May 17, 2008
Stanford Quotes Game 3
Shannon Koplitz on jumping out on top
I think we needed to be aggressive early, which we were. We were trying to hit hard line drives and ground balls. We just wanted to come out aggressive. Brandice Balschmiter started throwing more off-speed pitches later in the game, and I think she did a good job of keeping her composure. We had to be a little more patient with her towards the end of the game.
Missy Penna on her performance
It is nice to pitch with a lead, especially when we score in the first inning. It is nice to have that padding that cushion. It is nice, but we still have to play hard the whole game. It just calms my nerves a little bit to score first. Once we have a hold on them, I think, `okay, now it is time to do my job.'
Koplitz on confidence in Penna
I definitely have a lot of confidence in her. I know that once we get a lead, she can shut down anyone in the country. When we get a few runs, it is a relief but we know that we have to keep working the whole game.
Penna on her range of pitches
I try to mix it up a bit. The rise ball works sometimes. I try to thrown some off-speed in there.
Coach John Rittman's general comments
I thought we did an excellent job of coming out and being the aggressor early in the game. We put runners in motion, played a little short game, did some hit and runs. We were trying to make some things happen. We wanted to start off well against a very good pitcher, and I think we did that. Any time you are facing a pitcher of that caliber, you definitely do not want to play the game passively. You want to try to play aggressive and get on her early. I think Missy came out and pitched outstanding today. She was a little bit better than she did yesterday, which was key because she needed to pitch better today. Yesterday, she did not quite have her drop like she did today. That opened up a lot of other pitches for her. Overall, I was pretty pleased with our team's performance, but I know there is a long road still ahead. We have got to come out tomorrow so we have got to come out tomorrow with the same type of attitude and approach.
Coach Rittman on advantages
I think that the weather played a role in today's game, with UMass having to play the early game this morning. You do not wish that on anyone, especially in post season, but it is what it is. You have to fight your way back. We have definitely been on the losing side of that situation, in the last two years at Regional's. My team understands that just because you are sitting pretty on Sunday, does not mean anything is guaranteed. You have to come ready to play.
UMass Quotes Game 3
Brandice Balschmiter on end of game composure
I adjusted to batters better. I started mixing it up and doing what I needed to do, pitching where I needed to in order to get them out.
Lauren Proctor on Missy Penna
She was a good pitcher. I think the biggest thing in hitting against her was to wait for that flat pitch that was outside for lefties. She is different than pitchers we have been facing as of late. I would say it is a little difficult, but it is definitely something we can do. Everyone on the team, one through nine can adjust. We hope to do that next game.
Proctor on adjusting
I think it is just following the plan. The biggest thing is to lay off the rise ball. I think if we can do that, we can get some hits on the board and score some runs.
Balschmiter on first inning performance
I did not come out as strong as I should have. I could have done a lot better. I had a hard time finding the umpire's strike zone. I could not hit my spots. I feel good right now, and I think I can keep going.
Proctor on preparing psychologically
I think it is going to be key to get some food and think about the next game. I think in this next game we are going to have to attack and be patient and put ourselves in a good place because this is not it and we can do this.
Coach Elaine Sortino's general comments
First game, I thought we did a pretty good job of handling our plate discipline and doing what we needed to do as far as offensively getting the job done. We definitely took care of the ball and Brandice did a good job of hitting her spots and keeping them off balance. We also got a good inning out of Bailey Sanders so that Brandice did not have to pitch all seven innings, and could rest for a while. The second game, I thought we started a little spotty. It just did not feel right and I thought the first batter especially, those pitches could have gone either way. We have not walked a lead off batter in a long time, but it happened today. They have incredible pitchers and patience at the plate. They are a tough hitting team and difficult outs. If you look at their walks to strike out ratio, they are almost equal. That is the sign of a very good team and a very good hitting team. I thought today, we were just the opposite. We were disappointed in ourselves. One thing we have been good at all year is lying off the rise ball, and for whatever reason today, we could not do that.
Coach Sortino on confidence in Brandice's finish
I am proud of the way Brandice finished that game. She could have really let down and thrown in the towel, but I thought she kept her composure, which at this level is extremely important. I think we did not have a great sense of their team. We did not have a lot of information to go on the first time through. But I thought we did well in the end.