Post-Game Quotes - NCAA Softball Day One

May 21, 2010

NCAA Softball Regionals
Washington vs. North Dakota State

Head Coach Heather Tarr

On not breaking the game open
'I think in a situation like today, we weren't going to get out by what (North Dakota State) was going to do to us; we were only going to get ourselves out. And we probably did that a few too many times. That's the game. Unfortunately you can't break it open every game.'

On expecting Danielle's HR and complete-game shutout each time out'Not really. I think the thing is, we want to be tough 1-through-9 in the lineup. Whoever comes through, comes through. Obviously Danielle has had some big games for us in the playoffs, but what makes her great is that she knows she has a lot of people around her that make her really great. On any given day, it can be a new person.'

On being prepared
'The whole year has prepared us for this moment. And there's nothing you can do overnight that's going to miraculously uncover the answer. And I think they're prepared. We prepared all week for not just this team (NDSU), but for all the teams we'll face this tournament. And the season's prepared us for it.'

Was this a business as usual game?
'Yeah, I think it was a long week for us. And getting used to playing three days after you play, it keeps you going in a rhythm. And when (Danielle) gets into a rhythm, she's at her best. And when our offense gets into a rhythm, and our defense gets into a rhythm, you just kind of go and go and build. I'm so glad to get this game going, and now we know we get to play tomorrow.'

Danielle Lawrie

On her two-run HR
'It kind of felt like a pop-up. I ran through first and just was running as if it was a single, but I guess I got a good piece. It was high enough, anyways.'

On getting better as the game went on
'I think the last time we played a game was last Saturday, right? That's a long time. Today was good to iron out the kinks and get into that 'game mode' and get ready for tomorrow. I think that overall, yeah, I got better.'

On getting the early lead
'Obviously it's better when you can get some early runs, but I don't think I pitch better (with the lead). I just try to stay consistent. I try to limit the walks and keep people off base and stay consistent with that. If you can keep people off base, you're going to be successful.'

On her command
'Not at the beginning of the game, but the more the game went on. I haven't faced that many lefties in a while, and sometimes when you haven't faced them you can get behind. I think the first couple innings I was behind, but then I started going to different pitches and getting connected with (catcher) Shawna (Wright). Getting ahead is extremely important.'

On playing at home in the postseason
'I like throwing off our mound and having my family here and Seattle here. That's one of the coolest things. If anything, it was sitting around getting anxious because you don't have that travel day. But, like I said to a lot of people, I would take being home over 1 seed, 2 seed. That's not important.'

On being the No. 3 seed
'I dig it. We were No. 3 last year.'

Shortstop Jenn Salling

On feeling pressure
'I wouldn't say pressure. I think Danielle hit the nail on the head that we were ironing out the kinks. We haven't played in a few days. I think our team handles pressure pretty well, but we also do a good job of staying in our inner circle and focusing on us and our process and what we do. Pressure is not really that much of a distraction for us.'

On going up against the UNC pitcher?
'I think the word that stands out to me is preparation - watching video, studying what she does and seeing the pitches that she throws. I think if we do that, we'll be fine. She's a good pitcher, but we'll be ready to go.'

North Dakota State
Head Coach Danny Mueller

Opening Statement
'Obviously, (Washington) is a very strong team. When you play the No. 1 team in the country, obviously you're looking to get a key hit or something, and that didn't happen for us today.'

Approach for Danielle Lawrie
'I thought we started out in the first inning well. In the first four innings, we had a good inning and a bad inning. We made some adjustments as she started throwing her little drop change at the end, but I was happy that in the first inning that we came out right away. We prepared for her velocity more than her offspeed, just because she has so many pitches. I was happy (about our approach), but overall I thought we could do a better job.'

Is this a moral victory?
'You know, it is a little bit. But we've had so many of these games in the past that we kind of just believe that we should win every game that we play, even if it's the No. 1 team in the country. We don't want to back down and we're not scared of anybody, but yeah to play with them in a close game, there were some things I was happy about, but we really thought we'd come in here and shock the world again. That's kind of what our motto is.'

On Lawrie throwing first-pitch strikes
'It's not bad. We were trying to be aggressive and go after those pitches, but she has such good command on both sides of the plate. She throws so many different pitches, that's what makes her a top pitcher.'

Second Baseman Laurel Pipkin

How tough was it to face Lawrie?
'You have to respect her as a better. She's a great pitcher, obviously, and the best thing to do as a batter is to stay within yourself and stay with your mechanics. Kind of be prepared for what she was going to bring to us and go from there.'

What makes her so difficult to face?
'I think her offspeed pitch is awesome. She can really throw you off with that. And she has great movement on her ball, so she just kind of keeps you moving and off-balance. That's what makes her a good pitcher; her off-speed got a lot of our batters today.'

On drawing the Seattle regional and facing UW
'I think we were excited, knowing that we get to go up against a good team and knowing that we got put into this bracket. It's kind of like, okay, `we're ready to bring it.' We said let's get prepared and do everything we can to beat Washington and win this whole bracket.'

How does Lawrie compare to other pitchers?'She's probably one of the best pitchers I've seen, just because of her movement. And I guess this year we haven't got to face great pitchers like Lawrie as we have before in the past. So it's a bit of a struggle to go from pitchers we faced recently to her, but we're lucky enough to have a good pitching staff that can throw at us and get us prepared.'

Starting pitcher Whitney Johnson

On limiting Washington to three runs
'I think just hitting the spot that was called and keeping the ball moving.'

What was the pitch that Danielle hit for a two-run HR
'I think it was a little flat and she just got on top of it.'

On holding UW to six hits
'I think I could have done a better job of hitting my spots and keeping them off-balance more, but now I definitely know what to expect when we face them again.'

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