Notes and Quotes: Tennessee 1, Arizona 0

June 2, 2005


Arizona is making its 17th appearance at the WCWS in the past 18 years. The Wildcats had their streak of 16 straight appearances snapped in 2004.

Tennessee is making its first-ever appearance in the WCWS and only its third overall appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The Lady Vols became the 14th school to win its WCWS debut.

Todays game marked the first-ever postseason meeting between Arizona and Tennessee. Tennessee claimed its first win over Arizona in the all-time series (the Wildcats now lead 6-1). The Volunteers also snapped the Wildcats seven-game winning streak and extended theirs to six.

Arizonas Caitlin Lowe saw her 14-game hitting streak come to an end today.

Arizona has only dropped the opening-round game of the WCWS three times in its 17 appearances. The last time was in 2000 against Southern Mississippi, a 1-0 loss for the Wildcats. UA has claimed six national titles, but has never won a national championship after losing its opening-round game.

Today marked the 60th time in 99 career starts that Tennessee sophomore hurler Monica Abbott has recorded 10 or more strikeouts (she logged 12 today). It was the 27th time this year she fanned 10 or more in a game. Arizona junior pitcher Alicia Hollowell recorded her 23rd game this season with 10 or more strikeouts, sitting down 12.

Abbott allowed just one hit today (Callista Balko singled in the fifth inning with two outs). It was the 16th time this year that she threw at least 7.0 innings and allowed one or no hits.

Tennessee recorded its 49th shutout of the year, extending its NCAA Division I single-season record (the previous mark of 47 was held by the 1997 UCLA Bruins). The Volunteers broke the record in the Super Regional against Stanford.

Abbott posted her 32nd shutout of the year, which moved her solely into second place on the NCAA single-season list. Abbott trails only Louisiana Techs Debbie Nichols, who had 36 in 1988. Abbott has pitched six straight shutouts.

In the last 102.1 innings, Tennessees Abbott has only allowed 29 hits, 1 run (earned), 12 walks while producing 141 strikeouts, 13 shutouts and a save.

As Tennessee co-head coaches, Ralph and Karen Weekly recorded their 200th win at the school.


General comment:
Im extremely proud of our girls. Monica had a phenomenal game. We had a lot of kids do a lot of things today to contribute, and each of these kids had a big part in the win today. Arizona is a great team, and it was a pitchers duel. About the fourth or fifth inning I could sense we were getting a little bit frustrated offensively and I just told them, Youve got two All-American pitchers going at each other. Whoever flinches first, you know, somebodys going to win the game. We were really fortunate Kat (Katherine Card) came up with a big hit and Ashley (Cline) got in under that play.

On scoring in the sixth inning:
That was a big situation, obviously. I had a feeling (co-head coach) Ralph (Weekly) was screaming go, just like I was screaming go at first. The whole dugout was screaming go. Thats the thing about that environment theres a whole lot of noise going on. Youve just gotta read that ball ricochet and take a stab at it. Obviously, that wasnt textbook base running, but (Cline) is very good at sliding.

On her sixth-inning hit:
My at bat before that I went down swinging at rise balls. My only goal for this at bat was to lay off the high pitch as much as I could. And I got that hit, and I knew she (Cline) was going to at least make it to third. I saw the throw and I thought she was out. I went from being so mad at her to loving her to death, because she got in underneath there. There was a lot of emotion on that one round of bases.

On being new to the College World Series:
I think as a whole our team did a great job. Thats one thing our team did. We stayed calm the whole game. The dugout was calm, it was just kind of, get in there, like any other game. Its a great team youve just got to stay focused. I think our team did the best job of doing that. Especially for it being our first time, it was just kind of a calm sense of get it done.

On facing Arizona for the first time:
When you face a team three or four times during the year, they start to get to know the pitcher better and also get to know the hitter better, so its more of a duel. I think not knowing that much about your opponent besides what you got from scouting. You think, they dont know that much about me and I dont know that much about them. Its only what other people have told you. Its still kind of a fine line.

On scoring from first on Katherine Cards hit in the sixth inning:
In the lead-off, it was shot over my head so I couldnt see it behind me. I was trying to read Ralph (Weekly) to see if he was giving me the go or the not and he was waving and waving. He stopped waving so I held up at second. He started waving again so I went to third. I really didnt know where the ball was and I couldnt see it behind me. I looked up at third and they were hanging out behind home plate so I just decided to take a chance and go for it.

General comment:
Going in, I thought the key for us offensively would be to get the ball in play. Thats how we live or die. Today, we just didnt get it done. When you dont score, you dont win. We have to regroup now, and we know it has been done before. As long as we have games, we have a chance to continue to play. Well see the character of this team. We know our possible opponents in the next ball game quite well. But my hats go off to Tennessee. I thought they played very solid for their first appearance here. I knew they would be a good team.

On making adjustments for Saturdays game:
I dont think there are going to be any major changes. We got here a certain way and one loss is not going to make me change things. I think the big thing right now is just to stay focused and to get refreshed. I told the kids that it hurts and that we all hurt right now. But the key is that we need to forget about the hurt as quickly as possible so we can start planning for the next opponent. This game is so mental, so my biggest concern is to make sure that our kids get back. Its a game of confidence, and hard-fought games and hard losses like this cause your confidence to take a little bit of a pounding. Ill decide whether a practice or whether getting away from the game and getting ready to go will be the best thing for us.

On the new tournament format:
It definitely makes sense. When you play a three-game series, you have to play well not just once, but you have to get the job done twice. We saw today that its tough to lose a game like that, but thats part of the game. When you get to the College World Series, youre going to see that happening all the time. Sometimes, its that great catch, that one pitch or that one at bat.

On hitting against Tennessees Monica Abbott:
We were just trying to get something going. We talked about our game plan, but when we were going in there we were having a hard time getting our momentum. We didnt take that tune that we get to get into our rhythm. We just felt a little out of our element because of how she approached the game and how we approached the game. Thats just what got to us.

On hitting against Monica Abbott:
We just didnt make our adjustments. She had a great nicks on me. She got me on an inside and outside changeup and rise ball at my at bats. She really did put the ball all over the place, and I never really knew what was coming.

On the controversial play at home plate:
I thought the ball was definitely there in time, but it was just the umpires decision. Thats just the way it goes sometimes.

-- Courtesy Oklahoma University