Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Postgame Quotes
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: June 22, 2004
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General comments:
"I think that, as a coach, you can't ask for anything more than what this team gave us this week. We played a team, I think, of destiny. (California's) Jocelyn (Forest) threw great. Jennie Finch was the reason we got here and we rode her and I think (that she) just ran out of a little bit of gas. Today was Cal's day and my hats are off to them."

"I'm not disappointed in the way we played. I thought that these kids gave everything that they had. I really felt that if we could get the game into the bottom of the seventh, possibly we could kind of change the attitude out there. It was kind of nice when I heard that we were the home team but unfortunately we didn't. (I've) been on both sides, so I know right now that we're hurting. You go this far as a team and spend as much time as you do preparing for this moment, it's difficult. But on the other hand, you need to keep your heads up and realize that these moments, you need to cherish these moments and realize what you're working for."


"We had a lot of young kids that I think got a lot of great experience, something you can't teach. I'm sad that Jennie's a senior and Meaghan (Finnerty), they're not going to have another opportunity, but I think Jennie Finch will have a very bright future in this game. I'm just really proud that I've had the opportunity to coach her the last four years. I think that you saw over the last few years how much talent she has and more importantly the type of person she is for this game."

On whether Cal was a team of destiny:
"I've been around the game for more years than I want to mention and I've seen Cal for a lot of years and I mentioned a few times this year that I felt Cal was playing with a lot of focus. I think that Jocelyn (Forest), with the personal tragedies that happened in her life, sometimes those are things that pull a team together and I think that they played with a lot of emotion, a lot of heart and a lot of togetherness. Not to say we didn't, but sometimes I've been there when things are going the right way. Possibly it was their weekend. We definitely feel very good about what we accomplished. (I'm) sad but I'm very pleased with the performance."

On her control after pitching 196 pitches in the semifinals:
"I didn't find the zone with the ump right away. I felt fine. At the end I tried to get things going, tried to speed up a little bit, but I felt fine out there."

On her throw to home plate on Candace Harper's RBI single to center field in the seventh inning:
"I definitely thought I had a good shot at her. It was a base hit up the middle, a one-hopper. I fielded it cleanly. My throw was just a little off to the right."

On her success at drawing walks against California's Jocelyn Forest:
"I think that the basic key to Jocelyn is to look for a pitch down in the zone and lay off her rise ball. I mean that she gets a lot of people to pop up and fly out or strike out on her riseball. The big key is to stay patient and look for a ball down in the zone."


General comment:
"This game is a dream come true. I've waited 19 years to see this day. This team has fought and battled. The last two weeks this team has definitely been on a mission. They worked so hard for this and they just never gave up. Jocelyn (Forest) pitched a great game. We played great defense. When (Kaleo) Eldridge led off (the top of the seventh) with a walk and (Kristen) Morely got the hit and then my senior Candace Harper, who has come through year after year and bat after bat, came through with a key hit to start us off. Then we got another walk and (Jessica) Pamanian came up with a great double. Chelsea Spencer came up with another double. It was an amazing day today. I'm so proud of this team with how hard they've worked this year. They definitely deserve this championship."

On her team's best attribute:
"It's heart. This team played with heart. They just gave it their all. They've been so committed to each other and to making it happen. We may not be the best team player for player, but we're the best team because we play as a team. I think it's the way they play together."

On whether she felt like her team was a team of destiny:
"I thought we were a team of destiny. Everything just seemed to be going our way, starting with the regional tournament. Every win we got, I felt we were one step closer. You could just see that the girls were playing well together and everyone believed we could do it. Like Jocelyn said, they made up their mind that they were going to get a job done."

On her experience at the Women's College World Series:
"It's just been amazing, especially with this team. This is the best group of girls I've ever played with. We came out here ready to play. Just being here wasn't good enough. We proved a point. People underestimate us all the time. Nobody ever believes in us. The only people that ever believed in us was ourselves. We came out here and did a job."

On the team's fourth straight appearance in the WCWS:
"In the past, Cal hadn't really made it to the World Series that often. Before when we made it, that was good enough. Not that we didn't want to win the entire thing, but just being here was an experience in itself. Coming for the fourth year in a row, it was like, `We're ready to win now. We want to win the entire thing.'"

On the team's fourth straight appearance in the WCWS:
"Year after year, we came back and we knew we could win it. Every year there was more opportunity, more hope. This year, it all came together. Everything was going our way. We knew as long as we kept fighting, it was going to happen for us."

On the experience of this team combined with how many freshmen played:
"We knew we had to rely on our freshmen this year. We had only eight returners and a few injuries. Ever since the first game, we've seen improvement throughout the whole season. We put pressure on our freshmen. We have freshmen (playing everywhere). It's amazing. They came through when we needed them. They believed in us and we believed in them."