CHAMPIONSHIP NOTES QUOTES
Before offering the official Notes & Quotes, SPY has some comments.
At the time she was relieved, Arizona pitcher Kenzie Fowler suffered a return of the problem which hampered her at the end of the season; she told us after the press conference that she had no feeling in her arm, and could not grip the ball.
The best post-game summation came from long-time UCLA coach Sue Enquist who won the World Series 10 times (one title was vacated). Sue and I recounted several UCLA victories, then she asserted that Monday night’s Game 1 win was “the best UCLA game of all time.” Indeed, many observers from both camps agreed that the 6-5 Bruin win, punctuated by Langenfeld’s walkoff home run, was one of the best they had ever seen.
SPY disagreed with the All Tournament team selections – in one notable regard. Stacie Chambers was not chosen by the votes of the media – even though she was tied for the lead in home runs with four, had 10 rbi’s second to leader Andrea Harrison with 11. Two reporters suggested afterward the problem was that NCAA collected our ballots in the 4th inning – Stacie hit home runs in the 5th and 6th.
Championship Finals Game 2: UCLA 15, Arizona 9
- UCLA (50-11) won its 11th NCAA softball title and first since 2004. The 11 titles are the most by any team in NCAA history.
- Kelly Inouye-Perez won her first national championship as UCLA’s skipper. She won three titles as a player (1989, ’90, ’92). All three head coaches in UCLA history have won national titles (Sharron Backus and Sue Enquist were the others).
- The Pac-10 owns 22 NCAA national titles in softball, the most of any conference.
- The Bruins collected 19 hits in tonight’s game, the most ever by a team in a WCWS championship game/finals contest.
- UCLA scored 15 runs in tonight’s contest, a WCWS championship game/finals record. The previous mark was set in 2008 when Arizona State defeated Texas A&M 11-0 for the crown.
- Tonight’s 24 combined runs were the most in a WCWS championship game/finals contest. The previous record of 12 runs was set in 1997 when Arizona defeated UCLA 10-2 in five innings for the crown.
- The Wildcats set the WCWS record for most runs scored by a losing team (nine). The previous mark was set last year by Georgia when Washington defeated the Bulldogs 9-8 in nine innings.
- Arizona and UCLA combined to hit seven home runs tonight (four by UCLA, three by Arizona), the most ever in a WCWS game.
- The Bruins registered 14 long balls in this year’s WCWS, doubling the previous record of seven hit by Georgia last year.
- UCLA hit two or more home runs in every game of the NCCA tournament (10 games). The Bruins set a school record with 108 homers on the year.
- UCLA’s Megan Langenfeld hit her fourth home run of the WCWS in her first at-bat tonight after hitting two last night. She finished the season with a team-high 20 round trippers.
- UCLA’s Andrea Harrison hit the first grand slam in a WCWS championship game/finals contest. It was the first grand slam of her career and just the seventh in WCWS history.
- Harrison finished with a WCWS-record 11 RBI, the most by any player in WCWS history.
- Bruins pitcher Aleah Macon made her fourth start of the NCAA tournament and first of the WCWS in tonight’s contest. The sophomore improved to 13-1 on the year after allowing six runs (all earned) on six hits in 4.1 innings of work. She struck out seven and walked three.
- UCLA junior pitcher Donna Kerr pitched 2.2 innings in relief, surrendering three hits and three runs (two earned) while throwing four strikeouts. It was her first appearance of the WCWS and only her third appearance of the NCAA tournament.
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- Arizona’s Stacie Chambers hit two home runs in the contest, becoming only the ninth player in WCWS history to hit two homers in a game. She hit four home runs in this year’s WCWS (three in the championship finals) and 21 on the year.
- Chambers and UCLA’s Andrea Harrison and Langenfeld all finished the WCWS with four home runs. The most home runs hit by a player prior to this year was three.
- Langenfeld was named the WCWS most outstanding player after going 12-for-17 at the plate with four homers, eight runs and nine RBI. She finished with a .706 batting average, the second-highest mark in WCWS history. Arizona’s Leah O’Brien holds the record with a .750 batting average in 1994.
- Langenfeld’s eight runs set also set a WCWS record. The previous record of seven runs was set by Arizona’s Alison Johnson in 1997.
- Arizona outfielder Brittany Lastrapes finished the WCWS with a record 13 hits while adding five runs and two RBI.
- Lastrapes and UCLA catcher Kaila Shull both hit four doubles in the event, the most in WCWS history. The previous mark of three doubles was set by Michigan’s Samantha Findlay in 2005.
- Arizona freshman pitcher Kenzie Fowler fell to 38-9 on the year after giving up three runs (all earned) on two hits and three walks in 1.0 inning of work. She finished with a WCWS-high 49 strikeouts in her seven appearances.
- Wildcats senior Sarah Akamine pitched 4.0 innings in relief, surrendering 15 hits and 11 runs (five earned). She tied the WCWS record for most runs allowed by a pitcher.
- Ashley Ralston-Alvarez pitched the final 2.0 innings of the game for the Wildcats, surrendering two hits and one run. The appearance was only her second of the NCAA tournament and sixth of the season.
- Wildcats freshman Matte Haack made her first start (designated player) of the NCAA tournament in tonight’s contest.
- Arizona sophomore Lini Koria started at first base for the first time in her career.
- Arizona’s Victoria Kemp made her first plate appearance since May 2nd in the fifth inning of tonight’s contest.
- This year’s field combined to bat .285, breaking the previous mark of .281 set during the 1996 WCWS.
- A record 141 runs were scored during this year’s WCWS. The previous mark of 120 was set last year.
- A total of 226 hits were recorded during this year’s WCWS, breaking the previous mark of 199 in 1996.
- Thirty-five home runs were hit during the WCWS, shattering the previous record of 24 last year.
- Tonight’s attendance of 6,092 increased this year’s WCWS total to 62,562 (nine sessions), an event record. The previous record was 62,463, set in 2007 (10 sessions). This year’s 6,951-per-session average also eclipsed the record of 6,724 that was set last year.
UCLA 15, ARIZONA 9
UCLA HEAD COACH KELLY INOUYE-PEREZ
“Every team, every program in the country sets out with a vision to be able to get to this point. Ultimately, it’s a dream come true to have your players be able to play their best softball at the biggest of moments and I am so proud of each and every one of the members of this team. They were committed to being able to bring back the history and tradition of where we believe we belong, right here in the thick of it, winning a national championship. They’ve believed since day one. They were committed, they were together, they accomplished what they wanted to as individuals, but more important they brought home the trophy as a team. Number 106 is big, because they will forever be in UCLA athletics history. I am very happy for them for that.”
On all three UCLA softball coaches in history now owning national titles:
“It’s indescribable. Being a part of this is bigger than any one person. It’s not about the coaching staff, and (former coaches) Sharron Backus and Sue Enquist would say the same. It’s about bringing together student-athletes and making sure that they have a wonderful experience; knowing that family comes first, then school and then softball. When you commit to being a Bruin, you commit to being a Bruin for life. I have taken on this responsibility knowing that there are going to be a lot of expectations, and I shared with the players that the only expectations are the expectations we have of ourselves and I expect to get this team back here. I am very proud that they were able to step up and represent UCLA softball. More importantly, they were very connected and they will be Bruins for life. I can’t wait and I hope that they will come back and help carry on this wonderful tradition that has been created by Sharron and Sue, and I am so fortunate to be able to carry it on.”
UCLA SENIOR PITCHER/INFIELDER MEGAN LANGENFELD
On if she was surprised to see a good pitch in her first-inning at-bat that resulted in a home run:
“I was a little surprised, but it was right there. I just had to take advantage of it. It just happened. It just went over the fence and it put us up two to nothing. I think that really sent the message that we were here to play. It wasn’t going to be handed to us and that we had to earn it. We were ready to go from the first inning on.”
On overcoming multiple injuries throughout the season:
“This year has been, I think, my hardest year, as far as injuries go. I was hit in an at-bat against UCR early in the season. It hit my right elbow and it sent tingling and numbness all the way from the middle of my bicep all the way down to my fingers. For the first full week I had to do everything left-handed. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t comb my hair. I couldn’t brush my teeth. There were a lot of things I couldn’t do. Luckily my team had my back through the whole time I was gone. I was able to get back in it and then had this little hamstring (injury) happen the day before regionals. Perfect timing, right? Again my team had my back all the way through regionals, supers and now. It was definitely a challenging year but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
UCLA SOPHOMORE OUTFIELDER ANDREA HARRISON
On her second-inning grand slam and winning the national championship:
“It’s the best feeling in the world. This is what I signed up for. This is the reason why I committed to UCLA. It’s the reason why I put a lot of things off and sacrificed a lot of things. You can’t change the feeling that this team has right now.”
ARIZONA HEAD COACH MIKE CANDREA
“First off, I want to congratulate UCLA and the Pac-10 for a job well done. I think we expelled a lot of energy to get here. I’m very proud of this team for the fight that they put up throughout this week and I really have no regrets. For our seniors, it’s always tough to end the season on a losing note. But like I told them, as many kids that dream of getting into the College World Series and getting into the championship series, unfortunately at Arizona it’s kind of a standard and you have to learn how to deal with it. I think it’s going to make our young kids stronger. You have to learn from these experiences and this is something that you can’t teach in practice. But I’ve been through a lot in my life and let’s keep this in perspective that there’s a lot to be thankful for and I’m very happy for the performance that these kids gave us. They gave us a hell of a ride as a coaching staff and as fans. And no regrets.”
On the effect last night’s game had on his team tonight:
“I don’t think any. Last night was last night. I felt like we came to the ballpark ready to play and we just didn’t have all of the things that we needed to together to make this game close. UCLA is a good hitting team and we tried to do what we could to make it a football game. It was a pretty close football game, but we missed a few extra points and a couple field goals.”
On freshman pitcher Kenzie Fowler:
“She has thrown a bunch. I mean my God, she has really done a miraculous job to get us here and I told you I was going to ride her as much as I can. But when she can’t feel the ball it’s time. I’m going to always put her health in front of the competition.”
On the decision to pitch to UCLA’s Megan Langenfeld:
“Well, we tried not to. Unfortunately, we didn’t quite execute the plan.”
On all the home runs this week and what it means for the game:
“It just depends on what the game wants. I think the right people are on it right now and are trying to get a grip on the game. I love the home run, I just don’t think that the home run should be hit by everyone in the lineup. And there are a lot of home runs being hit. It’s not my job. My job is to play with what they approve and I have some thoughts about it that I think could help the game.”
ARIZONA SENIOR SHORTSTOP K’LEE ARREDONDO
On reflecting on her overall career at Arizona:
“Well, it’s been a long journey. Sarah (Akamine) and I came here as freshmen and we were fortunate to go all the way that year. The past two years were definitely a grind. But the way this team works, this year it all came together. I think Sarah and I did a great job as seniors to lead this team get to this point and really bring everyone together and show everyone what it feels like to be in the championship game. I know this team is just going to be stronger next year, and I expect them to be at this point next year, but on the other side.”
ARIZONA SENIOR PITCHER SARAH AKAMINE
On reflecting on her overall career at Arizona:
“I wouldn’t change anybody on this team for anyone. It was the greatest experience I’ve ever had, especially (my) senior year. It’s just great to see Kenzie as a freshman step up, and she’s my hero. Lauren (Schutzler) is going to be a great senior next year and I wouldn’t change this experience for anything.”