NCAA Regional: Hofstra vs. Texas A&M Quotes

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
MAY 16, 2014

NCAA Regional: Game 1
Hofstra vs. Texas A&M
May 16, 2014

Texas A&M Head Coach Jo Evans

Opening statement:
“I thought it was a fun game to play. It must have been a fun game to watch for the crowd. Hofstra did a great job in that first inning of jumping out and being aggressive. I thought Katie Marks did a great job of keeping them to one run there. I thought that was a big difference maker. Offensively, I am really happy with the way our kids came out in the first inning and drove the ball really well. The great thing about our ballclub today was we answered back every time they put some pressure on us. They took the lead from us and we managed to come right back and get ourselves right back in the ballgame. Defensively, we made some crucial mistakes that cost us. In the end I thought our ball club just fought really hard and did a nice job of coming back and settling down and getting some runs. Clearly, Rachel (Fox) was a big difference maker in the game. She came in and got some big outs against good hitters. I am impressed with Hofstra’s hitters. I thought they were very aggressive and they do a really nice job.”

On preparing for the next game:
First of all, it is very exciting to get a win in our first game. It really puts you in a tough spot if you don’t win that first one. I am really proud of our ball club. I am really excited to watch this next game with Bryant. I have never seen them play before. Their excitement and enthusiasm--and their coach has done a great job. They have a young coaching staff so I am excited to watch them play. Of course I have seen OU play many, many times having played here so many times when we were in the Big 12 and coming here last year for super regionals. I just have so much respect for them and their program and their coaching staff. Coach Gasso and Coach Lombardi and Coach MacKay, they just do a tremendous job. It will be great for us to get a look at them. We know all their strengths. They come to play every day and they are really great. They are so solid defensively and it is going to be a great opportunity for us to watch this game and then to get after it with whomever we play. I am really looking forward to it.”

Texas A&M Senior Outfielder Cassie Tysarczyk

On her offensive performance:
“I was just really trying to stay hot for our team. We kind of ended the SEC on a little bit of a skid. We got on a roll in our senior day against Oklahoma State and I was just trying to be a catalyst for our offense. Jenna Stark coming in clutch in the bottom of the first with a two-RBI single—it was either a single or a double—our seniors really stepped up today at the plate. Almost every senior in the lineup had an RBI. That is a really big deal. “

Texas A&M Redshirt Junior Pitcher Rachel Fox

On the back and forth nature of the game:
“You have to credit Hofstra. They fought just as hard as we did. We just happened to get that last final punch. We went back and forth and we were aggressive trying to put the ball in play. Coming in there and changing the gameplan a little bit; throwing ground balls and getting outs. Huge play in the seventh by Taran Tyler at shortstop. That ball kind of took a bad hop and she played it well. Solid defense I think after I came in. We just got the job done.”

Hofstra Head Coach Bill Edwards

Opening statement:
“Exciting game for the fans to watch. A lot of runs being scored. A lot of excitement during the course of the game. I think you saw the will of two teams who really wanted to win today. They (Texas A&M) jumped out, and we gave them a couple of runs in the first inning by making a three-out inning a six-out inning, and then we finally settled in and played some really good Hofstra softball. I was really impressed with the way that we battled back, and I was impressed with the way they came back and showed their will coming back. Great coached team in Texas A&M. Does a great job. I tip my cap to that win for them today, and I also tip my cap to our club for the way that we battled and played and came back from adversity and really, really played well. I am very, very proud of my team and the way that they performed today.”

On the game:
“I think what you saw was two teams that really commanded the strike zone today, and when you command the strike zone, anything that is over the heart of the plate is going to get hit. Their pitchers left a couple over the heart of the plate. Our pitchers left a couple over the heart of the plate. We also took advantage of it. Too many good hitters in this game to miss the pitches that maybe some of the pitches that the pitchers missed. We capitalized, and they capitalized. That is pretty much the synopsis of the game today is we hit their mistakes, and they hit our mistakes.”

On if he was happy to see his defense not give up errors:
“Except in the first inning where we really added probably 35 pitches to our pitcher’s pitch count, which then forced us to maybe pull Morgan (Lashley) an inning before we really wanted to pull her. I thought we played well defensively, and I thought we really hit the ball well. When we have confidence in the batter’s box, it definitely carries over to the defensive side. We have been working on our defense, and with the exception of that first inning where we were a little jumpy and coming out of our shoes a little bit, I was very happy with the way the defense started to come around today. I think we will be more relaxed tomorrow because now we’ve seen the environment and we are feeling it and some of our younger players are starting to enjoy the environment rather than feeling the environment. It was good to see them finally settle in.”

On the hitting approach:
“I don’t think that we’ve changed anything pretty much all year long. We just want to command the strike zone. Anything around the strike zone, we want to get a really good swing at it. We made some great swings, and we didn’t chase today. We didn’t leave the zone. We chased a couple of really good drops from (Texas A&M pitcher Rachel) Fox, but other than that, we really stayed within the plate and commanded and hit it hard. We had some loud outs today, as they did, too. It was good to see us just really command the zone, not chase and have a presence in the batter’s box like we knew what we were doing, and we really, really played well.”

On if he will change the pitching approach:
“No, we just have to throw our games with the way that each pitcher approaches the game, and we just have to make better pitches in the real tight moments of the game. You can’t miss against teams like Texas A&M. You have to be on the outside of the plate. You have to be moving the ball to the black to the brown to the dirt. You can’t throw the ball white, and we threw a lot of whites today. You can’t do that against these great teams. Every team in this regional here, if we either throw it over or get too much of the plate, they’re going to hit it. You hope they hit it at one of your players, but obviously a couple of times, they found the green and found the other side of the fence.”

On the home plate umpire’s strike zone:
“I thought he had a great zone. We have constant communication with our catcher, and every umpire is entitled to a couple, but I thought his zone was outstanding today. I thought he was consistent with every aspect of the quadrant, and I was very impressed with how he called the game. You are always allowed to miss one or two during the course of the game, but you hope they don’t miss them during a real pressure part of the game with runners in scoring position. I thought he was outstanding today.”

Hofstra Sophomore Outfielder Caryn Bailey

On hitting well in the postseason:
“In the second half of the season, coach and I have worked a lot on staying relaxed, keeping my head while I’m hitting, and just reverting back to kind of basic hitting mechanics and hitting approach. Recently I have kind of gotten ahead of it, I think I have anyway, and just the key is to stay relaxed. I’ve kind of found that groove where I know where to go when I start to lose it.”

Hofstra Junior Catcher Erin Trippi

On what she saw from Hofstra’s pitchers today:
“One thing that they really worked around the plate today. A lot of black. Trying to not keep the ball white. A few hiccups here and there, and I think the other team capitalized on that, but for the most part I think they did a very good job. Morgan (Lashley) really, really fought through. I guess we will have to see next.”

On how the team will prepare for the next game:
“Same way we always prepare. Every game is just as important as the last one. My mindset and everyone else’s mindset is it’s the same thing. Just go out there and play. Good things will happen. Just play as hard as you can, and that’s it. The rest we can’t control. We can’t control the score. We can just control how much effort we give.”



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