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NCAA Softball - News Conferences
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 05/17/2012
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May 17, 2012

2012 NCAA Softball Championships – Tucson Regional

Thursday, May 17, News Conference Briefs

NOTRE DAME (plays Hawaii in Game 1 at 2:30 p.m. (PDT) Friday)

Coach Deanna Gumpf:

“Consistency in the last half of the season got us here. We expect to go to the postseason and do well.”

Hawaii can hit, they don’t get cheated. It was a pleasant surprise that we were picked to come all the way out here, because we’ve never actually taken a postseason flight. It’s a new experience for all of us, but we’re excited for that difference, the challenge, and the great weather too.

Senior Pitcher/Infielder Laura Winter:

“When we play our game the way we want to play it, we are unstoppable. We just need to stay within ourselves, and not focus on anyone else except ourselves, and we will be successful.”   

***

HAWAII

Coach Bob Coolen:

“We’ve been on the road for over two weeks, including Las Cruces, so we’re used to the dry conditions and the altitude. The field out here is very similar to the last one we played on and I think we’re ready to go.”

On Notre Dame:
“We’re just worried about our team. We don’t really scout the opponent a lot. We just look at our team and make our own adjustments in order to be successful. Too much information bogs down the mind, gets them focused on only one aspect of the opponent’s game, and we obviously don’t want that. We rely on our catchers to call the game, they figure it out, go out, and they play.”

Senior Pitcher Stephanie Ricketts:

“The mindset I am taking into this weekend is not letting the other team score. I know that we are going to score a lot, so if I do my job, we will win.”

Junior Shortstop Jessica Iwata:

“We just need to concentrate and stay within ourselves. If we can get runners on base, the bottom of our lineup will bring those runners in all day.”

Junior Centerfielder Kelly Majam:

 On traveling -- “The traveling isn’t too hard for us anymore. We are mostly upperclassmen here so we are just used to traveling a lot now.”

***

ARIZONA  (Plays North Dakota State in Game 2 at 5 p.m. PDT Friday)

Coach Mike Candrea:

“Practice this week has been going well. We’ve done what we needed to do and now we’re just anxious to play, I think.”

“Sometimes you get swallowed a bit by the tradition of the program, but this year, we’ve handled a lot this year, had our ups and downs, but if we can put it all together, I think we can make something of a run.”

“I think it’s very important that we have something of a mantra this time of year. It really unites us. Ultimately, what we do happens on the field. This is a very exciting time of year, and it’s about how much you care. Postseason is a very exciting time, and it’s more of a mental game than a physical game. I hope we can bring a lot of energy to the game.”

On North Dakota State
“They’re a team with postseason experience, they play well, and are very competitive. They are solid batters and pitchers. It’ll be a good challenge.”

Senior Catcher Lini Koria:

“Coach Candrea always tells us that everyone who is here deserves to be here. All we need to do to be successful this weekend is just take each game one game at a time.”

Junior Pitcher Kenzie Fowler:

“Experience is huge for me. We have all been here before, and we know how crucial every inning is. We know that every team will battle to the very end.”

Junior Third Baseman Brigette Del Ponte:

“When Terry Francona came in, I was in complete shock. He mainly just told us to have fun, have faith, and just keep playing. He relayed that message to us very well.”

 ***

NORTH DAKOTA STATE (Plays Arizona in Game 2 at 5 p.m. PDT Friday)

Coach Darren Mueller:

Arizona is pretty good. There are a lot of thing that they do well. Their hitters get hot quick, and they have a pair of very strong pitchers. Any time you face a school in the Pac-12, you know they’re going to be a challenge, and we’ll do our best to prepare for what they give us.”

“Games in the non-conference, like the ones at Alabama and Florida State are going to be really important for us, and we’ll have to count on the experience our seniors have over the years through tough games early, in the regional, and supers.”

Co-Head Coach Jamie Trachsel

“I’m very fortunate to have a boss like Coach Mueller, who sees me on his level, and always me to have free reign. We balance each other out well, and it’s been a very good combination so far.”

Senior Outfielder Taylor Mortensen:

“It all feels the same being here, we work on the same things every day. We just want to fine tune everything and we will be ok. This is just another tournament for us with big teams in it.”

Senior Third Baseman Brea Konz:

“Being here before has helped us learn to control and manage our emotions. Playing on national TV has also helped us learn how to control those emotions. We just want to use that to our advantage.”

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