6-7-2011 WCWS Final Press Conference

NCAA WOMEN’S COLLEGE WORLD SERIES

June 2-June 8, 2011
ASA Hall of Fame Stadium
Oklahoma City, Okla.

 POSTGAME NOTES

Championship Game 2: Arizona State 7, Florida 2

 Arizona State defeated Florida 7-2 in Game 2 of the 2011 Women’s College World Series Championship Finals in front of the Session 9 record crowd of 6,314. The Sun Devils finish the season 60-6 overall, while Florida ended its season 56-13.

 Arizona State won the program’s second national championship (2008). The Sun Devils became the third program to go undefeated at the WCWS since the championship series began in 2005 (Arizona State in 2008 and UCLA in 2010) and 15th overall in the event’s 30-year history.

 The NCAA title is the 23rd for the Pac-10 Conference in softball, sixth straight and 10th in the last 11 years.

 ASU is the fifth team to sweep the best-of-three championship series (Arizona in 2006, Arizona State in 2008,Washington in 2009 and UCLA in 2010).

 Arizona State’s Dallas Escobedo became the first freshman pitcher to win a national championship since 1990, when UCLA’s Heather Compton pitched a complete-game one-hitter in a 2-0 win over Fresno State in Oklahoma City. Other freshman victories in a WCWS championship game came in 1989 (UCLA’s Tiffany Boyd in 1-0 win over Fresno State) and 1982 (UCLA’s Debbie Doom in 2-0 win over Fresno State).

 Florida’s Michelle Moultrie scored the game’s first run in the bottom of the first on a sacrifice fly by Brittany Schutte. The Gators dropped their first game at the WCWS when scoring first.

 Arizona State responded to score three runs in the top of the second inning. The Sun Devils outscored opponents 123-18 in the second inning this year and 12-0 at the WCWS.

 Alix Johnson drove in two additional ASU runs in the third inning. The RBIs were her first of the WCWS.

 After Florida scored 41 runs in five WCWS bracket-play games prior to the championship series, Arizona State  managed to hold the Gators to six runs in two games.

 Arizona State’s Annie Lockwood hit her third home run of the WCWS in the sixth inning. It was Lockwood’s 19th of the year and 72nd RBI. She ended the game 3-for-4 with two runs scored.

 Arizona State scored a combined 21 runs in the two games of the championship series (14 on Monday, 7 tonight). The total ties UCLA (2010) for the most combined runs by a single team in a championship series since the best-of-three format began in 2005.

 Tonight’s crowd of 6,314 marked a Session 9 record and upped this year’s total WCWS attendance to 67,631 (7,515 average). That surpasses the previous record for per-session attendance for an entire WCWS of 6,951 set last year. A total of six session records were broke at this year’s WCWS. Four of the top-10 all-time WCWS attendance marks were set this year.

ARIZONA STATE HEAD COACH CLINT MYERS

Opening comment:

“We’re excited. You win the national championship, things are going right and everyone is happy and smiling. I’m just really luck and fortunate and blessed to have the opportunity to work every day with such fine athletes. More importantly, to work every day with such fine people. They understand values, they understand family values, they care about each other, they listen to each other and they take care of each other’s backs. I’m proud to be their coach.”

On how this team ranks to past ASU seasons:

“This team ranks right up there with the teams that I’ve coach and I’ve been fortunate in my career. I can tell you one thing that this team has had that no other team has had is the eight great leaders with these seniors. They were very cool calm. The idea of what we said together, breaking it into thirds, playing the best softball. We talked about it at the Regionals, we talked about it at the Super Regionals and by golly they played the best softball of their year here in the [Women’s] College World Series. They beat a very talented Florida Gator team and they did

it with a young pitcher who had lots of friends and lots of help in the circle with great defense. I don’t think we made an error. We talked about that. We had timely hitting. If you look, the seniors stepped up. The seniorsstepped up. It’s their last hoorah. The seniors had the best leadership I’ve seen in 35 years.”

 

ARIZONA STATE SENIOR CENTER FIELDER LESLEY ROGERS

On winning her second national championship:

“Well winning one is hard enough. Winning two? That’s just nuts. I feel so blessed to be a part of this program. I don’t think anyone understands what kind of a team that was. My freshman year, we were talented, no doubt. We had an amazing senior pitcher and an amazing senior class. This year, if you want to think of a perfect team, a coherent team that has every piece of what you need to win a championship. That’s what this was and it was awesome.”

 

ARIZONA STATE SENIOR DESIGNATED PLAYER ALIX JOHNSON

On offensive output:

“All I have to say I my eye has definitely gotten better up at the plate. I used to really swing at everything. Out here I got walked a lot. (Coach Wagner) was telling me the same thing,that they’re going to throw that inside pitch to you because of when I got that hit to left field. I had some dribblers, of course, but my walks were the main thing that I did. It’s just surreal. I can’t believe this happened. I’m just overwhelmed with joy, I can’t believe this.”

 

ARIZONA STATE JUNIOR RIGHT FIELDER ANNIE LOCKWOOD

On out hitting Florida:

“(Alix Johnson) and I are actually roommates. We actually sit and say to each other almost every night that this is a dream and we’re going to wake up in an hour and we’ll look at each other and say, ‘Well, that was fun.’ I think we’re both kind of in that same shock it actually happened. I’m sure Dallas (Escobedo) is too. Lesley (Rogers) has done this before. I think we’re all still waiting to be pinched and woken up because it’s so dream like.”

 

ARIZONA STATE FRESHMAN PITCHER DALLAS ESCOBEDO

On being the first freshman pitcher to lead a team to a championship in over 20 years:

“I feel lucky, I guess. It’s just a whole bunch of emotions right now. We’ve worked so hard and I just came in here and had total confidence in my pitches. Today I was honestly sore and really wasn’t feeling it and I had my trainer rub me out and stretch me every single inning. I was just like, ‘okay, stay focused.’ It’s a seven inning game and 21 tough outs that I know they’ll give us.”

FLORIDA HEAD COACH TIM WALTON

Opening comment:

“Well first of all, congratulations to Arizona State. Sometimes you lose games and you wish you’d done this, wish you’d done that, but ultimately it was the better team that won today. We had a good season, great season to be exact. I’m proud of our kids, but Arizona State was a very good competitor, very tough, very talented all the way around. They were a very balanced team. I also want to congratulate all the other six teams that made the [Women’s] College World Series. I know how tough it is to get here. I’m just proud of how they represented us as well. I’d like to thank the NCAA, ESPN, All Sports Association, University of Florida, Shannon Meyer, our host,

and everybody else that made it possible, ESPN for what they do for us and make our sport so glamorous, and make this kids in front of us superstars for a lot of young kids. So, I’m just proud of that, happy for that. I know we’ve come a long way in our sport in such a short period of time, and I’m just happy for that. I’d like to thank my school in the University of Florida, Jeremy Floyd and Lynda Tealer, who give our athletes the first class, not only athletically but academically and everything we do. I just appreciate that. It kind of sounds like I’m retiring, but I’m not. I’m sending off my kids, my five seniors. It just means so much to me in how much they’ve worked to get here

all four years of their career, the legacy they left our program, the All-Americans, the academic All-Americans, community service. Just building our program and building it the right way. So, thank everybody and again congratulations to Arizona State.”

On Arizona State’s pitcher Dallas Escobedo:

“We struck out 12 times on Friday. We struck out seven times last night. We struck out five times tonight. We obviously hit the ball hard tonight, hit the ball in the warning check I think four straight times. We had some good at-bats, but she’s good. Her speed is a little more today, but her velocity, her mechanics, just the things that she does, she’s good. She competes.”

 

FLORIDA SENIOR LEFT FIELDER KELSEY BRUDER

On last four years:

“I think they’ve probably been the best four years of my life. I’m very blessed to me a Gator. I wouldn’t want to go to school anywhere else. I encourage anyone who’s being recruited by Coach Walton to come here, fantastic school, fantastic people and fantastic staff. I can’t speak more highly of UF, love it.”

On 2011 team:

“I think midseason a lot of people doubted us when we had that little slump, but just to come back from that, it just shows how much heart this team has. And again, when we had to come back against and beat Alabama twice, a lot of people doubted us then. This team has a lot of fight and that just attributes to the players, the coaches and the whole organization. If we’re down, we’re going to come back.”

 

FLORIDA JUNIOR CENTER FIELDER MICHELLE MOULTRIE

On frustration of ending career with loss in championship game:

“You can be sad that we lost, but we just have to focus on the positive things our team did this year. I’m so proud of all our girls and how hard we worked, and even how hard we played in the last two games. I’m just really proud  of our team.”

 

FLORIDA SENIOR PITCHER STEPHANIE BROMBACHER

On last four years:

“Being from Florida is special. I love Florida. I’m sad my career is over, but this program is going to do big things. We’ve been here twice now, and next time we’re going to get it. I have a lot of faith in Coach Walton and the University of Florida. I’m just proud to be a Gator.”

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