Oklahoma finds themselves with their backs against the wall once again in OKC. Dropping the opener to the championship series by a final score of 8-4, the Sooners must win the next two over Florida State in order to clinch the national championship. Here’s what Patty Gasso, Mackenzie Donihoo, and Nicole Mendes had to say after Tuesday night’s loss.
Take advantage of the first three innings. I felt us on them. I felt them pressing. And I felt the momentum in our favor but we just took too long to respond. But I think this team whenever we lose we don’t lose again. And I think we’re ready.Nicole Mendes on what the Sooners have to do different on Wednesday and Thursday
I don’t think that we were quite ready the first three innings and those first three innings are really important, but tomorrow it’s a whole new game. First few innings we’re going to come out and flip the switch.Mackenzie Donihoo on what was different Tuesday night from the elimination games
You can’t wait. You can’t sit back and wait. And when you’re on a stage like this, you just gotta play well. You gotta pitch well. You gotta hit well. You gotta do a lot of things well.
We didn’t do much of that very well. We had signs of it. We were creating a little bit of momentum. But the beauty of this series is that you have another day, and we learned again kind of reminded me a little bit of what happened to us as we started this tournament. We just wasted time, not quite ready, not very loose in the way of swinging. Now, not taking away anything from Florida State. They just stuck it to us, bottom line.
I mean, they were good tonight. Everything they did was solid. Defense was pretty solid. Pitching, very good. Their offense, just absolutely was on point with about everything they did. Aggressive base running. We’ve got to make plays. We didn’t make plays. We didn’t have timely hits when we needed them.Patty Gasso on what they learned from the elimination games that can help them on Wednesday
I think it’s just confidence in knowing what we can do at the plate and knowing that whenever we attack, I don’t think we over-press. I think whenever we come out hot, we come out hot. And we’re in control of our swings. We’re in control of the pace of the game. So I think that’s really important.Mendes on not pressing themselves in the next game
I made a horrific call. And I own that. I should not have send Tiare. I just really in my mind was wanting to push the envelope to create momentum.
What I didn’t do a good job of was knowing who was coming up, two hitters up. I don’t know. I wear that. I already apologized to the team. And that was a bad call by me.Gasso on the decision to send Tiare Jennings to home in the seventh
I think it’s all in the first three. I think if we come out in the first three, our offense definitely gets a lot more looks in the lineup. And getting a second go-around in the lineup with the first three is a lot more helpful than waiting for the fourth inning. So I think that’s kind of our mindset is make sure we get base runners on, score early, score often.Mendes on the slow offensive starts
It hurt us. That call hurt us. And all I can say is that I wish that rule was looked at a little bit differently because there’s a lot of ways that you can look at it. And I guess I’ll just leave it right there at that.
I’m sorry that the young lady got hurt. That’s not the intention whatsoever. But I just am going to leave it right there. It’s a tough rule. It’s a tough, tough rule for all teams who are trying to be aggressive and umpires are trying to do the right thing.
It’s something that is tough. And you just hate the fact that it’s at home plate because it’s going to lead to a run or cost a run, one way or the other. So it was a tough play.Gasso on the obstruction call in the top of the seventh
I choose this team no matter what. This team is one of the most talented teams that I’ve ever been a part of. And we know how to fight. So I think tomorrow whenever we come out, it’s not just our backs are against the wall, it’s I know who is on my team. I know who is in my lineup. I know who can come in and pinch-hit. And I know who is in our bullpen.
And I see that and I’m, like, this is the team I want to go with. This is the team that can do it. So that’s what I see whenever I think of tomorrow. And that’s why I feel like we won’t be pressing. We’ll be determined but we won’t be pressing. We’ll be ready.Mendes on playing with their backs against the wall
I think probably just relax a little bit. Trust what we’re doing some. You can see that sometimes hitters are trying to do too much. I just — at one time Grace Green was at home plate as the tying run. So do we want a faster start? Sure we do. Is it that easy? Not really. Good teams and good pitchers that we’re facing. So it’s not like you can — I don’t know any team that comes out and just scores six runs in the first three innings. This is the World Series. You would expect that pitchers don’t allow that as much.
So I trust this team. They fight. They’re fighters. But we did not play well enough to win. And that gives credit to Florida State. They did. We did not. But we also understand that — I just think failure is not something that we believe in. I mean, we’ve got to keep fighting. It’s not like, oh, we failed. We fought. We fought when we needed to. It just wasn’t set up for us tonight. And that happens. But I believe that you’ll see a new team tomorrow with a new approach. And I’m looking forward to it.Gasso on what they need to do in order to get off to a better start offensively
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