bleedCrimson.net: Your thoughts on the series against Fresno State, it's a team that for whatever reason has just had your number in recent games.
Kathy Rodolph: I was extremely proud of the girls. We turned five or six double plays, we had five or six home runs and we definitely played well enough to win. We just came up a little bit short. We definitely played them tough and just one or two plays that didn't go our way or one or two breaks that didn't. I was very proud of how we played.
bc.net: The second game of the series you lose 7-6, but you're down 4-0 in the first inning and that's a game that had a chance to get out of hand but the girls battled all the way back and had the potential winning run on base in the seventh inning.
KR: All three games we battled really really hard. Our record doesn't indicate it right now but we're actually playing very well and we're playing very hard and very determined. I feel like it's just a matter of catching a break, one or two breaks to go our way to make a big difference. This is probably the best we've been playing all year long. I feel like if we'd been playing like this early we probably wouldn't be in the hole we're in now.
bc.net: This series this weekend against Utah State, obviously your back is against the ball in terms of trying to qualify for the WAC Tournament, but the good news is that your team still has a chance to earn your way in.
KR: Absolutely. I'm glad that we're at home by far. I'm glad that one of the last two series, must win situation, is here. It is also senior weekend and we definitely know that we're still in it and basically we're going try to bite, scratch, claw, do anything that we can to come out with victories this weekend.
bc.net: With this series being as important as it is, will that change your style of play at all? You're already a pretty aggressive team, will you play even more aggressive this weekend because of what's on the line?
KR: I really can't emphasize enough how well we played last weekend. If we just continue to do the little things, if you play the game you don't have the fear of failure choking you. You play as hard as you can so that the outcome will be what you want it to be at the end. I feel like what might have gotten us in trouble a little bit early was trying to win or lose a game in the first inning. You get seven innings to play and we need to play all seven. We're very aware of that. We need to have our pitchers keep us in the game in the circle and we need to have good solid team offense, unselfish play. When we need to bunt, we need to bunt. When we need to hit-and-run, we need to hit-and-run. We need to run an offense because we do have some of the top hitters in the nation and I feel like when you put it together in an offensive format, we're tough to beat.
bc.net: Carissa Theis pitched a complete game against CS-Bakersfield and gave up just one run on five hits. How important was that outing for her and for the team as you head into this series with Utah State?
KR: It was absolutely huge. We all know that we need Carissa to have solid performances over the next two weeks to help us get into the conference tournament. I feel like she's a freshman with good stuff that maybe lost a little bit of confidence and maybe started overthrowing and doing some things that were kind of out of character for her. We sat down and had a really good talk and talking about staying within a gameplan. I felt like she did a great job of staying with me and throwing a complete game and keeping us in a ballgame. That's really what we need to do. We need to have our kids be able to vary the speed, vary the momentum shifts and keep us in a ballgame until our offense can attack.
bc.net: This is Senior Weekend for your club, talk a little bit about your three seniors Angie Ortega, Ali Baumhover and Torrey Schroeder.
KR: Angie Ortega has been a mainstay in our offense for all four years that she's been here. She's an outstanding hitter and has really represented the local athlete very well. Preseason All-WAC. Angie slumped a little bit in the middle of the season but has definitely worked hard to get herself out of that and is absolutely contributing in our offense. We're definitely going to miss Angie.
Ali has just been a kid that comes in and gives me everything that she has every single day that she arrives to the field. She tries to lead in any way that I need her to. She's been very unselfish and just wants whatever is best for this team and I really appreciate what she's brought over the last four years.
Torrey has amazing, amazing talent and has come in this year with a little bit of extra baggage and has kind of struggled to perform at the level that she knows she has the ability to. But make no mistake, if we're getting into the conference tournament we need her to have solid performances over the two weeks. A young lady that coming out of high school, a high school All-American, won ESPY's, definitely has a ton of talent and I'm just hoping that she can give us what she has this weekend and next weekend.
bc.net: Angie and Ali are both four year players for you, is there one memory either on or off the field with the two that sticks out to you?
KR: It's hard to say just one. I saw them come in as young ladies and see them going out on the other end as women and I'm extremely proud of the legacy that they've left and the mark that they've been able to help over the last four years. Anybody that has watched us historically over the past four years has seen us go from a bottom 14 (in the country) to a Top 100 team and those two definitely stayed the course and stuck it out and went through the hard times to get to the better times. We all know that this year we are a great team that has not really played up to our potential but I'm extremely proud of nobody giving in, nobody giving up and staying the course and going to see this through to the end and a lot of that is due to the character of the seniors.