May 29, 2014
COACH MOORE: Felt like we were sucker punched quick, and we didn't respond. It was more what we did to ourselves than what Florida did to us. I thought they played a great game and we played maybe the worst game that I've been a part of coaching, I think in four or five years. You just can't play that way at this level and have a chance to win. We made mistakes all over our lineup and offensively we had some balls knocked down early that kept us from getting anything going and any momentum going offensively. And we dug that three-run hole early on.
Whit has been phenomenal. This team knows I call it like I see it, whether they agree with it or not. We stunk it up out there. Whit, her velocity was down. She's an upper 60s pitcher and she's throwing below 65, and you have those days. Sometimes you're not going to throw as hard. She didn't have it today and our defense didn't back her up.
Had an opportunity to come out of the first inning and make a play on a clear double-play ball. We let some balls drop. You could write a book on the mistakes we made today, so that's the result whenever you play a game like we played.
Q. Whitney, it seemed like the first inning set the tone. Could you sense any tenseness? What was it like?
Whitney Canion: No, I thought this team was ready to play. We were focused. We came out, we warmed up good. I had a good bullpen in warm-ups. We hit good on the field over there. I didn't sense any tenseness or nervousness from this team. I thought we were ready to play. I thought they did a good job of swinging at strikes and didn't "fish.” I kept trying to get them to swing at rise balls and they weren't going to swing. I struggled there and getting them to swing at the pitches I wanted them to. We did hurt ourselves there but they did a great job, too. They just kept going at us. I thought that was what happened at the end.
Q. Glenn, you talked about obviously you guys didn't play well. That fact, does it give you hope for Saturday, knowing that you can play better?
COACH MOORE: Well, I certainly know this team can play better. This is a great team. I don't have a crystal ball to tell you what's going to take place on Saturday, but I have confidence in the intestinal fortitude of this team, and they'll come back and fight. That was embarrassing. Nobody wants to play well more than the kids in green out there. It's my job as a coach to point out mistakes and where we're not giving effort. I don't think this team went out there not to make plays. They went out there to play hard. But they didn't play hard.
What I have to find out as a coach is why they didn't play hard. Why we didn't get dirty for balls that Florida did and dive for balls over the line and get a little chalk on our uniform. I have to figure out what held our team back. Like Whit said, warm-ups, the whole week we have been bam, bam, bam; everything has been lining up. We practiced well, leading up to it. I thought this team was as prepared as any team I've brought to the World Series, with a better chance of winning than the two previous teams. But yet we played worse than any team, at least in the initial game.
We'll fight back, I have no doubt. It's a big test. We're not done. It's a double-elimination tournament. Whether you lose by 1 run or by 11, it's still a loss. One good thing about it is Whit didn't have to throw 169 pitches so she'll rest tomorrow and we will fight our way back through the losers’ bracket.
Q. Whitney, you get the day off tomorrow. Would you prefer to go back out there tomorrow or would you enjoy the day of rest?
Whitney Canion: We're going to practice as a team tomorrow so I will throw a little bit and work out the kinks. I had some pitches that sometimes they're swung at throughout the year. But like Coach said, I didn't throw a ton of pitches so that's going to hopefully prepare us for Saturday.
Q. Whit, how difficult is that as a pitcher when you're seeing the team struggle behind you and trying to get out of that first inning?
Whitney Canion: It's difficult and I don't feel like the team was freaking out about it. It wasn't like, “Oh, we're on this stage.” I don't think it had anything to do with it. I think we had a miscue and they hit a few balls hard, and one thing led to another. I wouldn't say that happened because of immaturity or anything. I think this team is experienced and knowledgeable of the game but that wasn't the result of our errors.
Q. Jordan, you guys hit some balls pretty hard early. Clare hit one to the fence, y'all had a couple that bounced off their pitcher. Was that a bit discouraging at all that those weren't hits? And can you talk about their pitcher, too? What was she doing?
Jordan Strickland: That's softball. You're going to hit the ball hard and that's their job. We're in the World Series and their job is to make defensive plays. As an offense we need to keep hitting those balls and keep hackin' at 'em. I thought we tried. They just kept making great plays. Hannah had a great game. She approached each batter with a specific plan and she nibbled around the zone. So I felt like us hitters, we didn't know what he was going to call and what we were going to swing at, but I felt like we did hit a lot of hard balls. We just have to make it happen next time.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you.
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