Oklahoma survived Elimination Saturday which was no small feat. After run-ruling Georgia to start the day, the 2nd-seeded UCLA was waiting the Battle of the Titans that we thought we would have seen in the championship round. Here’s what Patty Gasso and a few of the players had to say after the Sooners eliminated the Bruins.
I just wanted to have Nicole May’s back. I went out there and that’s what I told her is “I’m going to have your back.” And I think the team was just going to have her back. I took it one pitch at a time. My team came back and answered. So I think just like knowing that they are answering, so I’ve got to answer for them, as well, and just having their back throughout the entire game.G Juarez on what was going through her mind as she took over pitching for Nicole May
Our plan against Garcia was mostly to trust our training. We went out there and a lot of times when we struggle, it’s only when everyone is trying to hit home runs every single at-bat, and we get out of our game plan. But today we weren’t trying to do too much. We were trying to stick to our game plan, stay on top of the ball and take good hacks.Kinzie Hansen on the game plan against Rachel Garcia
She’s been waiting. She’s been throwing really well and feeling really good. She’s been waiting for this moment, a little bit of redemption. I know her season in 2019 ended with a couple tough outings against UCLA, so this was, I think, something a little personal to her, as well.Patty Gasso on the day that G Juarez had
One game at a time. That’s our message after Thursday. It’s one game at a time for us. It’s survival of the fittest and we’ve got to do what we’ve got to do to win. And we fell behind and it was no-quite attitude. We’re here and we’re putting our head down and doing what it takes to win.Hansen on the team’s mentality after falling behind 3-0 in the top of the 3rd.
You could feel UCLA — they are a great-hitting team all the way through. You could feel that they were scoring the ball really well early in the game. So we needed some kind of relief, some kind of momentum just in the way of a stop, and I don’t know, it just brought a little bit of hope, like we are still in the game.
We certainly couldn’t give up much more than three early in the game, but we know that, you know, we can catch up when we are within that kind of range with somebody. So Giselle coming in and getting us back in the dugout really changed the whole dynamic, momentum, the approach that the team had going forward.Gasso on the momentum swing of putting Juarez in the game in the third inning
Absolutely, she’s my roommate and I’m so proud of her and all the work she’s put in. You don’t see a lot of girls that size hitting monster bombs three times a day, you know what I mean. So my heart is super proud of her and I’m just so happy for her, and, yeah.Hansen on Mackenzie Donihoo’s 3 HR day
I think just understanding that you’ve got to fight. You’ve got to do what it takes. I think something that we’ve done a really good job of like incorporating is just one moment at a time and sticking together. And I think there’s a part in that movie, I believe, where they like get back-to-back, and it’s hard to like break them up and whatnot.
And that’s what we are doing right now is we are standing back-to-back, protecting each other and we are all around each other and we have each other’s backs and just going after it and trusting that we have each other.Juarez on the movie “Gladiator” being their theme for the season
You know, we have worked really hard all season. We knew what our legs and our bodies would feel like. We used to talk about it all the time. So I think that when you get to this point, your legs are heavy but just adrenaline takes you through this. You can’t have any excuses when you go into — you know, if you’re in the Final Four. We’re in the Final Four. We’ve got to beat a very good team, twice. So we’ve got to put everything we have out on the field tomorrow. They will be ready for it.
I think they know what’s at stake. They know it will allow them to almost start the tournament all over if we can get through these two games, it’s like a new beginning where it’s like 0-0, you start all over with whoever it is that you’re playing.
But the matchups that we have tomorrow are going to be a big challenge, and this team, they are going to sleep some, but they are going to be really excited to get back on the field. Really, they had a blast tonight. You could see it throughout. You could see it. It was fun to watch them. It was fun to coach them tonight.Gasso on being fresh for Sunday
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