NCAA Regional: Game 2
Oklahoma vs. Bryant
May 16, 2014

Oklahoma Head Coach Patty Gasso

Opening statement:
“I’m very pleased with the way we came out in the first inning and scored right out of the box. That’s one thing that was our goal was to start fast, and I think that we did that. We had a little bump in the road there in the second, and Bryant did a good job of taking advantage of it big time. But what I love about this team is that they know how to answer, and they did that in a big way and opened up the game in a big way and we just kept going. Everyone throughout the lineup, if you look throughout our entire lineup everybody contributed with at least one hit. What a great way to go into tomorrow feeling prepared for that. I love the way they competed, and I thought the offense was just really strong tonight.”

On her team’s response to being down:
“They’ve been doing it all year long and it’s one reason why I enjoy them so much. It’s just this prideful thing that they have going on and I think it happens early in the game and they’re like, okay this is nothing, to them. They’re thinking we have a few innings to come back and I don’t even know how to explain it. They just know how to respond, and they just make things happen. A lot of this is attributed to the experience that they’ve had in the post season. All of these athletes are pretty well versed in what it’s like to play in these kinds of games and what it takes. I think that has a lot to do with it.”

On playing without Lauren Chamberlain in the lineup:
“I think it’s extremely helpful that we’ve learned how to play without her. It’s taking a big piece of your offense out. I think if this just happened all of a sudden there might be a whole different feeling and I don’t want to say panic, but it would be different. I think it’s really readied us. Destinee Martinez in the leadoff spot, that’s what it’s all about. These guys know how to answer and step up. You look at your one, two, three and four and five, and they all just absolutely blasted tonight. They hit the ball hard. But then they roll over the lineup to bring it back to the top. Our sevens, eights and nines are still doing things to get on. Jessica Vest, I put her in right field for the first time in her life. She’s never played there, and I put her there in a regional game. Not only does she make plays, but she comes up even when I haven’t had her in the lineup much. She comes up and gets her job done. These guys just want to play to win and play for each other, and it’s just a very united group, and when they’re united they’re very tough to beat.”

On Lauren Chamberlain’s status:
“I’m more than hopeful that she will be playing tomorrow. In other words, you can probably expect to see her play tomorrow.”

On Kelsey Stevens’ performance:
“I think that she was a little jittery tonight, and that’s expected. This is a new experience for her in our program, and she doesn’t want to disappoint. I’ve seen this from quite a few athletes. Shelby (Pendley) went through it last year and we’ve had a few that understand our expectations and they want to be so great, but she doesn’t need to change one thing that she’s been doing, and the good thing is that we got it out of the way. She’ll come out absolutely fighting and ready to go tomorrow, so it’s good to get that out of the way.”

On Kelsey Stevens being able to rely on her offense:
“Any pitcher that sees, I just gave up four and you gave me eight, if they don’t walk out there and get it down then your offense should probably corner you in the dugout or something. I think, too, the fact that Shelby (Pendley) came in and just quietly did her thing and get her outs was enough for her to say, okay, I get this. I got this. I’m looking forward to seeing her compete and be a little more of herself tomorrow.

Oklahoma Sophomore Whitney Ellis

On responding to the runs scored in the second inning:
“We’ve had people score on us, and we’re just thinking come back, get out of this inning and answer. There’s nothing to it, we’re just go back, get in the dugout, go out and get it done.”

Oklahoma Senior Brittney Williams

On responding after being down:
“We felt pretty confident. We knew we had Kelsey’s (Stevens) back all the way, so Kelsey gets the job done on the mound and we do the job with our bats.”

Oklahoma Junior Shelby Pendley

On the pitch she hit out:
“It was kind of up and away. She had been staying outside on almost every pitch so I was thinking away. It was up a little bit, but I just saw it well.”

On being able to create offense without Lauren Chamberlain:
“She was out for a little while, so it wasn’t anything different. We knew we could do it without her, and it’s nice to have her in the lineup but we knew we could handle it without her.”

Bryant Head Coach Shayne Lotito

Opening statement:
“I’m proud of the way the girls fought. They definitely did not give up. All in all, we had an okay start.”

On her team’s performance:
“I told them I was proud of them. I had told them to just come out and attack their pitches and that’s what they were doing. It was good to see our offense come out swinging. I knew that they were going to fight back. I was not expecting them not to. We just had to keep swinging like that and hopefully give ourselves a chance on defense.”

On what the team can take from this game:
“This is their first time here. So aside from having to play the defending national champions, they got a chance to see that they can play at that level. They are not there yet, but they have potential. They have an opportunity in front of them. I think it did give them a little bit of, ‘okay, we’re here and we did okay’—probably better than they expected—and so going forward I know that they will come out fighting a little harder and expecting a little more from the team.”

On pitcher Ellie Madsen and how she will handle the loss:
“Like Kendall (Corder) said, she bounces back quickly. If I know her, she doesn’t like to lose, she will come out on fire.”

On if she has been hit hard this season:
“Once. Actually, the first weekend out she was hit pretty hard. The whole pitching staff was. Then she started doing much better and there were only one or two games where she was a little flat and she got hit hard. Other than that she will come back the very next game against the very same team and shut them down. Hopefully she will do the same thing tomorrow.”

Bryant Senior Kendall Corder

On her second inning grand slam:
“I got an inside pitch so it was probably a screwball. It gave us a little energy but then that next inning flattened us out. It was definitely a good accomplishment for Bryant Softball, to get runs up against the defending national champions.”

On pitcher Ellie Madsen bouncing back for tomorrow’s game:
“She bounces back really well. Today was definitely rough but tomorrow she’ll come out ready to throw against Hofstra.”