Cal-Kentucky Post-Game Quotes

May 22, 2010

Recap | Final Stats

COLUMBUS, Ohio - After the No. 11-seeded California softball team defeated Kentucky, 1-0, on Saturday afternoon, Cal head coach Diane Ninemire and various student-athletes were available to chat with the local media.

Head coach Diane Ninemire
Opening statement:
'It was a very good game. Valerie Arioto came up with a timely home run. I know we've got to get our bats going tomorrow no matter who we face. We have to be able to get more hits and produce more runs, so we're going to have to work on that between today and tomorrow.'

On the difference between Friday's nine hit outing and Saturday's two hitter:
'I thought we made good contact with the ball against Kentucky, but our hits just weren't going anywhere. Our speed wasn't getting on, which is a key component of our team. We've got to figure out how to get our speedy players on base tomorrow, and then we've got to get our power to drive them in. We need a more balanced attack. No matter if we're playing Bucknell, Kentucky or Ohio State tomorrow, we need to come out better offensively.'

On the team's presence on the field:
'I was proud of how we were able to hold onto the 1-0 lead. I think that really speaks volume to the character of our team. They didn't panic. On those days when you're not scoring lots of runs, it is great that we can play good defense behind our pitching. And also that our pitching can step up to the challenge no mater the situation is.'

On the pitching:
'I feel that having Jolene Henderson as a freshman, for her to pitch the way she did, is great for our team. For her to let a couple runners get on and then close out the game with a strikeout goes to show what kind of pitcher she is. She stayed composed out there for us today, and that really made a difference.'

On the team's defense:
'I thought our defense played really well overall. We have some less than ideal situations with the ground being very wet and kind of slow and playing through the rain. We know going into Regional play, weather is just a factor that we have to work through. We've talked about this before we ever came to Columbus - we may have delays but we had to stay focused and stay in the moment. I thought our team did a really good job of doing that.'

Junior first baseman Valerie Arioto
On her home run:
'I was just focused on being aggressive early in the count. We have good focus and momentum right now, so we are going to go out tomorrow with that same mindset.'

Sophomore outfielder Frani Echavarria
On her diving catch and the team's defense:
'Jolene had another great pitching performance, which motivates us to work hard behind her and make all our plays on defense. Our defense was pretty solid, and coach says one of the keys to winning championships is great defense.'

Freshman pitcher Jolene Henderson
On if there was a difference between Friday and Saturday's win:
'Today felt the same as yesterday for me. Both days, I have had great defense and hitting behind me. If the opposing team hit the ball, I knew the Cal defense would get the job done. I trust my team, and I know that I had 16 Bears strong behind me that will always come through.'

Freshman catcher Lindsey Ziegenhirt:
On Cal's overall performance:
'Kentucky's pitching was exactly the same level that we're expecting a postseason-caliber team to have. She moved locations well, but it only takes on mistake to give up a big hit. We were hitting the pitcher well, but it was always right to someone. Our team held the defense together really well today through all seven innings.'

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