NCAA WOMEN’S COLLEGE WORLD SERIES
May 30-June 5, 2013
ASA Hall of Fame Stadium
Oklahoma City, Okla.
Game 2: Tennessee 9, Florida 2
- The second game of the Women’s College World Series saw NCAA Tournament No. 7 seed Tennessee (50-10) defeat No. 2 seed Florida (57-8) by a 9-2 score.
- The game marked the first time the SEC opponents have met in NCAA postseason play. Tennessee improved to 13-10 all-time in its sixth WCWS appearance. In its fifth WCWS appearance, Florida fell to 11-10 all-time. The overall series record is now 43-21 in favor of Florida.
- The Lady Volunteers improved to 43-4 when scoring first this season.
- The nine runs scored by Tennessee were the most given up by Florida this season and the most the Lady Vols have scored against the Gators since 1999.
- Tennessee scored the first run of the game as sophomore Cheyanne Tarango drew a bases-loaded walk in the first inning, pushing senior Kat Dotson across the plate. Senior Melissa Brown then hit a two-run double to increase the lead to 3-0.
- Florida freshman Kelsey Stewart hit an RBI triple in the fifth inning, cutting Tennessee’s lead to 3-1. It was Stewart’s nation-leading 10th triple this season. Junior Stephanie Tofft then recorded a two-out single to score Stewart, making the score 3-2.
- Senior Kat Dotson sent a double to right field in the sixth inning, plating two runs and increasing the Lady Vols’ lead to 6-2. In the next at-bat, senior Lauren Gibson added an RBI double, making the score 7-2.
- In the seventh inning, Dotson hit a triple to give Tennessee a 9-2 advantage. Dotson finished 3-for-4 with two runs and three RBIs.
- Tennessee junior pitcher Ellen Renfroe (18-4) pitched a complete game, giving up two runs on four hits while striking out nine batters.
- Florida starting pitcher Hannah Rogers fell to 33-6 on the season. The junior walked three batters and surrendered one hit and three runs in 0.1 innings.
- In 6.1 innings of relief work, Florida sophomore pitcher Lauren Haeger allowed 10 hits, six runs and two walks. Haeger also added four strikeouts.
- Tennessee will face Washington on Friday at 6 p.m., while Florida will play Nebraska in an elimination game Saturday at 11 a.m.
- Thursday’s Session 1 attendance was 7,911. The Session 1 record of 8,149 was established last year.
COACH RALPH WEEKLY
THE MODERATOR: We are now joined by co-head coach Ralph Weekly and student‑athletes Raven Chavanne, Melissa Brown, Kat Dotson and Ellen Renfroe. We’ll start with an opening comment from Coach and go to the floor with questions.
COACH WEEKLY: First of all, I want to congratulate Tim Walton and the Florida Gators. We’ve played them four time this season. We’ve won two; they’ve won two. And if you look at our season stats in the SEC, we’re right next to each other. They won the SEC conference on the last day over us by .27 percentage points. I have a ton of respect for them, and I have a ton of respect for what they do. Great team.
Right now, it’s all about these kids right here. I’ve been so proud of our kids the way they faced adversity against Alabama and came back and won, and I want to make this brief, but I want to say one thing.
When the score was 3‑2, I called them together before we went to bat and I said, ‘You are not going to back into a championship. You are not going to back into the championship. You have to explode and you have to explode right now or they’ll come on and take it from you.’ And they did the rest. It’s all about the players.
Q. Ellen, you guys made this trip last year and go 0‑2. How does it feel to be in the driver’s seat this time around?
ELLEN RENFROE: I think it feels great to get that first win underneath our belt. Coming in with a little confidence and getting that victory especially over a great team like Florida, like Coach was saying, we’re just excited. We’ve got to move on and focus on the next team. Enjoy this while we can, but we have business to take care of later.
Q. Kat, could you just talk about first of all getting those three runs right out of the gate in the top of the first, and then just having to respond again later after they cut it to 3‑2, and the hits you had.
KAT DOTSON: We always talk about winning the first inning. I thought we did that, and then they pushed in the fifth inning. And then we came back and made sure the momentum was on our side. I feel so comfortable and confident playing against Florida. I just get more confidence in myself and my swing every at-bat against them.
Q. Kat, you mentioned how Coach challenged you guys. Can did you sense in the dugout that the feeling was good going into right after they had cut the lead to 3‑2? Did it feel like we’re going to come back and explode offensively?
KAT DOTSON: Yeah, we expected Florida to come back; they’re a great team, a great offensive team. So we’re used to getting punched in the mouth and having to fight back. So we’re just a really comfortable and confident team going to the last inning. We just look forward to the next inning and put the last inning in the past.
Q. Raven, to come out and open the game as many times as you’ve seen Hannah Rogers, you probably didn’t expect she was going to be giving you free passes like that?
RAVEN CHAVANNE: Yeah, I mean, it’s not something we expected, but she’s a great pitcher, first‑team All‑American. She didn’t have her best stuff today, but I’m sure she’ll have it the next time she goes up on the mound.
So if we face them again, I’m preparing to face her if we see her later on in the tournament. She’s great.
Q. Ellen, what was it like for you to have the 3-0 lead when you went out to throw the first pitch? That probably was a little of a pleasant surprise.
ELLEN RENFROE: It definitely was. Like Kat was saying, I really focused on winning that first inning, and they did a great job of doing that. But as a pitcher, I tried not to get caught up in what the offense is doing and continue to play like it was a 0‑0 ballgame or a 1‑0 ballgame and just continue to attack on every single pitch and focus on one out at a time.
Q. Ralph, you had 11 hits from eight different players. Can you talk about how much of a team effort you got today from your girls?
COACH WEEKLY: We did, and we got a lot of those hits down in the bottom of the order. Because Hannah is so great and because of the respect we had against her, we worked against Hannah all week, against emulating her. So we were a little surprised when Haeger came in and goes, wow, you know.
But you know, like Raven said, that doesn’t happen very often. Hannah’s come out on top as many times as we’ve come out on top. But we were really prepared for Hannah, and I think that helped us get out and get a lot of hits.
Q. As Ellen’s pitch count started to rise and you guys started to increase the lead, did the wheels start turning about the next day and the next day and where the rotations would be?
COACH WEEKLY: Not at all, not at all. I told Ellen in the sixth inning, this is your game. When Florida stormed back 3‑2, track record shows Ellen has had the best success against Florida. There are teams that Ivy’s had the best success, but we weren’t going to change. We were going to go with Ellen to the end, win or lose.
Q. Melissa, I think one run gets walked in there in the first, and they bring in Haeger. Just talk about the hit you got. You probably weren’t expecting to see her, first of all. But talk about that hit you got that drove in a couple of runs and really created some space?
MELISSA BROWN: Yeah, I’ve been really focusing on swinging at good pitches, especially with the bases loaded like they were. Just focusing on getting my pitch. I was 2‑0 before Haeger came in, and I wanted to make sure I got the right pitch to do what I needed to do with that ball. So just focusing on the right pitch.
Q. To follow up on the question from a second ago, if you could talk a little bit about the D, and the luxury of having two solid pitchers and being able to fall back on that rather than having to ride one ace all the way through a tournament like this?
COACH WEEKLY: It really is a luxury, and Ivy Renfroe really is a great pitcher. If you look at their stats, that’s probably why either neither one of them made All‑American because they’re so unselfish. I definitely mean unselfish. If you look at their records, neither one of them is a 20‑game winner, and they both could have been, but they’re like 18‑3 and 17‑4 or something like that.
They told us at the start of the season all we care about is the team winning. We don’t care about making All‑Americans and winning 30 games, those kind of things. And Cheyanne Tarango, as you saw against Alabama, is no slouch either.
So we’re fortunate to have some good pitching. That is what Tim Walton said the other day is true. This game is about pitching and offense. Don’t let anybody think it’s any different. I think Tim said pitching and defense, but I think it’s pitching and offense.
Q. Ralph, you’re an advocate of having larger rosters that come to tournaments like the World Series. If you had a lot of extra players today in a tight game like this until you blew it open in the sixth, would you have really given a lot of players additional time?
COACH WEEKLY: I don’t know where I got that. I’m an advocate of lots of players. We’ll carry 20 players if we can, but we generally carry more. We might have been able to use 18, but we could have used a couple of pinch runners today, but we didn’t have them available.
Q. Ellen, in the top of the fifth, the ESPN cameras caught you having a snack in the dugout. Is that a ritual? Is that an every‑game thing or were you just hungry?
ELLEN RENFROE: Yeah, I just got hungry. We had breakfast earlier like 10 this morning and missed lunch, so I just needed something to get me through the rest of the game.
Q. What did you have?
ELLEN RENFROE: Turkey sandwich. Didn’t work too well the next inning.
Q. Ralph, what do you know about Washington? Any experience with them?
COACH WEEKLY: I only know what I saw on television. I watched both of their games against Missouri, and I just know they’re very good. They won the Pac‑12, I believe, and they’re very good. Did Oregon win it? Well, they were right there, right? I’m sure they were. I just know they’re good. I know their leadoff hitter when I was with the USA team last summer. Hayward, she played against us in Canada and did a tremendous job against our best pitchers, Chelsea, and all the rest of them. So they’re very good. And that walk‑off home run today puts the fear in any coach’s heart.
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