May 28, 2009

May 28-June 3, 2009
ASA Hall of Fame Stadium
Oklahoma City, Okla.

Game 2: Arizona State 7, Missouri 3

  • Defending Women's College World Series champion Arizona State improved to 47-17 on the year with a 7-3 victory over Missouri (50-11).
  • Although the two squads had met on 12 previous occasions, today's contest marked the first between the two in postseason play.
  • Arizona State now owns an 8-5 advantage over Missouri in a series dating back to 1983.
  • The Tigers allowed seven runs on 13 hits after entering the contest with a combined 1.58 ERA in 40 innings of postseason play. ASU's seven runs were just two fewer than Missouri had allowed during six postseason games this season.
  • The loss was Missouri's worst defeat since dropping a 6-1 decision to Nebraska on May 2.
  • ASU's 13 hits were the most in a non-extra inning WCWS contest since 1998, when Fresno State scattered 13 hits in a 6-1 victory over Nebraska.
  • Arizona State's 13 hits were the most given up by Missouri this season. The Tigers allowed 12 hits in their season opener to Evansville on Feb. 14.
  • The Sun Devils improved to 9-2 on the year with Taylor Haro as the designated hitter.
  • Haro went 4-for-4 with a game-high three RBI in her sixth multi-hit game of 2009. Haro recorded a hit in her fifth straight contest, a current ASU team high.
  • Haro and Jessica Mapes (4-for-5) each tallied four hits -- the most by an ASU batter this season.
  • ASU improved to 33-2 when scoring first and to 24-2 when scoring in the first inning. The Sun Devils notched three runs in both the first and second innings of today's contest, taking a 6-0 lead into the third frame.
  • The game marked just the second loss of the season for Missouri when it has scored at least three runs (11-2).
  • The Tigers were making their first appearance on a Thursday this season.
  • This year marks ASU's fourth consecutive appearance in the WCWS and eighth overall.
  • Missouri is making its fourth trip to the WCWS (first in 15 years), as MU head coach Ehren Earleywine became the second fastest Tigers softball coach to take a team to the WCWS. Former Mizzou coach Joyce Compton took the 1983 softball squad to the WCWS in her first year at the helm.



Opening comment:
"We are really excited. It was fun."

On ASU's 13 singles and no extra-base hits:
"I am getting used to singles right now. For some unknown reason we haven't been hitting long balls lately. But with the mentality of what we are trying to do at the plate, we are trying to stay on top. We hit nine pop-ups, eight with runners in scoring position and great teams don't do that. There is some work we have to do, but the slappers could have put on a clinic with their execution today."

On if facing Washington numerous times changes ASU's approach for Friday's matchup:
"We have good books on each other and it's a situation where you are wishing to play somebody in the Pac-10 later, but with eight teams here it just worked out that way. Our mentality is not going to change. We know what we have been able to do off of Danielle (Lawrie), who is an outstanding pitcher, player of the year. We have to go out and execute. It's about getting the job done and if the slappers can have the same kind of day that they had today I will be a happy man."

On field conditions affecting the defense:
"Our field is pretty bouncy at home so that was good for us. I didn't have any problems with it and I thought my defense did really well. Katelyn Boyd had some great plays in the infield and Lesley Rogers had some amazing plays in the outfield, so I don't think struggled with that."

On being from Oklahoma, watching the WCWS and now playing in the WCWS:
"Ever since I was 10 we have been coming down here and they always host the little kid tournaments. It's really exciting when you get to play on the big field and I still have pictures where my name is on the board and my dad has it hanging on the refrigerator. That was a really good memory for me and this was a really special place to play. It's Hall of Fame Stadium, it's a really big deal. I have special memories here and it is always exciting when you get to drive in to the big field. I am just having fun and it's like the little kid in me is really excited. This is what I have been waiting for and my dreams are coming true."

On approaching the tournament coming in as defending champions:
"Our plan is to always go out there and take it to them every play. I think we have a lot more experience now. Me and Jessica (Mapes) have been here four times so we just want to take our experience and pass it on to the younger players and make sure that we are looking over them and playing as a team."

On executing the small-ball game:
"Coming in I knew the ground was going to be hard like at home. We had a plan going in so that we can try to hit to the ground and use that to our advantage."

On executing the small-ball game:
"We just go out there with a plan, and just try to put the ball on the ground and just put it in play. We don't try to do too much with it. Just trying to make contact and run the bases."


Opening comment:
"Well, I think first of all you have to give Arizona State credit. They played a pretty good game. They knocked out 13 hits and their pitcher threw a lot of strikes. They deserve credit. Having said that, I felt like it was kind of a tough situation for us as far as the conditions of the infield. We had a drop-ball pitcher throwing and the infield played like a trampoline. In the first two innings where they got those six runs, they hit two balls off the barrel. I don't know how many six-hoppers got through the infield, but it's just not conducive to a drop-ball pitcher when you've got an infield that hard. That really put us in a hole too big to climb out of."

On his team's defensive difficulties:
"We made some plays that were a little uncharacteristic. The fly ball on the right dropping was a sun ball and we didn't have our visors and sunglasses on, which was a fundamental mistake. The rundown between third and home was a get-me-out that we didn't take, and there were a couple of ground balls on the infield that I thought should have been put out but we just didn't execute. So we certainly take credit for the loss. We're not trying to entirely blame it on the field. It just wasn't conducive for the type of pitcher that we had. Even if we would have made all of those plays, we still would have lost the softball game."

On other problems with Missouri's game today:
"The sixth inning really killed us. We had bases loaded with nobody out and four batters in a row had a 2-0 count, and we swung at the pitcher's pitches and tapped out and that's a shame. You get small windows of opportunity against good teams like that and you have to seize them. We didn't seize them. We swung at bad pitches and got jammed, got it off the end and nobody got that big gap shot that we needed to get. That would have really opened up things and given us a chance."

On noticing the infield conditions:
"I noticed it, and I wish I could have gone back and changed it but I can't. We have to move forward and just play better in the next game."

On not knowing if she's pitching Saturday against Georgia:
"I wouldn't say it's hard because we have to come out and do well; anything that can help the team win. I have confidence in his decision and whatever (head coach Ehren Earleywine) decides I'll be definitely OK with."

On looking ahead to the next game:
" We have to hit. They definitely had more hits than we did. If we have good at bats and play defense I think that we'll be fine on Saturday."

On the loss and looking ahead to Saturday's game:
"It's like at the super regional when we lost to UCLA in that second game. It's like how we're feeling now. We lost, but we have another game this week and we're going to come back on Saturday ready to play. I feel as though we're still together and we're feeling down now, but we've been here before. We've lost before. And now we're just going to stay together and come back on Saturday with confidence."