2010 Southeastern Conference Softball Tournament
Fayetteville, Ark. || Bogle Park
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Alabama 5, LSU 4
Alabama Head Coach Patrick Murphy
Well I want to say thanks to no only the SEC but the University of Arkansas. You guys put on a great event and all of our student athletes appreciate the championship atmosphere. I was really worried that the crowd would not be here, but I was really pleasantly surprised that it was basically packed. And for the Arkansas fans, I just want to say thank you to them for coming out to watch a great college softball game. This is a great venue and the baseball/softball venues here are some of the best in the country so the fans, kudos to them.
In our game, I think the story is Kelsi Dunne and what she did all week. This was the first time I had ever done this in a tournament, where we gave the ball to one kid. I usually start the two either in the first game or the second game and split it up. And we just decided to go with Kelsi. She was on a roll. I didn’t think she taxed that much the first day, it was five-inning game and yesterday I thought she was really in control and today just the one inning. She earned the MVP.
On being in some tough situations during the tournament…
I would have loved three run rules but both the second and third games were championship type games and you need that pressure going into the postseason. It was almost like every pitch and situation was key. I got buddies that watch the world series, super regionals and regionals and they just can’t believe that we go through what we go through but they have been doing it since they started playing softball and they know that is the game, that is the enjoyment of it and I think it prepared us for the next weekend and the weekend after that.
On throwing Kelsi all three games…
As a staff we sat down and talked each night, definitely asked her how she felt and in the dugout today she was said she was ready to go, I’m good to go. You don’t want to throw someone who is tired and I think she was honest, she did a good job, and she had nine strikeouts on the third day, which is pretty good. It was a great performance.
On this team being the first in Alabama history to win regular-season and tournament titles…
We all really thought that this was going to be a tougher year with so many new kids. We lost five starters and four were first-team All-American in their career. And then to have kids like Kayla Braud step up and do the job it’s really just been a lot of fun to watch. They have matured throughout the whole season and we let them know that at the beginning of the week that there had never been an Alabama team that had won the regular season and the conference tournament in the same year and obviously you have to win the regular season title first to have an opportunity and I think they really wanted the distinction of being the first team to do both.
Coach Murphy called my name and I was ready to go. I just think its awesome to play with the team that we have because I know going out there we are going to score runs and they are going to play great defense behind me, so it is very comforting to go out there with such an amazing team. How well we have been playing together this year is just outstanding. It felt great to be out there.
Coming back after the break…
Just coming back from that I knew I had a new umpire behind the plate and I had to find his strike zone. So my biggest thing was trying to figure out where I needed to throw my pitches because the two strike zones were completely different. Once I found that out, things got a little bit better.
A few of the strikes that I was getting called before, I wasn’t getting called when the new umpire came in a first so I was throwing the ball a little more over the plate and that’s why they were putting it in play the way that they were. I just found a new strike zone and made them swing at my pitches instead of swinging at their pitches ,which is what they were doing when they were putting the ball in play.
I think one of my biggest goals is to start the game off and that was my goal tonight. I knew if we had the momentum there was no way we were going to be stopped, especially with the way Kelsi shut them down in the first inning. I just put the ball in play and things happened. It is really about doing whatever I can to give the hitters behind me a chance to score me, which they did today.
On how the tournament prepared they for NCAA play…
We faced really good teams this weekend and were challenged continuously and faced some adversity and we never let up, we never backed down and we came back and we won. This prepares us for the post season because from here on out we will be playing some really good games and this is a very good practice round.
LSU Head Coach Yvette Girouard
On the game:
"Congratulations to Alabama. They played a great game. I thought we showed a lot of heart during the whole tournament. We never gave up, we scratched, we clawed, we fought. It didn’t happen for us. I told the team that we went through two fabulous programs in Florida and Alabama so hopefully this will prepare us for hopefully the next three weeks of competition.
During delay for umpire:
We kind of took the mentality that delays are good for us. It was good against Kentucky and now it was kind of a joke on the team to have a delay during the game so maybe we can have a come back. It worked twice for us.
I thought we really had a shot to beat them. Dunne has gotten better and we weren’t real successful in our at bats and our approach. Trahan threw great the first two games but didn’t quite have it today. I thought we had them on the ropes and had a good chance to beat them.
On being prepared for the postseason:
That is the very positive out of this weekend. We were very successful against Florida, we came back against Kentucky, we never showed quit and I think this has prepared us for a regional because we played two very great programs in Florida and Alabama.
On the game today:
Alabama is a great team. They are never a team that backs down or gives up and we fought really and unfortunately, luck wasn’t on our side tonight.
Mouse had a great at bat. She worked really hard. With Kirt on base, it was really important to get base hits whenever we have runners in scoring position which is something we have kind of been lacking this year. Coach always tells us to crush the mistake so, I was just waiting for her to throw me a decent pitch that I could put into play and help score my teammates.
On the game:
Like they said before, we came out with the same mentality as we did in previous games. We were pumped up and knew we were taking on a good ball club. We fought hard but like Mitchell said, we didn’t have the luck go our way. I think this is going to bring a lot of momentum coming into this upcoming weekend. I am proud of my teammates and I am hoping that we go the next three or four weeks.
I was trying to approach the at bat and get on base for the top of the lineup. I have an All-American behind me in Kirsten Shortridge so I am just trying to do whatever I can to get on base. I was trying to see a lot of pitches and I did that and tried to get on base. That is all I can do for my team.