May 17, 2007
Opening Statement from Head Coach Elaine Sortino on returning to the Regionals:
"I think our greatest challenge is getting up here and we did it so we're off to a good start. We're glad to be here. Obviously we're glad to be hosting and looking forward to what we hope is a great weekend of softball."
Amanda Acampora being in the Regionals at home two years in a row
"I think it adds a little bit of comfort. We've been here before. We just had A-10's here so I think the girls are used to having a championship setting at home. And then being at home has always been an advantage."
Candice Molinari on helping the freshman class
"We're a close team. We just try and tell them and help them as much as we can. We had a lot of young players last year that went through this too. So we have a lot of experience with it so we're just trying to bring them right with us."
Candice Molinari on keys to a good performance
"Definitely always moving runners when we can, playing great defense. A team that plays the best defense is going to win. So definitely just coming up with those key hits when we need them and playing great defense."
Coach Sortino on making any necessary changes for the second time around
"No matter how many times you go through it, every time is special. And it's special because the team that you're coaching at that point in time is a special team and a different team. The things that are going to lead us to success are going to be completely unique to this group of people. So, while it's good to have had last year-- even if we retuned everybody, player for player in every possible setting, it would be still a different situation because of all theses experiences that we have all had since then. So there's really nothing the same about it at all other than the fact that we're here. We're playing three different teams. It's just totally different. I think to make it the same is to make a mistake."
Coach Sortino on Brandice Balschmiter's development in big game situations:
"I think the coaching is the same. I think the player is different. I think the things we talk about are different than what we could talk about a year ago. The management of her pitches, the way she sees things is so different than she did a year ago. But the coaching never stops. You have to be there as a supplement for what they do. Brandice loves the big games. She loves the big games and gets really up for them and hopefully she hits her stride and does things well. There are always fine points that need to be discussed. I think her ability to move the ball around is a lot better. I think she sees things in hitters that she couldn't see as a young player a year ago. Obviously that gives you the place to execute a lot better than if you don't know what you're looking at."
Coach Sortino on getting Brandice to perform the same as in the Saint Louis game:
"Well hopefully no one would smack her in the arm, but you do different things for different players as they need them. And sometimes you know it's a stern command and sometimes everybody needs a hug. It fits the situation and hopefully you can manage the right thing at the right time. That's the key to trying to be there as a coach."
Coach Sortino on how Jessica Serio can become a better catcher
"She knows what's going on. Instead of just relaying information in terms of pulling pitches, I think she understands how to set up the batter now. She understands and can see things in Brandice and what Brandice's motion looks like. And that has become very helpful to me because I see sides. She's got the best seat in the house. She's really able to give me some really, really good and timely information. You cant bypass what a good catcher does for you-best seat in the house."
Amanda Acampora on her hitting strategy
"First at bat, we always talk about staying short, choking up on the bat, put the ball up the middle. It's got to be the same thing against the pitcher. You haven't seen as much as you would like to. Just staying short, trying to get the ball up the middle. And then the second time through the line up, you have a good feel for what she's throwing, the pitches you should lay off, and the pitches you're looking to drive."
Candice Molinari on her own hitting style
"You just definitely look for balls on the plate that you can put in play. Look early in the count because you just don't know how many pitches you're going to get that you can really handle. Every at bat you need to make adjustments for what pitchers are throwing. It's basically the same we've been doing every game, throughout the whole year. Even if we've seen a pitcher five times, you're still making adjustments every time you're up against them. "
Coach Sortino on watching a team on tape versus in person
"You get a feeling, you can understand what a pitcher is probably go to. You can a sense of what their strengths are and their weaknesses. And you can do the same for fielders and for hitting. But when the games on, the games on and all bets are off. It's a unique situation so you have to be ready to do what you have to do."
Amanda Acampora on doing well at the end of the season
"That's what every player dreams of and every player hopes for is to hit their stride going into the post season. I've been here for four years, and my swing is completely changing everyday. Just going out there and working hard on my swing. I think my pitch selection has changed-looking earlier in the count."