May 30, 2009

NCAA WOMEN'S COLLEGE WORLD SERIES
May 28-June 3, 2009
ASA Hall of Fame Stadium
Oklahoma City, Okla.

POSTGAME NOTES

Game 8: Alabama 14, Arizona 0 (5 Innings)

  • Today's 14-0 Alabama victory marked Arizona's worst loss in NCAA softball history (began in 1983).
  • The 14 runs by Alabama (53-10) marked the most runs scored by a team in WCWS history. Arizona held the most recent record at 12 when it shut out Fresno State in 1989.
  • Alabama's 16 hits rank as the second most in WCWS history and were one shy of the record (Iowa posted 17 hits against Michigan in the 1995 event).
  • Every Crimson Tide batter in the lineup registered at least one hit, four posted two and Kelley Montalvo collected three. All nine hitters in the lineup also recorded an RBI, with Montalvo and Ashley Holcombe each driving in two. Pitcher Charlotte Morgan had three RBIs, two of them on a home run in the fifth inning. It was Morgan's team-high 11th round-tripper this season.
  • Alabama posted its 26th shutout this season and held the Wildcats to just its fourth scoreless outing this year. Arizona entered this weekend leading the nation in batting average (.344) and with an NCAA-record 134 home runs.
  • This year's WCWS marked the second straight in which Arizona was eliminated after its first two games. It is the first time in program history the team has advanced to the World Series and failed to record a win in back-to-back years. In those four losses, the Wildcats scored only one run (unearned).
  • Alabama improved to 13-0 this year when scoring at least 10 runs in a contest, to 27-4 when scoring in the first inning and to 41-5 when scoring first.
  • Alabama's 14 runs marked the most the Wildcats have ever surrendered in their 21 years of WCWS competition. The previous high was six in a 6-0 loss to California in the 2002 championship game.
  • Alabama's eight runs in the top of the second frame tied for the most runs scored by the Crimson Tide in an inning this season (it scored eight runs four times, twice in postseason).
  • Alabama's eight runs in the second were the most Arizona has given up in an inning all season. The eight tallies in the frame tied for second most all-time at the WCWS (UCLA scored eight runs in the fourth inning versus Louisiana Tech in 1983).
  • Arizona became the second team eliminated in this year's WCWS. Alabama advances in the losers' bracket and will face Arizona State Saturday at 8 p.m. CDT.
  • Morgan earned the win for Alabama, throwing all five innings and allowing no runs on five hits. The Wildcats used three pitchers on the afternoon - Sarah Akamine, Jennifer Martinez and Lindsey Sisk - with Akamine taking the loss. Akamine allowed six runs on six hits in 3.2 innings pitched. Arizona finished the season with a 46-17 record.

    ALABAMA QUOTES

    ALABAMA HEAD COACH PATRICK MURPHY
    Opening comment:
    "I guess that I could use the same opening statement as Thursday night and that is I didn't expect that. And when I mentioned football the other night I didn't think it was going to come through either. Congratulations to Arizona. Mike (Candrea) is a class guy and I can remember in the year 2000 I had an Arizona TV station interview me and I said that I want to be like Mike. And it wasn't Michael Jordan, it was Mike Candrea. He has been a good person every year and the king of the sport, as far as I am concerned. I know they are probably hurting but I really feel good for my team and the way they bounced back was incredible."

    On senior third baseman Kelley Montalvo's defensive ability:
    "We have been witnessing that for four years and I am glad that you got to see that. Nothing gets by her and the shot that (Arizona's Jenea) Leles hit was a bullet and I don't think that anybody else in the country makes that play but her. And I have said this all along, but she is the best third baseman in the country and she just gets to everything. She is a special player."

    On tonight's game against Arizona State:
    "You always think, did we score all our runs or waste them in a game, or use all our hits in a game? Hopefully that won't happen. (Pitcher) Kelsi (Dunne) is ready to go now and we were glad with Charlotte's (Morgan) performance, it was awesome. And that pays off with the three-pitcher staff because you have a staff, you don't have a pitcher."

    ALABAMA JUNIOR PITCHER CHARLOTTE MORGAN
    On the team's emotions entering the game:
    "We sat down as a team and we talked and none of us are ready to go home. Sometimes your back is against the wall and or motto was we haven't started throwing our punches yet. So we were coming out and we wanted to start fighting back. I think that we set the tone for the first inning and we believed that we could do it. And that is our thing, is to have fun and don't press and don't overdo it. Have fun and stay relaxed and keep fighting because we haven't even started yet and once we start we are going to keep going. I think that everyone has really bought into that. "

    ALABAMA SENIOR CATCHER ASHLEY HOLCOMBE
    On the emotions of the game:
    "I think that we also focus on the past is the past and nobody is going to remember that game. What they are going to remember is right now, here and today, this game and then the next game. That is what we try to focus on, is living in the moment."

    On Arizona State:
    "I think that we are just going to take it one game at a time. Yes, it will be sweet to get that victory, but you can't look ahead to anybody else and it will be great. One pitch at a time and one out at a time and that it's all that we are focused on right now.

    ALABAMA SOPHOMORE OUTFIELDER WHITNEY LARSEN
    On the team's emotions entering the game:
    "I think that we as a team realize that how we played against Michigan was not us. There is always a lot of hype coming into the World Series. It is not that it got to us but we realized that is not how we play and we have to come out and play our game if we want to compete at this level. Now we are at the point that somebody has to come out of the losers' bracket, why can't it be us?"

    ARIZONA QUOTES

    ARIZONA HEAD COACH MIKE CANDREA
    Opening comment:
    "It's a tough way to end the season, it was a tough day at the ballpark. To tell you the truth, we didn't do anything real well. Unfortunately, when you're playing a good team and you get to this point of the tournament, that's when you have to have everything going. You have to have good pitching, good defense and good hitting like we have talked about all along. We have a couple of seniors up here, Sam (Bannister) and Jenae (Leles) - they have felt what it's like to be successful here and are probably feeling as low as you can right now. They are two mainstays in our program who have really given our program the competiveness that it takes to win at this level. It's always sad to see your seniors go out this way, but hopefully with the rest of this group, this will be something that will be a motivator for them to do the little things that it takes each and every day to not only get back here but to compete for a national championship."

    On Arizona's pitching against Alabama:
    "That's been our challenge all year. We've had some good moments. Unfortunately, we just couldn't put it all together right now. You just can't compete here unless you pitch well. That's just a fact."

    On the team's performance:
    "It's tough when you give up that many to fight back. I am proud of this team - they were playing the game until the last out. To me, that's what athletics is all about. Anytime you put on the uniform, you are going to have the highs and lows that come with it. I've been on both sides of it. You feel bad, but, truthfully, it's not life threatening. I told the kids, 'What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger.' I think sometimes we make this game almost as if it is life threatening. Especially when you get here, everyone wants to play well. The sport has grown so much, it's tremendous that we have the coverage that we do. But sometimes, it can be difficult on young people to deal with situations like this. I don't think anyone feels any worse than this group of athletes right now."

    ARIZONA JUNIOR PITCHER SARAH AKAMINE
    On Alabama's hitting performance:
    "We just had a bad day, basically. I didn't come out fired up like I should have been. I let down my team. It's nothing new - we've faced good hitters and gotten past them."

    ARIZONA SOPHOMORE OUTFIELDER BRITTANY LASTRAPES
    On falling behind early in the game:
    "It's definitely hard when you're playing from behind, especially with these pitchers and these teams. It is tough, but we still needed to score runs to win."

    On what she takes from this game:
    "I came to Arizona because I'm going to win a national championship. This is the worst feeling in the world. To know that we lost 14-0 in the last game doesn't show the hard work that we've put in all year. If I have to push myself harder and push my team even harder I will, because I'm not going to do this again. I can't. This sport means so much to me and I feel like I put a lot into this season. It obviously wasn't enough. I'll do whatever it takes to win."

    ARIZONA SENIOR FIRST BASEMAN SAM BANISTER
    On looking back on her four-year career:
    "I guess I didn't realize, being a sophomore and a freshman, how much we relied on our seniors. It's disappointing not being able to come through for our underclassmen. I hope next year the seniors can help lead the way. I feel like we failed them a little bit."

    ARIZONA SENIOR THIRD BASEMAN JENAE LELES
    On looking back on her four-year career:
    "Winning our freshman and sophomore year, I feel like you can't take winning for granted. You have to work just as hard every single year. My junior and senior year, we came up short and left in two games. I hope that's motivation for the younger classmen to work just as hard in September all the way to now. You can't take winning for granted."