bleedCrimson.net: Your thoughts on the job that Kelsey Schueler did in the circle coming in and shutting down Hawai'i in relief throwing 2.1 innings and allowing no runs and no hits after you had fallen behind 4-1.
Kathy Rodolph: I feel like over the last two or three weekends Kelsey has just been getting better and better for us over the last two or three weekends and did a really good job for us against Hawai'i in Hawai'i and kind of built her confidence some so she definitely was huge today being able to come in and really keep Hawai'i at bay late to give us a chance to get back into it.
bc.net: Jenna Rodriguez came in to pitch for Hawai'i in the fourth inning and got them out of a jam after you has scored one run and were building a threat. You had seen her twice in Hawai'i and she had really stifled your hitters and picked upa pair of wins but you were able to get to her late in this game. What was the approach from your hitters to be able to finally get to her?
KR: I think that because of being able to see Jenna in Hawai'i, that helped us today because she does a really good job of disguising where she's going with the ball whether it's up, down, in or out, it looks very much the same. I feel like when we saw her in Hawai'i it was very hard to pick that up so I have to tip my hat to our hitters today to just stay at it until they were able to get on her because she had done a great job against us.
bc.net: The sixth inning was very important for your team, not only to score a pair of runs to cut the lead down to 4-3 but it also helped turn the lineup over so that when you went into the seventh inning you were able to send Tiare, Hoku and potentially Valerie Swedberg, who had homered in the game already, to the plate.
KR: I feel like at first we were really struggling getting anything going and I felt like we were a little tentative at the plate and were waiting to see if something was going to be a strike and really didn't have an aggressive mindset. I felt like Hawai'i was much more aggressive and really attacking things early in the count and so Cat and I both challenged our hitters to be aggressive but aggressive in the zone and I feel like in the sixth they absolutely came out attacking and it made a lot of difference and we were able to make up some of the ground and then coming up in the seventh that was a huge, huge at bat for Tiare to go from down 0-2 to just battling, battling, battling to get a walk and any time you can put it in Hoku's hands with the game on the line in the bottom of the seventh, she's definitely strong enough to hurt you at any time and I feel like she had been pressing a little bit early and kind of settled down in that last at bat.
bc.net: Hoku came into the tournament having only hit two home runs in conference play and obviously had missed five games in conference so it really felt like she was due. What has enabled her to be able to come through in the clutch time after time?
KR: She was exceptionally hot before she got hurt and when she got hurt and ended up missing the five games it just changes your timing and your rhythm and everything about it. She was able to work hard end get back into it but really she was still just trying to get that timing down. Hoku has had to compete at a championship level in so many areas, in weight training, in wrestling and in everything she does. She's had to have her expectations at a high level and she's been there before so it's not new to her.
bc.net: You had talked all week about the importance of being the home team in this series with Hawai'i and all four games between the two teams were won in the home team's final at bat. They had obviously played a game yesterday and this was your first game in the tournament. How big of a factor was it early for them having already been settled into the tournament versus your team kind of feeling your way into the tournament today?
KR: I don't know whether I think it's an advantage or not I think the bigger advantage goes to who's home. It [them playing yesterday] gave us all an opportunity to see them again and see them actually compete against somebody else and I feel like our kids wanted another shot at it because they were so close when we were on the islands and we were just so disappointed because we were so close all three times.
We just had to flip the coin for the Boise State game and fortunately I was able to win that so we'll be the home team against Boise tomorrow and I feel like hopefully that will be an advantage for us and hopefully help us get through one more game.
bc.net: The meeting between the two teams will be your fourth time in a week. You talk about the advantage of being the home team and obviously that was a big advantage in two of the three games when you faced each other in Las Cruces. What will your strategy be going into tomorrow?
KR: Boise State is a very good team and they're a very strong offensive team and I feel that we're a very strong offensive team so I definitely want to leave it in our hands to have the last at bat, whether we're up or whether we're down, to be able to make a difference. I think that because we are both evenly matched, the advantage goes to the one who gets the last opportunity.
bc.net: Obviously your game ended in a walk off home run, their game goes 13 innings and they win in walk off fashion and they get an emotional victory as well. Is there any advantage at all for your team not having to have played a 13-inning game?
KR: Obviously when you go that long and you're out in the sun for three and a half hours it definitely drains you but they're going to come back battling really hard and definitely come after us with everything that they have.