May 25, 2013
Michigan Head Coach Carol Hutchins
On winning the Super Regional ... "I'm so proud of my kids and their effort today. Sometimes losing that game two is tough; they had 24 hours to adjust, and we had 30 minutes. With that said, I have to say Jordan Wallace and that team is as tough a team as you ever play. We're fortunate to come out of here with a win. I couldn't be more pleased; I thought our team just hung in and hung in, and we tried to keep them up. They got down a few times, and we just said, 'No, we're gonna win. We're gonna win.' Ashley (Lane) came up big, and I thought Sara came up real big; she was a last-minute add as you may or may not have realized, but she did a fantastic job, and I'm really proud of her. I'm most proud of my senior class; they told me all year that they were going to go to Oklahoma, and they were determined. Determination is pretty important, so I'm excited for them, and I'm proud of them, and I love them."
On Sara Driesenga's development as a pitcher ... "All along I think Sara's twice the pitcher she was last year, and the one thing you have to experience is experience. She got a lot of experience this year, and it made her better. She's had great moments, and she's had tough moments, but you don't get better without tough moments, and she had a tough moment in game two today. In game three, she got better."
On Ashley Lane's go-ahead hit ... "I think Ashley showed yesterday it doesn't matter what do, only what you're doing right now. She went up there, and she had a great look, and I knew she was going to have a great at-bat. Ashley's been getting it done for us all year. She's a great player and a great hitter. Her having confidence was the most important thing in my mind in her at-bat, and she had it."
On her program and its sustained success ... "It says a lot about the University of Michigan and what we're capable here. It's what we aspire to; it's what we work hard for. We have one of the greatest support systems in the country as our university supports us to win a national championship. We try to bring players in here that believe in the system, that believe in Michigan and believe in the team and over the years we've had great success because we have great people in the program. It starts with my coaching staff. One of the toughest people in the ballpark today was Jen Brundage; I mean she calls all those pitches. It's all the people in the organization, and we have kids that represent this university always with class and style, and they play hard. We don't always make it, we don't always get what we want, but we bring kids here, and they believe in Michigan."
On whether Haylie Wagner will be available in the WCWS ... "I hope so. I don't know, she kind of pulled a scap muscle or something about a minute before the game. We'd already put the lineup in, so then the dilemma was that Sara wasn't in the lineup at that time. I had (Jaclyn) Crummey in the DP spot, but I needed to put Sara in the hitting lineup because I didn't know at that time I wasn't going to have Haylie back, and I didn't know if I was going to need her. It burned Crummey on top of it, so next time we get hurt we need to do it a little sooner. That was quite a finagling at the end. Sara came in and apparently she doesn't need much notice to pitch, so we're good."
On when the injury to Wagner occurred ... "In between games. She said it bothered her a little the first game."
On why Driesenga was put in for Wagner in game one after what appeared to be her strongest inning ... "Well, we went in with our game plan, and they're obviously a very potent team. Haylie throws into their strengths and that part of the order, starting with their two-hitter had hit her hard the first time around, and we felt that what we'd try to do was change it up every time through the order because we after we brought Sara in we could come back with Haylie, and then we could re-enter Sara again because she never comes out of the lineup. But it didn't work, it didn't work, and we make a lot of decisions; as the head coach I live with all of them. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don't."
On the satisfaction of making it back to the WCWS ... "It couldn't be more exciting for this team. This is Team 36, and I'm all about that. It's not about the past, and it's not about the future. I'm excited for these kids now."
U-M Sophomore Pitcher Sara Driesenga
On how long before the game she knew she would pitch ... "A few minutes. But we both warm up before every game, so we're both ready to go no matter what, ready to pick each other up."
On her pregame discussion with Jen Brundage ... "She had complete confidence in me, confidence that I could do it and go out there and turn it around and forget about what had happened previously, whether it was yesterday or today. No regrets, just leave it all out on the field."
On whether she did (leave it all out on the field) ... "Yes. I think we all did."
On her strikeouts being more plentiful than in game two ... "I just went up there, no fear, just going for it because that's all I could do, and I had nothing to lose, so I just went for it. Yeah, my pitches had a little more movement than the rest of the weekend, but that's just with my mindset."
On her energy after getting run support ... "That was huge, that was a game-changer, but the way the defense and everything was going, that was all we needed. We were determined to make that that and that was it."
On her mindset after recent struggles ... "I just had to forget about it. I didn't have a choice not to forget about it; I had to do it for the team. We weren't sure if Haylie was going to be ready or not so I had no choice. I had to go right at them and keep us in the game."
On her mentality when (Sarah) Draheim came up with the bases loaded ... "I just went with the same approach, again, just like I had been doing the entire game and went right at her. No fear. If I didn't put it all out there then there would be no risk, and we'd have no success either."
On the pressure to match Wallace's performance and whether she thinks she gets better in pressure situations ... "I think I go out there with the same approach like I did with the second game today. I don't focus on the other pitcher or the other team; I just focus on us and what we can do in order to win."
U-M Senior Infielder Ashley Lane
On how difficult it was to make big hits after errors, strikeouts, etc ... "Yeah, I make it a little tough on myself, that's for sure. But that hit wouldn't mean anything if Romo (Sierra Romero) didn't do her job and Caitlin (Blanchard) didn't do her job, you know? Every base counts, and I'm thankful that they were on base and that was, what, my third situation with two outs and runners in scoring position? Something good was bound to happen, so I'm pumped. I'm so excited, I can't even express; I'm stumbling right now. I'm just happy I could do that for my team."
On focusing on big picture while keeping it small ... "Obviously that goal is in the back of your head no matter what, but since day one she's (Coach Hutchins) pounded in our heads: one pitch, one game, we're always focusing on that one game because without that one game it doesn't matter what you do. It wasn't that hard honestly, because she'd been saying it since day one."
On whether or not they discussed the importance of today last night ... "Of course. Because this is the day. This is the day we got it done, we won, so, of course."