NCAA Regional: Texas A&M Quotes

Athletics Communications
By Athletics Communications
University of Oklahoma
MAY 15, 2014

NCAA Regional
Texas A&M Quotes
May 15, 2014

Head Coach Jo Evans

Opening Statement:
“We are excited to be here. It is a familiar place for us. We were just here a year ago and are very familiar with Norman, Okla., in all the years having been here. We are excited to be a part of this regional and really excited to get to play Hofstra, an opponent we have never played before and a program we have a lot of respect for. It’s a great regional and a lot of fun to be back.”

On playing in the Southeastern Conference:
“We always feel like if you can make it through the grind of the SEC, you are not going to play anybody better than the teams you already played. I think the SEC is a great opportunity for us to be prepared for postseason. We just know that we won’t play any teams that are more competitive or deeper or stronger of faster that we’ve already seen. We understand how challenging our conference is, so we are prepared for similar-type opponents outside of our conference.”

On how the team will approach the Hofstra pitchers:
“We know we are going to have to have great discipline. We know that they can move the ball well. We are going to have to be patient, see pitches in the zone and really get a feel because we haven’t seen them. We’ve seen them on film but not had the opportunity to hit against them. I am excited about our offensive lineup. It’s a potent lineup and one that can really catch fire. It’s going to be fun. When you see pitchers you haven’t seen before, it’s always a little tricky possibly in the beginning to get your timing and rhythm, but I think our kids are really prepared and have worked hard for this moment.”

On if she thought the team would not get into a regional:
“Never in a moment have I ever worried that we’re not going to be playing postseason. We were 22 in the RPI. We had no losses to teams 43 and lower. Most of the teams that are in the top 16 seeds have lost to teams lower in the RPI than we have. We understand that we have losses against some really great teams. We are not happy with our finish in the SEC and our losses to Tennessee and Missouri and Georgia and Florida and all of those teams are top 16 seeds. For us, we have good perspective knowing that we have played a great schedule, we have competed well, we’ve got 35 wins under our belt. For us, it was just a matter of where were we going to go? We knew we had a possibility of playing in Waco and Norman and Lafayette, and we are excited to be in Norman.”

On facing Hofstra coach Bill Edwards:
“As soon as I saw Hofstra, you can’t think of Hofstra without Bill Edwards and the Hall of Fame coach he is. He’s legendary in our game. He’s in our NFCA Coaches Hall of Fame, which is the greatest honor you can achieve as a coach in our game. I know he runs a really disciplined program. I know that they’re great year in and year out. He’s set himself apart in a region that’s not exactly easy to play softball in terms of weather and conditions that they’re up against. And for him to put out the product that he puts out year in and year out says everything about him and the support he gets at Hofstra. He is Hofstra softball, Bill Edwards. He’s one of our class-act coaches in our game, and I have a lot of respect for him. When I coached at Utah, we had the opportunity to play Hofstra. I, at the time, didn’t know anything about Hofstra or Bill Edwards, and I learned in an instant the impact he has on that program and how aggressive, how competitive, how disciplined, how well coached Hofstra is. You get the same thing year in and year out. The players’ faces change, but you get the exact same product from the Hofstra program, and that happens because of Bill Edwards.”

Senior Outfielder Cassie Tysarcyzk
On if the team was worried it would not be selected to a regional:
“We weren’t nervous that we would not get an at-large bid. We were pretty confident in how we played in the SEC. We were only swept twice, but we beat some really good teams. We beat Tennessee, we beat Georgia and we beat Missouri two out of three (games). All of those teams are top-10 teams in RPI, I’m pretty sure. We weren’t sweating it out. We were more excited to see where we would end up because we really didn’t have any clue. We could have been at ULL or Baylor, but honestly, we are really happy to be here in Norman.”

On having fresh start in the NCAA Tournament:
“It’s great. That was our whole mentality practicing these past two weeks. Coach has been telling us, ‘This is a clean slate. You have a new batting average. You have a new ERA.’ We are kind of ready to start rewriting our story right now.”

On playing a team Texas A&M has never faced:
“I think it’s really nice to play a new team coming into this regional because the SEC, like Coach said, it’s very much a grind. You’re playing the best of the best day in and day out every weekend. It’s going to be really refreshing to see some different people in the lineup and out on the field against us, so we are really comfortable going into this weekend.”



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