NCAA Softball Tuscaloosa Super Regional Press Conference Quotes

May 23, 2012

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -

Alabama

Head Coach Patrick Murphy
Opening Statement:
"It's awfully exciting this time of year. We are at the light at the end of the tunnel. I know we have a very tough opponent in Michigan. It's always fun to play Coach Hutchins and her team. We love their coaching staff. We have great respect for them and what they've done in the Big Ten. They've done something that no one else east of the Mississippi River has done. They've won a national championship. I think all schools east of the Mississippi look up to them, especially in the cold weather climate. What they've accomplished in softball is tremendous. I think it's going to be a great series. I hope we have a ton of fans. The Thursday night game is always fun. I remember last year it was a huge crowd. It should be some really good softball."

On Michigan only getting to play 15 home games:
"Weather wise, it's got to be a nightmare. I know they don't get outside until late March. They come back from spring break and they finally get to go outside. I know they go to at least six tournaments on the road. You are leaving every Thursday and coming back every Sunday night late. They are major league baseball players for the first six weeks of the season. I'm sure they have travel issues like we did when we went to Oregon. I know it's a tough situation, but you can't do much about weather. We are lucky we are in the south and we get to be outside almost the entire spring."

On having a good relationship with Michigan and Coach Hutchins:
"She's very classy, honest and open when I ask questions. I trust her. If I have questions about off the field stuff, on the field, contracts, salaries, assistant coach salaries or anything like that, she's one of the first people I will call. I know she's going to be honest with me. In coaching, it's a fine line because there's not really a lot of people you can talk to which is unfortunate. She's one of them I do trust. She's been through everything. She's done it for years and years. I think she is a good person."

#7, Jennifer Fenton, OF
On being able to still play at home this late in the season:   
"It's very nice. We get to play on our field and we know everything about it. We get to play for our fans. We get to stay in our own rooms and beds and we don't have to worry about traveling and staying at hotels. It's very nice playing at home."

On what makes this team different:       
"This team just has a special chemistry. We really love playing with and for each other. No one has any intent for doing it for themselves. We do it as a team. It's just for the whole team, playing for our fans and playing for something much bigger than ourselves. We just have fun together. We like playing the game we love. We love playing softball and playing it together."

On this senior class:
"During my freshman year, we became one. We each lead in different ways and that's what makes us special. For me, it's the outfielders. I am able to lead them in a certain way. My freshman year, we came together and we called ourselves the caravan because we rode everywhere together. We were always together. Coach Murphy said from the beginning that we were one of the few classes to get that it's not about us and that it's about the team rather than an individual. I think from our freshman year we definitely learned." 

Michigan

Head Coach Carol Hutchins
Opening Statement:
"First of all, we're delighted to be here in Tuscaloosa. It is one of the great environments in college softball. We know that we have a great opponent. We're very excited about our opportunity. We're just going to come out here and play one pitch at a time. That's the only way that we're going to play--one pitch at a time."

On if they focus more on their team than their opponents:
"We want our kids to focus on us. The minute you start talking about the other team, they start focusing on the other team. We certainly don't want them to focus on Alabama. That's what the coaches do. We'll be prepared and we'll give them the information that they need at the time that they need it. We certainly have a lot of respect for Alabama. We know what they are about. We know how capable they are; we know they are as talented in any facet of the game in the country. Our kids respect that, but they know that they just need to play and play hard."

On her relationship with Coach Murphy:
"One thing that I love about our profession and what I do is all of my colleagues. We actually have a lot of support for each other. I've gotten to know Patrick over the years. I've had a lot of conversations with him. We've gone to him when we needed to improve our offense. We got a lot of the drills that we use today from Patrick Murphy. He's a fantastic coach; he's a great professional. He's one of the stars of our profession." 

#3, Amanda Chidester, 1B
On playing so many games away from home:
"There were actually more away games this year than there have been in the past. It's been fun this year; I've enjoyed it. It's been fun to experience the different environments. Being at home is always great. But how did we do it? It's just like (Coach Hutchins) was saying; we have to focus on one pitch at a time. If we focus on that, then it doesn't matter where we go or where we play. As long as we stay within ourselves and keep having fun, we'll play okay."

On if playing away games during the season helps in the postseason:
"
I've enjoyed being on the road a lot this year. It's the first time that we've had to experience being on the road in the postseason. I've enjoyed every second of it. We're with our team. When we go home, we go our separate ways and kind of meet together. There are more distractions. It's been fun; we've been together a lot. We've been having more fun doing different things. It's been very enjoyable."

#5, Bree Evans, OF
On playing so many games away from home:
"We're used to it now, especially since we're seniors. We're used to being away for the whole first part of the season, but we also get to know the girls really well. When we're away, we're together more, so it's easier for us. When we're at home, we have distractions."

On if playing away games during the season helps in the postseason:
"Yeah, we're more prepared. We're used to other crowds. It doesn't scare us to be away. It's the same game, whatever field we're on."