that’s what happened.
Q. Did they make any adjustments off of you? You gave up no hits through the first four innings and then both teams started to swing the bats pretty well.
DALLAS ESCOBEDO: In the box I don’t think they did, but seeing the pitches better, maybe they were trying to get more on top of my rise ball, but I kind of stayed with what I was throwing and was fine. But there were a select few that did, but the majority didn’t.
Q. Alix, you were the only one to get on base in the first few innings and then you got the big double. Did you see anything better off of Luna than your teammates?
ALIX JOHNSON: I personally, I can’t speak for my teammates, but I was he seeing the ball very well tonight. I was just trying to stay in my zone because that’s how I get myself out sometimes. Especially facing a good pitcher like Luna, I focus on getting the ball in the zone and good things happen when you see the ball that well.
Q. After that ball went off Liz’s glove for the home run, what did you guys talk about? What did you say to her?
ALIX JOHNSON: I said, ‘You’re okay. You’re okay.’ She was obviously a little upset