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Softball Falls, 1-0, in American Conference Finals to UCF

Softball Advances to American Conference Finals with 5-2 Win over Houston


Donna J. Hardesty Sports Complex

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May 8, 2014

Recap |  Box Score |  Notes


On his thoughts on the game
"Coming in, we knew that was an all-conference-type pitcher. We knew she was nibbling around the plate a lot and didn't get some calls when we played them earlier in the season. We were prepared to come in and figured it was going to be tough to get some scoring, and knew we would probably need to see her for a little bit.

"Then, you add the element of the first game of the tournament. Sometimes it's hard to get rolling, the intensity of all the teams playing. Everybody just gets a little nervous, no matter how many games you played during the year. This is a single elimination tournament. This is something new, everybody is 0-0. I felt like we swung at some pitches out of the zone early in the game, but thankfully we had a pitcher that could go out there and throw some zeroes.

On Creger's pitching performance
"I think that was important for Aimee. Last weekend, she had a little blister or a raw place on her finger that we were dealing with. It was important for her to go out there and feel like she can pitch again like she has been. That was a big question answered for us. She is a very fit athlete. I feel like she can come back and go again. We're excited about the fact that she went out there and got ahead of most of the hitters and was tough to hit."

On moving forward in the tournament
"One of the things I told the team was I thought we wasted some scoring opportunities by not getting the bunt down. That's part of this type of format as well. You have to execute those little plays to get your teammates in better situations to drive in runs. We hit some balls pretty well, but the ball wasn't carrying today. You have the wind blowing in, you have heavy air here. We've hit more home runs than we've ever hit (this season), and sometimes I think we get too reliant upon that. I don't really consider us a home run-hitting team, but we've hit a lot. So, that's something that we were just trying to get the hitters to line drive it, hard ground ball it - keep getting runners on base. We did three innings in a row I think, and finally got the run in the third time."




On winning their first game of the tournament
"It's really nice. I knew I just had to go out there, take care of business and do my job, and let my team take care of the offensive part. They did that. It's really nice coming out here and getting the first win and getting the bats going. Now we have to get ready for the next couple of games."

On whether she feels extra pressure in a close game like today, where the team is not scoring a bunch of runs
"It is kind of pressurizing, but the later the game goes, I realize I have to bear down and focus more. I feel like at the end of the game, both teams' intensity increases. That's my job as a pitcher - I have to make sure I stay focused through the entire seven innings."

On the relief she feels in getting the first win of the tournament
"It's really great. Especially coming off of two losses (last weekend). Two losses in a row hasn't happened for us all season. It means a lot coming out here and getting this one, and getting back to winning."

On what the team needs to do to be successful moving forward in the tournament
"I think we need to play as a team, like we have been doing, stay focused when we're up to bat, and each person do their part. When we come together as a team we'll start scoring runs."