2019 Women's College World Series

Friday, May 31 2019

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Mike Candrea

Taylor McQuillin

Alyssa Palomino-Cardoza

Arizona Wildcats

UCLA-6, Arizona-2

THE MODERATOR: We are joined by Arizona Wildcats.

Alyssa, you had obviously the big game today with the two home runs against one of the better pitchers in the country. Why were you so successful tonight? What was your approach against her?

ALYSSA PALOMINO-CARDOZA: I think facing her, since I was 12, has a lot to do with it. I mean, I just go up there, try to keep it simple, know that I'm going to get rise ball, rise ball, rise ball. Just kind of find a pitch down, something I can drive. I think that's how I went in today.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for the student-athletes.

Q. Coach all season long has been talking about finding the play in the big moment. What kind of fell apart for you? What was UCLA doing to be able to pull away?
ALYSSA PALOMINO-CARDOZA: I think we kind of just let the game get fast on us. We kind of just let Arizona softball slip our minds for an inning. I think that's kind of what happened. That can happen sometimes. It happened today. We slipped up.

But we're just going to come back stronger.

TAYLOR McQUILLIN: I think Alyssa hit it right on the head. We just let the game get quick, kind of let the game slip away from us in that one inning. We'd been competing the entire time, the past month actually. To come out, let up one inning, it's a bit rough. Obviously with a team like UCLA or any other team here, you see what happens. They'll put up runs on the board any way they can.

Q. Up until now you've played Washington and UCLA, you're familiar with them. You're going to have to play the winner of Florida or Alabama, opponents you haven't seen since the start of the season. How do you get over this loss and prepare for either one of those teams?
TAYLOR McQUILLIN: The best part about playing them early on in the season is it was early in the season. We hadn't found our team chemistry and developed the chemistry that our team has now. We're completely a different team.

Also like I said before, it's the post-season, a whole different season, whole new ballgame. Doesn't matter who is on the field, we need to come out and play Arizona softball, perform to the best of our abilities every time we step on the field.

ALYSSA PALOMINO-CARDOZA: Taylor is right, they don't know the team we are now. To be fair, we don't know who they are either. We're going to go out there, play the game that we know how, just give it our best.

Q. Alyssa, yesterday you weren't entirely happy with your offensive results. What adjustments did you make in the box today?
ALYSSA PALOMINO-CARDOZA: Kind of just keeping it simple. I also said yesterday, if I'm not doing it offensively, I'm doing it defensively. I think that's kind of where my head was at.

But I knew this game, we needed to come out strong offensively. Just kind of keeping it simple and getting back to my game and keeping my hand short to the ball. I think that was really successful for me.

THE MODERATOR: Ladies, thank you.

We will continue with questions for coach.

Q. Early in the game, your outfield was making some incredible plays. Seventh inning, making errors. How do you explain what happened?
MIKE CANDREA: I wish I could. It's something that I haven't seen for a long time. The same kid that makes the great play drops the fly ball. It was just a crazy inning. Honest to God, I wish I had an answer for it. It's really what we've been talking about forever.

I just think the moment got a little quick on us. If you look at that inning, we have a relay that had an opportunity to throw a runner out, didn't do it. We had a fly ball to rightfield, had a chance to throw a runner out, we didn't do it. Then the dropped fly ball. You can't make mistakes like that at this level, in a game of this stature.

I was very pleased with the team, I thought for six innings, too bad we're not a little league team, only play six. The seventh inning just really got a little bit out of hand.

I really felt good when we had runners at second and third with one out. I have Reyna up. Reyna has been absolutely clutch for us. She was the Pac-12 hitter of the year. To watch her at-bat, I was just like, Wow, what happened?

Things like that happen. Right now we're just going to kind of get over it as quick as we can and realize that we still have games to play. I think that's the big thing right now. I'm not one that lives in the past. I'm going to get over this one really quick, start getting them ready for tomorrow, whoever we play.

Q. With so much experience at this level, what is the message you give to your team?
MIKE CANDREA: I said, You don't have to look any further than last year when Florida State lost their first game of the tournament. Came back and won a national championship.

I think the big thing is the mindset. After going through a tough game like that, you have to kind of get them healthy mentally, get their confidence back.

At this stage of the game, if I need to do that, then we're in trouble because we're at the College World Series. As long as you have a game to play, you should be happy that you're still playing.

We just have to play Arizona softball. I'm very proud of this team. Always will be proud of this team for the work that they've done this year. One inning is not going to spoil that. That's why we play the game. I've been on both sides of the coin many a times.

I thought yesterday was a typical Pac-12 game where we got the clutch hits and Washington didn't. We play them again tomorrow, who knows what would happen. UCLA is a very good team, a very solid performance on the mound today, in the circle.

Rachel I think did a good job. But I really felt like we had some really good at-bats, but not enough good at-bats to put pressure on them. Their lineup one through nine is pretty solid.

The way we beat them a few weeks back was just the opposite. We kind of got the key hits and played good defense. I think at this level, the defensive mistakes will always come back to haunt you. It's amazing that there were four errors in that game. Most of the time when you make two errors, you're probably not going to win many games, so...

Tip my hat off to UCLA, wish them the best, get ready for Arizona to play tomorrow.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
Rev #2 by #502 at 2019-06-01 02:41:00 GMT

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