WCWS Press Conference Number 2

WCWS Press Conference Number 2


OKLAHOMA CITY – The second of two press conferences Wednesday before the opening round of the NCAA Women’s College World Series featured Florida head coach Tim Walton, Gator senior outfielder Kelsey Horton,  Nebraska head coach Rhonda Revelle, Nebraska junior pitcher Tatum Edwards,  Tennessee co-head coach Ralph Weekly and Vols star Raven Chavanne, and  Washington head coach Heather Tarr.

Tennessee and Florida, members of the SEC, will play in the tourney’s second of four games Thursday at 1:30 p.m. with Washington and Nebraska meeting in the opening game at 11 a.m. The comments of the players and coaches follow:



Opening comment:
“First of all, thank you to the NCAA, ASA and the University of Oklahoma for hosting a great event. We’re excited to be here. It’s probably one of the best fields that I’ve seen -- obviously why we got a lot of television coverage. A great wide-open field with a lot of talent. Oklahoma being in this tournament obviously brings added extra excitement with all the fans and exposure, and it’s just great for the game. The game’s in great hands with all the great student-athletes that represent each institution here, and on the field. A really good class of student-athletes here.”


On facing SEC foe Tennessee to start the tournament:
“I think the preparation is obviously a little bit different. You don’t have to watch as much video, you don’t have to break out some old video and try to get a lot of scouting reports from other people. So preparation is a lot different. I would probably assume that it’s good. Our kids are familiar. On the bad side of things, we’re very familiar with Tennessee and how good they are, so it kind of gives them the same preparation. So the goods and the bads; it’s tough to come all this way to play an SEC team, but if I did it every year from here on out I’d do it every time. It’s not a bad thing to be in. It is exciting, but in the same sense we know how good Tennessee is. It’s tough to get prepared for someone like that and we’ve always played tough games every year.”


On returning to Oklahoma after last week’s tornado in Moore:
“My wife is from Oklahoma, and we were glued to the TV for two, three days, probably like everyone else across the country. It’s very different when you’re familiar with the area and you know the streets and the paths. I was here in ’99 (for the Moore tornado) and was here for the bombing (in 1995), as a player, so I understand what those kinds of devastating things can do. One of the things I’ve been pretty open about is that I came to (the University of) Oklahoma as a player from California because of the people and how well they treated me and how well they treated the Sooners. I know that’s what people do. There are so many people that are willing to help and do a lot of things. This area hosts this tournament because of what they’ve done. They’ve hosted the Big 12 tournament, the Big Eight tournament before that, just because of how open-armed they are and what they’re willing to do and bend over backwards for people. It’s tough. My daughter, who’s young, was very scared thinking something had happened to our family who lives fairly close. With kids losing their lives, it’s very humbling and very sad in the same sense. The state of Oklahoma, the city of Oklahoma City, the city of Moore and all the surrounding area will do like they always have done; band together, get outside help and rebound and be better and stronger for it. I’m convinced of that.”



On the strength of Florida’s freshman class:

“I think they came in humble and willing and ready to work. As a senior, I really appreciate their efforts. I’m so happy for their success and I’m so proud they’ve filled some really big shoes this year.”


On facing SEC foe Tennessee to start the tournament:
“I’m excited. I think every matchup from here on out is going to be a good one, no matter what conference the teams come from. I’m just really excited.”


On giving advice to younger players about the WCWS experience:
“I’ve had them ask some questions, but I think it’s just more out of excitement rather than any nerves. I don’t see any nerves in them, which is great. I think they’re just really excited to play in the stadium. I think that attitude has carried us this whole year, just being fearless and being able to play recklessly without worrying about the circumstances too much.”



Opening comment:
“I echo what Coach Walton said -- we’re just grateful to the NCAA, Oklahoma City and the University of Oklahoma. I will say, I haven’t had any experience being here in over 10 years and boy, has it changed and changed for the better. It’s just awesome; just the buzz around the fact that I believe we’re sold out every session. It’s a great opportunity. I know I’ve talked to a lot of coaches here in the last couple days and any time you can get down to the final eight it’s special because there are a lot of great softball teams in the country. We’re just excited to be here and represent the Big Ten Conference.”


On preparing defensively for Washington:
“We have the pitchers that we have. The reason that we have turned so many double plays is, number one, I think we have great athletes on the infield that move well and have good arms, but we also have fed them with some ground balls. We aren’t going to suddenly turn into pitchers that we aren’t. I agree with (NU pitcher) Tatum (Edwards): you look at both teams on paper, and they are ahead in some categories, we are ahead in some categories. I think when you put it all on the field it’s going to be a great game.”


On how the tournament has changed since her last visit:
“This is like a throwback to when I was an athlete and we used to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches instead of having catered meals. No, I’m kidding -- kind of. Everything (has changed). This (press conference), what we’re doing right now. This morning, spending 55 minutes with ESPN. Almost everything beyond the game itself. The sellout, the expanded stadium, the frenzy of selling merchandise. I can’t think of too many things that are similar, other than the game.” 



On facing Washington pitcher Kaitlyn Inglesby as a hitter last year:

“She’s just a great pitcher. I think there’s just going to be a dogfight tomorrow. Regardless of who’s on the mound, I think it’ll be a great game.” 


On if Nebraska is feeling loose:

“I think we’re just really excited to be here. It’s such an honor to have made it this far. The girls are all excited and I think we’re not trying too hard to stay calm in a situation like this because everyone’s going to have those nerves that come up. We’re just trying to take in the moment, stay in the present and stay together as a team. We’re just trying to relax a little bit right now.”



Opening comment:

“I’ll echo again what everybody said. This is a great field, a great strong field. We are proud to be here and proud to represent our school as everybody else is. This is the cathedral of softball as far as I’m concerned. When our kids walk out on that field, it’s an amazing feeling to know that you’ve made it to this level. And for all eight of these teams, I agree with Coach Walton -- this is the best field that I’ve seen in the times I’ve been here.”


On who will be Tennessee’s starting pitcher Thursday:

“My starting pitcher will be Renfroe (Ellen or Ivy). Not telling you which one right now.”


On junior Melissa Davin:

“Davin got cleared to play yesterday, but she hasn’t played in a long time, and I doubt she will be in the starting lineup tomorrow morning. Yes, she can (swing a bat if she has to).”



On being a top-three finalist for National Player of the Year and owning four records at Tennessee:

“When I’m out there playing, I don’t think of any of that. When I actually got the text saying I was top three, I said, ‘Top three for what?’ I didn’t know. It’s a tremendous honor to be in that category. And as for the records, I’m just playing. I’m just wanting to help my team out. I’d rather have a national championship than any of those individual records. I’m really humbled and honored by it, but that’s not why I play.”



Opening comment:

“I’ll just keep this short. We’re proud to be here. It’s an amazing event, having played here as a student-athlete back in the ‘90s to now and seeing how this game has grown. I’m just really proud of everybody that’s made this what it is and proud to be a part of keeping this game as great as it is and is going to be.”


On who will be her starting pitcher tomorrow:

“I don’t know. We have a good idea about what we want to do, but honestly, every single time we’ve decided on one, it’s been mostly a game-day decision, so we will take it like that just like we have the other games we’ve played.”