May 24, 2013
Michigan Head Coach Carol Hutchins
On the win in walk-off fashion ... "Exciting softball today. Great effort by both teams. Louisiana Lafayette is such a dangerous team as they showed, and it's a great example of how this game isn't over until it's over. Nerissa Myers, we had two strikes on her, and she found a way to get on base. Brianna Cherry, we had two strikes on her, and she managed to hit it over the fence. I give my team credit, Haylie Wagner credit, for coming in and holding them, which was so important when they got it going again. My team, I told them, 'we need to have base runners,' and we hung tough and took advantage of a pitch we could hit. Ashley Lane hadn't done much the whole game; she did not have her best game, but it doesn't matter because you put it in the past in softball. I couldn't be prouder of my kids for hanging in; that's a great win for us."
On the range of emotions this game ... "I'd say there was a wide variety in my emotions at that point, absolutely. The thing is you can't get too high. As I said, nothing's decided today. You can get too high, and tomorrow we need to be ready to fight."
On whether or not she was sure she would see her team fight late in the game... "I've seen them fight all year. I thought we gave away a lot during the middle of the game. We gave away a lot of at-bats, we allowed Jordan Wallace to get in our heads. Her change-up started fooling us a bit, and I think our kids were guessing instead of seeing the ball and hitting it. But I know they'll fight; I knew we would definitely make a run for it. Whether we'd pull it out or not, you never know, but I knew we'd fight."
On when she knew to take Sara (Driesenga) out ... "It is a tough call because I don't know the future, but I didn't feel that she had it. I thought it was getting away from her, and we needed to hold them. We couldn't afford to give up another run, and they had the two lefties coming up, the slappers, and it was the time to bring in Haylie, and to her credit she did a fantastic job."
On the importance of Nicole Sappingfield's play in rightfield over the wall ... "Best play I've ever seen her make. Best play ever. That was fantastic, knocking that ball down was huge."
On how big a momentum swing came in the first inning ... "Again, momentum or not we need to make plays, and you saw it last weekend with this team, and you saw it today, how many plays that hit one person, and we knocked it to someone else, and we got an out with two assists. We needed to play defense, and behind Sara this team has played great defense. It's a long game and being ahead by two runs clearly is not enough."
On how the new Super Regional round changes the road to OKC ... "It's very hard to get to Oklahoma. It's very hard. I think it's a great addition. It's fantastic softball; it's made everybody in the country better, and you have to play your best. The team that plays the best gets to go on."
U-M Senior Infielder Ashley Lane
On her game-winning at-bat ... "Like Hutch said, I struggled my first three at-bats; I wasn't getting hits, and I was guessing, so I talked to her before my at-bat and just relaxed. She just said 'she's been throwing at you mostly on the outside part of the plate, so expect that but just see the ball, hit the ball. You know how to do it, 'you know, trust.' I just cleared my head and did my best to see the ball."
On whether the dropped foul ball gave her second life ... "I gave a little fist pump; I was pumped because that's a legitimate second life right there. I was definitely going to let that one get by."
On the home run trot ... "It's a little surreal. I don't really quite remember it; I had a lot of emotions going through my head like 'finally!' Our team hung in there, and we played a great game. A few low moments, but we hung in there and kept fighting, and I think that's what I was just so excited about was that we came through, we won today."
U-M Freshman Outfielder Sierra Lawrence
On her catch and throw from leftfield early ... "I was expecting the ball to come out there, and I knew that if it went in the air I had to get behind it and throw it home. It was a big play for my pitcher, and I needed to help her out."