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NCAA Softball Regional Press Conference Transcript
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: May 15, 2014
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2014 NCAA Regional

Thursday Press Conference Transcript




Head Coach Beth Torina

Opening Statement:

“We are thrilled to be included in the field of 64, and we are so excited to be here in Arizona where they have such a great winning tradition. There are so many championships that have been won on this field, and we are excited to be a part of that, and be a part of four really quality teams and programs that are also deserving to be in this final 64.”

What is needed for success:

“We need to continue the offensive output that we’ve had the last few weeks. I think that we have really been scoring and scoring often, and that will be a big key to our success. We need to stay confident, and continue to put the pressure on through the entire seven innings of the game.”

Sophomore Infield/ Pitcher Bianka Bell

On mindset entering the regional:

“We are definitely really excited. We have a lot of tough opponents in this bracket, and we are going to go out and give it our all to try and come out on top”

Junior Outfielder A.J. Andrews

On mindset entering the regional:

“I think everybody at this point is really good, and anybody can beat anybody. I think we have to take every single game like we are playing for the championship as if we are at the World Series. If we do that, I believe that we can make it there. It doesn’t really matter who we play. We are going to play our best, and play them like they are the number one team in the nation.”

On the offense of the team:

“We have a lot of people on our team who can hit balls over the fence, even the slappers. Don’t underestimate our slappers. We can all go long.”



Head Coach Kathryn Gleason

Opening statement:

“We’re happy to be here in the NCAA tournament. We’re happy to be here in Tucson. We were here last year for a tournament, so most of our players are familiar with the surroundings. This team has worked hard all season to get where they are, and they did a great job last weekend at the Patriot League Tournament, so we are just getting ready to play.”

On scouting opponents:

“I think with social media and the emergence of the Pac-12 Network and ESPN, softball is in a tremendous place right now. We have the Patriot League Network this year, so everything was on the Internet. I think if you really want to go find something, there is a place to do it. We have been able to see them play a couple times. I think it is a great testament to where our sport is right now. We have the Big Ten Network, we have the SEC, and we have the Pac-12 Network. We’ve seen them (UA) a couple of times.”

On Arizona’s offense as a daunting task to overcome:

“We definitely respect them and their program, but we talk about all the time that we just play the game. We play the game one pitch, one out, one inning at a time, and go through the process and the out come will take care of its self.  Obviously they come from a tremendous conference in the Pac- 12, and they’re just a well coached team.”

On being at the Tucson Regional:

“Our sophomores, juniors, and seniors have been here. We came here last year, and we played Arizona under the lights, and we know what a great crowd base they have and what a tremendous foul line. I think that is an advantage to our upperclassmen that they’ve been here and have talked to the freshmen about being here. Who wouldn’t want to play in one of the greatest dynasties in softball, under the lights, on TV? We are excited about the opportunity.”

Senior Infielder Chelsea Kehr

On the team chemistry:

“I would say it’s fun. I mean if you get a chance to look in our dugout, there is always going to be somebody dancing or somebody goofing around with somebody else. That’s the motto of our team: ‘Always go out, and have fun.’ I’ve been here for five years now, and anybody would tell you that every team, every year is completely different. I think the best thing that this team has done, far better than any other team in the last five years, is have fun. We go out there with a smile on our faces. It doesn’t matter what could be happening, as long as we’re having fun then everything is worth it for us.”

Senior Catcher/Outfielder Jayme Mask


“We have been here five years and this is the best team chemistry I’ve ever seen. I’ve been playing 17 years so it’s a true testament to how well we get along. We are a bunch of goofballs. You will see on the field that we are just having fun because it makes the game a lot more enjoyable, when you are down, and you can just look at your teammates and they are smiling. It just makes it easier to go out there and play the game.”



Head Coach Mike Candrea:

Opening statement:

“This is the time of the year that we all work for. We try to divide our season into three parts. The first part being our non-conference season, second part being our conference season and then the third part being postseason. We are very excited to enter postseason. These girls have worked extremely hard. Many of them began in July for this moment in time. I think we are all pretty excited to be here and that we have a very formable field of teams here in Tucson. Most of all, we’re glad that we’re here in Tucson. I don’t take that for granted because when you’re on the road, it’s a little bit different. To be able to give our fans one more weekend of softball here at Hillenbrand stadium, I think we have the best fans in the world, is a win-win for all of us.”

On facing Boston University in the first game:

“My motto is ‘Respect all and fear none.’ We are trying to gather some information and getting very close to putting our game plan together. In today’s world with social media and the Internet, it’s pretty easy to get information. I’m sure they have the same having 17 games on TV with the Pac-12 Network. It’s a lot different than it was 10-15 years ago. We’ve been working very hard. Alicia (Hollowell), Caitlin (Lowe) and Stacy (Iveson) have been watching a lot of video. We’ve taped some games that were on television. We feel like we’ll have a good plan when we walk in. It’s a matter of us executing our game plan.”

On if he feels the team has been battle tested having gone through the Pac-12 conference schedule:

“Let’s put it this way, if this team isn’t battle tested, then something is wrong. We haven’t played an easy schedule. Scheduling is a very difficult thing to do because you never know how team are going to be like when you’re scheduling a year in advance or two years in advance. With the Pac-12, we always know we’re going to get some very good teams, good pitching and tough places to go on the road. I think this team really is ready for this moment.”

On if he can rely on homeruns in the postseason:

“When it comes to postseason, to win a championship, it’s a pretty simple formula. It begins with pitching. It begins with playing sound defense and then timely hitting. This team has a very good balance, I would say, throughout our lineup, which gives me the confidence that at anytime during a game we can make some things happen. The more we turn our lineup around, the more runs we are going to see on the board. It’s really a matter of getting on base at this time of the year. Finding a way to get on base and then executing the game that you have. This team is blessed with some power. I do know that as you get into postseason, pitching escalates a little more. All I want is for us to walk up to the plate and keep it simple. If it’s a homerun, it’s a homerun. If not, I hope we’re hitting hard ground balls or line drives.”

Junior Catcher Chelsea Goodacre:

On being able to host a regional and stay at home:

“We didn’t have to work on the traveling. Last year, we had to go into Texas. Having to go to a foreign field, having to really figure out how they’re field is like; it’s a lot nicer being able to stay here. We know what our field is like. We know how to perform on our field, and we’re looking forward to it.”

On what is the key to improving past the Tucson Regional:

“Mostly just staying relaxed and playing our game. Looking too far ahead, that’s when you can cause a little bit of trouble. If we play one game at a time, one pitch at a time, that’s when things can go our way. As long as we continue playing Arizona softball like we have for the majority of the season, I think we will be fine.”

On if the team can rely on their homerun leading offense:

“It’s always something that we can look back at. Like Coach said earlier, the season is split up into three groups. What we did in the regular season and preseason, it doesn’t really matter. It’s all about what we can do now in the postseason. It gives us a little bit of confidence knowing that we can hit. We have a great team of hitters, but we need to continue hitting in order to go where we want go.”

On what the Arizona softball tradition means:

“We look at these pictures up here, and we want so bad to be one of those pictures. We want to put our frame up there. Knowing the history of Arizona softball, we want to continue the tradition and continue everything that this program has been. We want to make it even better.”

Senior Pitcher Estela Piñon:

On being able to play at home again after beating No. 1 Oregon:

“That (win) gives us a big booster. We know that we can do it. And it’s just nice to be back home and being with your fans and family in your home stadium.”

On what she is nervous about:

“I’m definitely excited. I think it’s just nervous like when you have butterflies. It’s always a good thing having those butterflies in your stomach. I’m very excited for this weekend. It’s my first time being here at home hosting a regional. I’m just super excited.”

On if she feels added pressure with the loss of pitcher Kenzie Fowler:

“I know we have backup. We have a good pitching staff. I have trust in all of our pitching staff. I don’t see myself as the No. 1. I see myself as I’m just here to do my job. Whatever it takes to win the game, that’s what I’m going to do. Whatever my teammates need to do, that’s what they’re going to do also.”



Head Coach Sandy Pearsall

Opening statement:

“We are very excited to be here at Arizona. It’s a great region with LSU, Arizona and Boston University. It’s a very tough region with some tremendous offense and pitching. We definitely have our work cut out for us this weekend. We will have to be playing at our very best.”

On their first opponent, LSU:

“It’s a team of great speed. We have to control some of that speed and obviously some very good power hitters are there. For us, it will also be matching up with their pitching. Their pitching is very strong. Again, any time that you go up against an SEC school, you’re going to deal with the whole game. They have the whole game. When you play in the SEC you have to have the whole game.”

On what she told the team to prepare for postseason play:

“It’s been a rough year for us, a little up and down. We’re definitely an underdog. We’re not expected to win, so just to come out play ball and have some fun. Play ball. Play loose. Play to win. It’s been a problem for us. We’ve been a little tight all year and that has created some problems for us. I look forward to this weekend because I think our team is very loose coming off of last week. We had to win that tournament, which is something we haven’t had to do in a long, long time. They played very loose, and they played to win.”

On if she relishes the underdog role:

“I do. I really do right now. I think players like Katie Keller, for us, it’s a huge way for her to play. She likes to play that way. She is a very intense player. I think it will help our pitching staff because certainly no one expects our pitching staff to be able to stop people. They have the ability to do it when they really step up.”