Quotes from the Tempe Softball Super Regional

May 25, 2006

TEMPE, Ariz. - Opening Statement, Florida State Head Coach JoAnne Graf: 'We're extremely honored to be here in Tempe still competing especially against such a great team. I think it speaks volumes about both teams that they are still competing so deep into the tournament in how good both teams are. We're happy to be here and they've [ASU] been great to us and we look forward to a couple good games.'

On who will pitch for FSU: 'I'll probably go with Tiffany [McDonald]. We had a talk about it but she been our go-to person all year and done an exceptional job and obviously her arm is a good reason as to why we're here. She's really shouldered a lot of the burden for this year's pitching squad. She has taken us on her back and gotten us to this point.

On working in the past with Coach Myers: 'He's done a great job in junior college and he'll do a great job for ASU and I think it will be a great contest against two great teams.'

On the heat and weather conditions: 'I don't think the heat will be a factor, they are slightly different types of heat, but we're encouraging the girls to drink a lot of water and I don't think it will be too much of a factor for us.'

On meeting Arizona State earlier this season: Tiffany McDonald:'We played them earlier this year in a tournament that I feel doesn't really show how the teams are going to play by the end of the year. We beat ASU, but both teams have changed, our offense is a lot better now, we can't go into this series thinking we're going to take it all.

Graf: 'The game was a tie-breaker too, so I don't think it was indicitive of the talent on either team, I think what it really showed was how evenly matched we are.'

On the postseason: Natasha Jacob: 'I think there was a point in time where we did go into a kind of slide and didn't know if we'd come back in time, but I feel like now we're clicking at the right time and are in the right place as a team.'

On last weekend's Regional against Georgia: Natasha Jacob: 'Georgia was without a doubt a good team and that was a battle and a challenge for us, especially on their home field and we're going to face that here at Arizona State. Georgia was a great team and ASU is a great team so we need to be mentally prepared for that.'

On FSU's current success: Graf: 'One thing is that we're all healthy, we've battled injuries all year and then we had some new people: pitchers, short stop, third basemen and we've had battles for starting positions, so those evolved a lot and we've finally settled down in the last part of the season. I think now we're finally gelling and going together.'

On preparing for the College World Series: We're not taking that step yet, we're focusing on one team at this time and I'm sure they [ASU] are as well. We're excited about the opportunity to get there, but we need to get past this step first they stand in our way and we stand in theirs so we need our focus here.'

 

Opening Statements from Arizona State Head Coach, Clint Myers: 'We're just happy to be here, especially at home at Farrington with our fans and family here to watch us. We have a great competitor in Florida State ahead of us who we absolutely cannot underestimate because right now only 16 teams are still playing, and those 16 are all great teams. I've known JoAnne [Graf] for a long time now and she's a great coach who knows the game and how to get the best out of her players. We're happy her team are here and hope to see some great softball this weekend.

On her success in her first season in the Pac-10: Kaitlin Cochran: Definitely the due to the coaching staff and the support of the team, the drills we run, every little thing we've done have helped us along. I never in a million years expected to have a season like this.'

On playing Florida State earlier this year: Cochran: 'It helps because we've seen them a little bit and know what to expect. I think we can definitely play with them and we had a good game last time, but we're a much better team now and more prepared than we were before.'

Katie Burkhart: 'They have one lefty who I know has some power and strength, but they have bats that I need to be ready for. I've worked to come up with a game plan to come at them with, but I also know they have some big bats in the line-up that I'll face.'

The importance of home field advantage: Burkhart: 'It's great because you have your fans and your family behind you, and we're acclimated to the heat and the stadium so we feel more comfortable here.'

On the difference of the two teams from the beginning of the season: Coach Myers: 'I don't think the really is a difference. The difference is we are both 30 games more experienced, we know our team better. The last game went 10 innings and was decided on an error, so it was pretty even. I think we're 30 games better, and we're coming off a winning season in the Pac-10 and I think we're confident and playing good softball. Our preparation has been much better.'

On his first season: Coach Myers: 'It has been outstanding, it has been awesome and I've loved every minute of it. It's the best job in the world.'

 

The Tempe Super Regional will kick-off tomorrow with Game 1 of ASU vs. FSU at Farrington Stadium at 4 p.m. The game will also be aired on CSTV.

 

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