Stanford Head Coach John Rittman
“Great bounce back game for us tonight. I thought our kids really fought hard, and it all started with Teagan (Gerhart) in the circle. She came out and pitched really a great game for us; 10 strikeouts, one walk. She had a rough outing in the first one (against Nebraska) but as expected, she came out like she’s done all along and turned it around in game two and really led our team to that win.”
On Stanford’s speed and infield hits
“Well that’s what makes our offense go is our speed at the top of the lineup. Both (Hanna) Winter and (Leah) White have a lot of versatility, and they can present some problems for a defense. They can bunt, they can slap, they can hit away. The (Jamie) Fisher kid is a really good pitcher, so I thought that was really key for us was to get the short gamers on and make her pitch to (Kayla) Bonstrom and (Jenna) Rich and (Cassandra) Roulund and (Erin) Ashby and the rest of the lineup. That was pretty clutch from our 1 and 2 hitters tonight.”
On Kayla Bonstrom
“She’s phenomenal. She’s what we call a professional hitter. She works at it every day. She puts in the time. She’s definitely not playing like a rookie, and she hasn’t since conference play stated. She’s very patient at the plate, she waits for her pitch. She doesn’t have a whole lot of weaknesses at the plate.”
On the defensive play of center fielder Sarah Hassman
“Sarah’s been struggling a little bit offensively, and I’ve told her this all throughout her career. I’ve said ‘Sarah, you may go 0-for-3, but you’re going to take away a couple of hits a game’ and she does that. Earlier in the game, she ran down a gapper that most center fielders don’t come close to even catching and she makes it look easy. Then there in the sixth inning, she makes a great play to kind of put out their rally there. We’ve seen it so we’re used to that, but she’s a phenomenal center fielder.”
On the rematch with Nebraska tomorrow
“It’s do-or-die time now. We have to come out, not get ahead of ourselves, we have to take it one pitch a time, literally tomorrow, and compete every pitch. I think if we do that we’re going to be in the game. That’s key for us. Today, we fought back and made it close and got within a run and then let Nebraska have a big inning. For us, we have to try and eliminate that big inning and take it one pitch at a time.”
Senior Pitcher Teagan Gerhart
On having great defense behind her from Sarah Hassman
“It makes it easier. You know your defense has your back and you can miss a pitch and they’re there for you. She came up to me the inning before that actually and said ‘I’m struggling hitting, but I’ve got your back on defense’ and it shows in the way she plays.”
UNI Coach Ryan Jacobs
"What a great day. What a great tournament. I’m really proud of our team and how they competed. We earned our way in here, and we battled and continued to overcome adversity just like we had all year long. The gal sitting next to me (Jamie Fisher) whose work ethic and attitude that everyone fed off of. We were able to take our program up a notch this year. It was a great experience to hopefully use in the future."
On the growth of the team during the season
"We played the top team in the country (Alabama) at the beginning (of the season) and a top team at the end. Our kids played fantastic. They played their tails off and competed until the last out. It is something that we hope this young group can continue to build on and motivate them to work even harder now they have had a taste of it."
On his team’s ability to continue fighting
"That is what we talked about as a team, and that has been our recipe for success at UNI. We talk about outworking and outhustling our opponents and doing the little things that other people don’t see. The last out of the game was a perfect example of that where Sam (Reimer) hits a ground ball right to the first baseman and she still runs it all the way out. Those are the little things we talk about and that is what we pride ourselves on. Hopefully, getting ourselves in this type of position and continuing to work like that will hopefully pay dividends later."
On how experience will help
"What we talk about every day is how to handle failure and adversity, and even when you don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel to continue to do the things that you know will help you. I think that has been an example for our season. To have some really big ups and downs early and continue to do those little things throughout the season and have it pay off. You never know when it will pay off, but it paid off at the right time for us this year and it hopes to motivate this group of kids."
UNI Pitcher Jamie Fisher
How you were feeling after pitching both games
"I’m good. It really was a lot of fun, so it kind of takes away from how I am feeling."
On using this experience to help the program in the future
"This is a great experience and just makes me and the whole team want to work harder so we can come back next year and do it again."