bleedCrimson.net: Your team's defense on Friday, particularly in the first inning was shaky but then on Saturday your team came out in really difficult conditions and played one of the best defensive games I've seen them play.
Kathy Rodolph: We talked Saturday before the game and we felt like on Friday night we had played very tentative and we had not looked like us at all. We had different opportunities to take care of things and just could not get it together and just kind of seemed outmatched and overpower. On Saturday we decided we were going to come out and from the very beginning we were going to be willing to live with any mistakes that we made but we were going to play hard because that's how we play. Whether it was offense or defense, we were going to push it and we were going to live with the outcome and I feel like that's what you got when just came together and freed ourselves and decided we were going to play as hard as we could and decide at the end of the game if it was good enough to win.
bc.net: Celisha Walker pitched outstandingly on the weekend but her defense was stellar in fielding her position, particularly in the early innings of game one.
KR: Celisha Walker is an extremely athletic player, she just happens to be a pitcher. She could absolutely play a position for us and hit as well, she's very athletic. She brings a whole new dimension on defense when she's in the circle because it's like having a shortstop fielding in the circle.
bc.net: Celisha also pitched very well on Saturday, coming out and allowing just two late runs in the first game against an offense that had scored nine runs against you on Friday night.
KR: I've said all along that I feel like Celisha has a bright future here. I think that she came in initially and was facing our hitters every day in practice and had to get used to getting hit as hard as she got hit in practice every day, let alone in a game. I think at first she got a little bit overwhelmed at the beginning of the season and the quality of teams that we were playing but she's had the talent all along. At this point in the season she's finally started to settle down and adjust to the Division I game and just trust her stuff and she has good stuff.
bc.net: Alex Newman also rebounded nicely from her Friday night start and allowed just one run against Fresno State in three innings in game two.
KR: I feel like Alex Newman has been one of the highlights all year long to get us to the point that we are in this season. She's going to be a 20+ winner for us. The only thing Alex needed was some help in the circle to go along with it because she was having to carry the majority fo the pressure. By Celisha coming out and having that great game, she took some of the pressure off of Alex and Alex could just be herself again.
bc.net: Your team played outstanding defense in some really tough conditions on Saturday with really just one miscue and some great plays including the catch by Valerie Swedberg.
KR: I feel like all year long, we understand that we haven't had somebody in the circle that was going to be a big strikeout pitcher so we've had to field more balls than a lot of teams do normally so our team has really prided itself on that if the pitcher will just hit spots and put the ball in play, they're going to back them. What it showed me on Saturday is how hungry our team is to play and to win and that nothing was going to stop them if they could prevent it.
bc.net: Vanessa Valles had a really great weekend and her home run in the first game really sparked your team for the rest of the day.
KR: Vanessa Valles is somebody that I've said on any other team would be an everyday starter and she's had to work into the rotation here because we feel like we have a group of really talented athletes and a very very strong offense. But what I've said about Vanessa is whether she's playing every day or goes four days between, anytime she gets an opportunity, she's the kind of kid that her character is such that she's going to be ready any opportunity that she's given. I felt like she absolutely came into the game and gave us courage. From there it allowed some others to get back into an attack mode. Vanessa was absolutely instrumental in changing the mindset of our team.
bc.net: Tiare Jennings had a fabulous weekend and was named WAC Hitter of the Week hitting .556 with a slugging percentage of 2.000.
KR: Tiare had been feeling like she wasn't playing up to her ability at this point in the season and was disappointed in that. I'm proud of Tiare because she came in on her own extra every day for five days with one of her teammates and just worked on her hitting so she could get it where she felt like she needed it to be to help the team. It was nice to see her efforts pay off.
bc.net: This weekend you head up to Reno to take on Nevada. They're 1-8 in conference play but they've had four games decided by two runs or less and could very easily be 5-4 instead of 1-8.
KR: I think that Nevada is very well coached and they have a young group that is going to battle hard. If we're going to come out on top, we're going to have to really fight to make that happen. They have played Hawai'i in Hawai'i, they played Boise in Boise. I definitely understand that their record is an indication of playing some of the top teams in the conference extremely close. It is going to be a very very challenging series and a good test for us to see how we do on the road.
bc.net: What's your team team's mindset coming off the two victories over Fresno State and knowing that they have to get back out on the road and face a good Nevada team?
KR: If you're asking me if I think our kids will let up because they got two victories over Fresno, absolutely not. We have made a commitment as a team that we're going to play one pitch at a time and one game at a time and add those game together and evaluate how we do over a series. We're refusing to look up and we'll just keep our nose to the grindstone because the way that our team wins game is just by outworking people. It's not because I believe that we are blessed with more talent, we have an understanding that if we want to win we have to outwork people.