Mississippi State Head Softball Coach
SEC Tournament Conference Call
May 7, 2012
"First, I would like to say thanks to the Southeastern Conference for allowing us to play in such a great league and Chevonne Mansfield for all that she has done to coordinate everything. Thanks to ESPN for quality play-by-play and color analysis all year; it is an honor to be on your network. I would also like to congratulate the University of Alabama on a three-peat. It is fantastic and says a lot about the character of that senior class who has carried that team for the last three or four years."
On tough postseason venues:
"The first time I remember being in an extremely hostile environment was the very first year they put in a Super Regional format. We went to Texas A&M for that first year. Texas A&M has the 12th Man going on. Their student body really buys into that fan-base type support. They were hanging over the dugout yelling Stephanie VanBrakle's name. Man, what a unique environment. To see the fan bases grow similar to that around the country is amazing. Like now at Oklahoma City, the fan support is tremendous. The venues are just getting better and better, year in and year out."
On preparation for postseason play:
"Preparing for the postseason is the best time of the year. It is your second Christmas; it rivals up there with Christmas. It is what everybody plays for, so motivation will not be a huge factor. It's about confidence. We want to make sure the girls are confident going into the postseason play. You want to make sure they feel prepared in the preparation of video and knowing their opponent. When you are playing a team for the fourth time, it is a battle of will; you have to impose your will on your opponent. Everybody knows everybody's strengths and everybody knows everybody's weaknesses, so it is a gut check."
On MSU junior left-handed pitcher Stephanie Becker:
"All of her numbers are up from last year. Her ERA is down, her home runs given up are down, her opponent batting average is down and her win totals are up. She is a pleasure to coach. I have enjoyed every moment in the bullpen with her. She brings a short-term memory and a competitive spirit. She is willing to fight every pitch and she has that short-term memory that allows her to not cripple herself like you see a lot of perfectionist-type pitchers do. She has been a pleasure and it has been fun to watch. She threw her first no-hitter ever this year against a quality opponent in South Florida. She was SEC Pitcher of the Week, which is the first one we have had since 2006. She has had a successful year for Mississippi State. She has been fun to coach and it has been exciting to see her excel out there."