NCAA WOMEN’S COLLEGE WORLD SERIES
May 30-June 5, 2013
ASA Hall of Fame Stadium
Oklahoma City, Okla.
Game 12: Oklahoma 6, Washington 2
- No. 1-ranked and top-seeded Oklahoma defeated No. 11 seed Washington 6-2 in WCWS Game 12. The Sooners improved to 55-4 on the season, while Washington ended its season at 45-17.
- Oklahoma improved to 10-9 in the all-time series against the Huskies. The teams met earlier this season, with the Sooners winning 2-0.
- OU is now 14-12 all-time in the WCWS while UW dropped to 22-19.
- Oklahoma will be making its third WCWS Championship Game/Series appearance. The Sooners beat UCLA in the 2000 national title game and lost to Alabama in three games in last year’s championship series.
- OU has scored at least six runs in all eight NCAA postseason games this year and has outscored its opponents 82-13.
- Oklahoma scored the game’s first three runs in the third inning. In their three WCWS games, the Sooners have gone scoreless during the first two innings but have outscored opponents 12-3 in the third frame.
- OU sophomore Lauren Chamberlain sent a solo home run deep over the left field fence in the third inning, marking her 29th homer of the season and 59th of her career. She also picked up her 82nd RBI of the year on the play to set OU and Big 12 single-season records. In the contest between the teams earlier this season, Chamberlain also homered to account for the only two runs of the game. Chamberlain leads the WCWS with 12 total bases in her three games (next highest total is Texas’ Kim Bruins with nine in four games).
- Senior pitcher Keilani Ricketts also homered in the third inning, her 14th round-tripper of the season and 49th of her career. The solo shot broke a tie with her sister, Samantha, for fourth place in OU history.
- Washington sophomore Kylee Lahners hit her 10th home run of the season in the fifth inning, cutting Oklahoma’s lead to 4-1. Later in the frame, pinch runner Mercedes Wetmore scored on an error, bringing the Huskies within two runs.
- Oklahoma sophomore Georgia Casey added an RBI single in the sixth inning, giving the Sooners a 5-2 lead. Casey finished the game 2-for-3 with 2 RBIs.
- In the circle, Ricketts (34-1) allowed two runs on three hits and two walks. She struck out 10 batters, marking her 15th game of double-digit strikeouts this season, the 78th of her career and the second of the WCWS.
- UW pitcher Kaitlyn Inglesby (23-9) gave up six runs on eight hits and seven walks while striking out six.
- Washington’s defense set a single-season school record with its .980 fielding percentage.
- Tonight’s Session 6 attendance figure of 9,093 brought this year’s six-session total to 53,856 (average of 8,976), which is ahead of last year’s then-record 52,564 through the same number of sessions (average of 8,761).
- The WCWS Championship Series between Oklahoma and Tennessee will be played Monday (ESPN2), Tuesday (ESPN) and Wednesday (if necessary; ESPN). All three games are scheduled to start at 7 p.m. CT.
Oklahoma – 6
Washington – 2
An interview with:
OKLAHOMA COACH PATTY GASSO
THE MODERATOR: We are joined by head coach Patty Gasso and student‑athletes Lauren Chamberlain, Keilani Ricketts, and Brianna Turang. We’ll start with an opening comment from Coach and go to the floor with questions.
COACH GASSO: I’m incredibly proud of this team. Words can’t express how excited we are to be here. Although our actions may not look like it, this is a very focused and determined team that had one goal and that is to get back and have a chance to win a national championship. It is difficult to do. It’s been difficult this entire year.
But the pride I have in this team is about their perseverance and the fact that they are not shaken by anything. They’ve gone through some things, ups and downs and here we are. It’s, to them, almost like another game. They’re just playing it like they do every game all the time. This is with a really level keel that they have. It’s just really been impressive. They impress me every time they go out on the field, just their calmness and their confidence.
We played a very tough and aggressive and hot Washington team who has had a great run in postseason. I congratulate them on really giving a fight. They were a tough team. So we’re very, very pleased to be back and very pleased to be playing a great team like Tennessee. I think we’re very similar, and I think it’s going to be a wonderful match‑up.
Q. Patty, was the third inning kind of an example? You told us all year and we’ve seen it all year, your lineup has speed, it has power; Turang’s triple, and then you have the power of Chamberlain and Ricketts. Is that a pretty good example of your lineup all year?
COACH GASSO: Absolutely. And any time right now that Brianna is coming up, it’s almost a different version of what you feel when Lauren’s coming up. It just maybe won’t go over the fence, but you’re going to watch her run, and run fast. So her as a leadoff, finding a way to get herself to third base, and then here comes Lauren.
I mean, it’s really been something special. The two of them have this little connection going on as well as Lauren having that same connection with Georgia in the two spot. So it’s just ‑‑ it just doesn’t stop. Right now we’re a team that’s peaking. We’re playing very, very good softball. All the way through the lineup everyone is contributing. Even those guys that are waiting off the bench coming in to run for us. Everybody’s locked into this, and it’s really ‑‑ it’s really exciting.
Q. Coach, you mentioned how your team is peaking and everything. You’ve had a fantastic run. Do you guys fear anybody at this point?
COACH GASSO: I wouldn’t say we fear anyone. We respect everybody that comes on to that field. That is the honest truth. I don’t think there is anyone we’re afraid to play. We respect every team that comes out because they’re here for a reason, and we truly respect Tennessee and their abilities. We’ve watched them play some and know they have a stout lineup themselves and good pitching. So it’s more out of respect of two good teams playing each other.
Q. I’ll ask every player a different question. Lauren, how does that rank among the longest home runs you’ve ever hit? Keilani, how does that rank among the highest home runs you’ve ever hit? And Brianna, how many triples have you ever hit to left field?
LAUREN CHAMBERLAIN: That was a fun one. I just liked how the crowd reacted. I’m just trying to soak up all the sounds I can right now. It felt good.
KEILANI RICKETTS: I guess that was one of my highest ones. I wasn’t really watching though, but I don’t know how to answer that. That’s weird.
BRIANNA TURANG: Yeah, I don’t know how many I’ve hit to left field. But, yeah.
Q. Brianna, did you just get a good pitch to drive that way or to hit hard somewhere? Or did you notice something with the left fielder and you tried to shoot that way into left field?
BRIANNA TURANG: Going up to bat, I noticed that the corners were in on me. So usually when I see that I try and get at either the 5, 6 hole or up the middle. Obviously, the left fielder was playing a little shallow as well. So I mean, I just read the defense and I didn’t necessarily try to hit it over her head. But I just tried to find a hole and do what I can to get on for Lauren Chamberlain to come up next.
Q. Keilani, in the fifth inning, they’re kind of chipping away to get a pair of strikeouts in that inning. How big was that for you guys?
KEILANI RICKETTS: It was big because they were getting momentum and trying to find a way to get on base. So just to get momentum back on our side was big.
Q. Keilani, we talked about a couple of weeks ago about Sidney and all of that kind of affecting you and how you’re pitching. Is it that still or being back here or putting Alabama behind you? What is it?
KEILANI RICKETTS: I feel like after everything happened with the tornado and everything with Sidney and being with her team, it was definitely an eye opening experience. It just kind of changed my perspective this season. Seeing that you could have fun with your team. That’s when our team was so successful and having fun with each other. I think that obviously we’re trying to get back to the National Championship game, but we’re having fun with each other. So we’re not too focused on that because we’re just making the game as simple as it should be.
Q. I know you guys have been working on this all year, but how good does it feel to get back? And now that you’ve been there you know what it takes to get a national title, what does it take to hold up the trophy at the end of this year?
LAUREN CHAMBERLAIN: Just taking the same approach that we have one game at a time like we have all season, not looking too far ahead. Tennessee is a great program, strong offensively, defensively. It’s going to be a great match‑up.
But like I said earlier, soaking up the sounds, respond to go the crowd and enjoying these moments, because sometimes you get too caught up in the game and you forget to enjoy those things.
KEILANI RICKETTS: We just need to focus on what we’ve been doing and what got us here. They’re definitely a team who has great leadership. They have an awesome senior class and pitchers on the mound. So I think that we just need to focus on what we’ve been doing, focus on ourselves and that’s when we play our best.
BRIANNA TURANG: What they said, but we’ve been waiting for this moment for a whole year now, and it feels so great to be back, getting to play the game that we love, getting to play with the teammates that we love. I think just soak in this moment, but also stay focused and keep doing what we do and playing our game.
Q. Patty, with Keilani pitching 12 strikeouts and hitting a home run, do you see her having any weakness in a game like tonight?
COACH GASSO: Tonight, no? I’m just looking at our line score, and it’s very, very good, very balanced. I mean, gave up two walks, which is fine with us with the 12 strikeouts and three hits against a very potent team. It was a complete, complete game tonight, absolutely.
Q. You decided to pinch hit for Shelby (Pendley) late. What went into that decision and the decision to reinsert her back into the lineup at third base?
COACH GASSO: Shelby struggled a little bit. Just a little long with her swing, and the Washington pitcher is throwing gas. She’s throwing the ball hard. So everybody needed to get a little bit shorter, go maybe a little bit lighter with their bats and Shelby just was a little bit long. So I wanted to give somebody a chance that has a little bit shorter swing, and Javen has had College World Series experience.
This is still a new experience for Shelby, and if this is something you have not had experienced before, it can be a little overwhelming, especially on a team like ours, playing third base, hitting third. I mean, it’s a big, big deal. The team is doing everything they can.
Shelby helped get us here, and we know that; so we’ve got her back. She’s going to be just fine and everybody’s here to back her up because she helped make this happen. So it’s just continuing to keep her confident and stay aggressive. But sometimes, and these hitters can tell you, they have faced pitchers who just kind of got their number and they might have a tough night. But the beauty of this game is tomorrow there is another day, and we start all over. We start all over, and she gets to start all over again. It’s a new pitcher, new experience.
So I’m not worried about it. It was something that we wanted to give Javen a crack at.
Q. Speaking of their pitchers, Coach, how much have you guys ‑‑ what have you seen from them as you watched both of those girls this weekend? The Renfroe sisters.
COACH GASSO: Quite honestly, we haven’t watched them very closely because we’ve been concentrating on our next opponents. But we’ll have plenty of time to get all of our scouting reports together and the team will look at video and have a game plan prepared and ready to go.
Q. Lauren, if you could talk about the same thing, how do you go into preparing for a team that you don’t necessarily know which of the two Renfroes is going to be coming at you? Does it take a little longer to prepare for that?
LAUREN CHAMBERLAIN: Just watch the video, getting with Coach MacKay, talking game plans and a lot like that. Like she said, we have all day to prepare for that and we’re ready for it.
- FastScripts by ASAP Sports
- Oklahoma – 6
- Washington – 2
- An interview with:
- WASHINGTON COACH HEATHER TARR
- JERRIN FA’ASUA
- KAITLIN INGLESBY
- KYLEE LAHNERS
- SHAWNA WRIGHT
- THE MODERATOR: We are now joined by Washington head coach Heather Tarr and student‑athletes Jerrin Fa’asua, Kaitlin Inglesby, Kylee Lahners, and Shawna Wright. We’ll open with Coach and then go to the floor with questions.
- COACH TARR: I have more than a comment. I want to thank everybody for making this a great event for us. All of the volunteers, some of them have been here for tons of years. I remember when I played. The field played I think the best I’ve ever seen it play. Great job by the grounds crew to make it actually ‑‑ you know, it used to be really hard on the infield, and I think they’ve gotten it now to the point where it plays really good, and I think that’s a big deal for this venue.
- I also want to thank our fans. Some people that have supported us all season decided to get on a plane on Friday and come out to make it, and I think we made them happy and it was cool. I also want to thank all of our parents. They’re awesome. We have a great group of parents, and just overall a great season. It’s sad to see the seniors go, but there is nothing sad about how they performed and how well they led our team this year. So that’s all I’ve got.
- Q. Kaitlin, can you just talk about how difficult it is to pitch to that Oklahoma lineup with the power at the top and the speed at the bottom?
- Q. Coach, can you talk about when you closed the gap to 4‑2? Just what was your thinking at that time? What were you telling your team on what you wanted to see out of them the rest of the game?
- Q. Jerrin and Shawna, since both of you were here in Oklahoma City previously on this team, can you compare your experiences this year to your first experience here?
- KAITLIN INGLESBY: Well, I think they’re a very well‑rounded team. They have a great offense, and they have great pitching too. So it’s very tough to pitch to them. But I think they hit my mistakes really well, and they put some great balls in play. So my hat’s off to them and I wish them the best of luck in the championship series.
- COACH TARR: Well, it’s just more taking advantage of every out that we had left. I thought that to get to 4‑2, it was nice because of the way they got the first run. We kind of gave it to them a little bit. Turang hit the triple, but had a little freebie there, and unfortunately the home run happened. We didn’t play solid defense today, but the fact that we competed and we had an opportunity to be in the game for the entire game, I think that speaks a lot of our team.
- JERRIN FA’ASUA: I think this team compared to our freshman year’s team, I think we were mentally tough. We wanted to keep fighting. We were scratching, clawing all the way to the last out, like I think that’s more of the difference this year.
SHAWNA WRIGHT: Well, the teams were two totally different teams. Freshman year I think we were more expected to win every game, and this year I’d say almost no one expected us to. And we were determined to prove everybody wrong, and that is the main difference, I would say. Q. Kaitlin and Kylee, can you just talk about facing Ricketts? What was tough about her? And when you did have success, what were you all able to do?
KAITLIN INGLESBY: Well, I think she is a phenomenal pitcher. If you don’t make adjustments from at‑bat to at-bat she’s going to beat you. So I think in my head in my third at‑bat I was just looking to attack early. Because in my previous two at‑bats, she had thrown me strikes early and I had given her the out by swinging at balls.
So I think just she’s a fabulous pitcher and she loves to work ahead. So just attacking early and she’s going to do great in this series.
KYLEE LAHNERS: I’d have to agree with Kaitlin. She’s a great pitcher. She just doesn’t throw, she’s constantly going after the hitter’s weakness. Like she said, just making your adjustments from at‑bat to at‑bat and finding a way to put the ball in play.
FastScripts by ASAP Sports