WCWS Game 3: Tennessee 2, Texas A&M 0 -- Postgame Notes & QuotesMay 31, 2007

May 31- June 6, 2007
ASA Hall of Fame Stadium
Oklahoma City, Okla.


Game 3: Tennessee 2, Texas A&M 0

-- With 16 strikeouts against Texas A&M, Tennessee's Monica Abbott broke the NCAA record for strikeouts in a season with 665. The previous record of 663 was set by Southern Mississippi's Courtney Blades in 2000. In addition to the single-season strikeouts record, Abbott also holds NCAA career marks for wins (186), strikeouts (2,381) and shutouts (109).

-- Abbott recorded her 23rd career no-hitter with her shutout of the Aggies. The senior also no-hit Hawaii in the opening game of the Knoxville Super Regional on May 25.

-- Thursday marked just the third time in Women's College World Series history that two no-hitters were thrown on the same day. Washington's Danielle Lawrie threw a no-no in today's opening game 3-1 victory against DePaul. The last time it happened was 1995 when Louisiana-Lafayette's Cheryl Longaway no-hit Michigan before the Ragin' Cajuns themselves were blanked later in the day by UCLA's Tanya Harding. It also happened in 1982.

-- Abbott surrendered three walks in the first inning. Prior to Thursday she had given up three or more free passes only three times this season. She issued four total for the game, tying her season high set against LSU on April 29.

-- With her 16 K's today, Abbott notched her 122nd career game with double-digit strikeouts.

-- Abbott and Texas A&M's Amanda Scarborough combined to strike out 28 batters, setting a WCWS record for combined K's in a seven-inning game. The old mark of 27 was set by Michigan and Texas in 2005 and Texas and Arizona State in 2006.

-- Tennessee's five stolen bases broke the WCWS record for steals in a game by one team. Four teams had recorded four steals, most recently Arizona against Texas in 2006.

-- UT improved to 50-1 on the season when scoring first. The Lady Vols scored two runs in the top of the seventh.

-- A&M's Amanda Scarborough tied her career high with 12 strikeouts. She also struck out a dozen against Arkansas on Feb. 16 and Iowa State on March 24.

-- Thursday marked just the second meeting between Tennessee and Texas A&M. The Lady Vols won the teams' only previous meeting in 1997.

-- The Lady Vols upped their College World Series record to 7-4, while Texas A&M dropped to 18-9 all-time.

-- Tennessee is making its third straight trip to the WCWS, tying Arizona for the longest current streak in the nation.

-- Texas A&M is making its first College World Series appearance since 1988. The Aggies have made six trips to the WCWS, winning national titles in 1983 and 1987.


General comment:
"I thought this was a really well fought game. This was a game where both teams wanted it really bad. Texas A&M was a tough, tough opponent. Amanda Scarborough was more than we wanted and I thought she was really outstanding. We said in our postgame afterwards that it was just a matter of one team was going to blink first, and hopefully it wouldn't be us. I was proud of the way our kids battled and the way Monica (Abbott) settled down after those first couple of innings and worked her way through tough situations. We kept fighting, and that is what we kept talking about in the dugout, was to keep battling and battle every pitch and put the ball in play."

On her confidence in her team and if they have what it takes to win the tournament:
"Every team here has great pitching. Every team has a combination of speed and power or they wouldn't be here. I like our chances as good as anyone else's. We have a ton of respect for the other seven teams here. When you reach the College World Series you must have worked very hard, and they wouldn't be here if they weren't strong in all facets of the game."

On struggling in the first inning:
"In the first inning I think I forgot to breathe. When you forget to breathe you tend to tense up. It ended up affecting my pitches because they were all going a little high. I just settled down and all my teammates told me to calm down and take a deep breath, and to bear down and focus and get out of the inning."

On returning to the lineup for the first time after tearing her ACL on May 19:
"I don't really know what is going on with my body as to why I am not having more pain with it. I have been honest with the coaches and the doctor and the trainer. I feel normal out there and I don't think about it when I play. I didn't feel like I was jeopardizing anything with my knee. When you think about it is when you get hurt. I could do everything I could before, so why not play?"

On her game-winning RBI single in the seventh:
"In my other two at-bats I just wasn't being smart and I didn't make adjustments. My teammates picked me up and kept me positive between that at-bat and the one where I got the hit. I just really evaluated my performance. The slogan on the team is never say die.' You always want to be up with the game on the line. My teammates told me to not worry about it and that I was going to get the game-winning hit. I embraced that opportunity and made that adjustment and stuck with the pitch."

On what it means to her to see India Chiles return after suffering her knee injury:
"It is a lot of motivation and she is a big inspiration for our whole team. I don't think I could have been able to go through half of the things that she has gone through with her arm and her leg. I am glad she is on my team and it is exciting to have her out there with us."

Opening comment:
"Obviously it is disappointing to come out and lose our first game. I thought (Monica) Abbott did a really nice job. I thought our kids did a really nice job in the first two innings staying off that up pitch. That was our game plan, to make sure we didn't chase the pitch up. We had an opportunity early to get a timely hit, which changes the whole game, and she shot it down like the great pitcher she is. Then she started throwing strikes early and that's where I was frustrated with our hitters for not being more aggressive. Really from the third inning on we had the opportunity to see some good pitches and I didn't feel like we were aggressive enough.

"I thought Amanda (Scarborough) threw very, very well. She did a great job getting some big strikeouts to get out of some tough jams and she did a great job on their big hitters. I saw some good things out of our team. We came here with a lot of fight and right now we are a fired up team ready to play the next game and win a ball game. So we are not feeling discouraged. Obviously it is tough against a pitcher like (Monica) Abbott and a team like Tennessee. We tip our hats to Tennessee. The difference in the game was that they were able to put the ball in play. They didn't hit the ball hard but they found holes there in key situations to get a couple runs across in the seventh."

On seeing All-American India Chiles back in starting lineup:
"I was surprised to see her. Obviously she hasn't played in the last couple games. I thought it was a really gutsy performance by her and very inspirational for her team. She did a nice job in the last inning getting herself on. I am sure it felt good for them to have her back."

On going against (Monica) Abbott:
"We had a game plan going in against her that we were going to stay off the rise ball. It's usually not a strike. I thought for the most part we did a good job of laying off that pitch. But we didn't do a good job of using the pitch that she wants you to hit. She did a good job of making us chase two strikes."

On the similarities between the WCWS, regionals and super regionals:
"We are not a team that comes out and lays down when we have a loss. I think we actually play our best and our strongest. We learn from our mistakes and we're not going to lose again. We are going to come out and play really hard our next game. We are going to come out with a lot of fight because this is it. This could potentially be our last game of the season and we don't want that for our seniors or our team."

On her pitching:
"I felt really comfortable. You would think I would be really nervous the whole day today, but I felt really calm. I felt like our whole team was really calm, like it wasn't our first time at the World Series. I used that to my advantage."

On going up against (Monica) Abbott:
"She did a really good job of getting ahead after the first couple of innings. I think we just really needed to start jumping on the first strikes she was throwing. We had a great chance to do that, but we couldn't capitalize on it."

On the similarities between the WCWS, regionals and super regionals:
"We actually talked about that in the dugout, how it is the same as both. It takes a loss for us to get everyone going and aggressive and intense."

-- Courtesy Oklahoma