NORMAN, Okla. - On Thursday afternoon following a two-hour practice, the Marist softball team participated in a pre-regional press conference for media outlets that will be covering the Norman Regional.

Below is the transcribed press conference courtesy of the University of Oklahoma Sports Information Department.


NCAA Division I Women’s Softball Championship

May 17-19, 2013 | OU Softball Complex | Norman, Okla.

Marist Press Conference: Thursday, May 16, 2013

Marist Head Coach Joe Ausanio

Opening comments:

“We are absolutely thrilled to be here in Norman and be part of this experience of the NCAA tournament. It’s been a long time since Marist has been here; it was 2006. These seniors have been a cornerstone of our program for the last four years.”

On facing Oklahoma:

“You forgot about their 1.09 team home run average, too. We know what we’re up against. Obviously, they have done an outstanding job. They do everything well. They hit well, they pitch well, they play a solid defense. One good thing about where we are is that last year we went to Hawaii and we played the No. 1 team in the nation, which was Cal. We played Texas last year. We played Texas A&M. I told them that when they win the MAAC tournament, those were the types of teams you were going to face when you get to the NCAA tournament. It’s not like we haven’t seen teams like that before. Last year we almost shocked the world when we lost to Cal 1-0, so when we play our game we can be tough.”

On what is different this year to get to the tournament:

“I tell the kids all year long that we are going to play tough teams at the beginning of the year to try to prepare ourselves for the end of the year. I really think that even though we had some tough losses during the year, there were a couple of games that we played really bad, but I told them this is all in preparation for the MAAC tournament. These guys knew that from the time we got here this fall, this was going to be the year. We had some key freshman who came in that we knew were going to be able to help us and some upperclassmen who have stepped up their games. We’re happy to be here, but we also want to put in a good showing. We want to represent the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference really well, and I know there are a lot of teams pulling for us. I told them the other day, there are 230 teams sitting home wishing they could be us, so cherish this moment and come out here and get after it.”

On the game plan for Oklahoma:

“Obviously a lot of teams in the country have yet to figure out the Oklahoma pitching staff. The good thing about playing Oklahoma is that a lot of their games have been on TV, so we’ve gotten to watch a lot of them. I don’t know if that’s going to help us a lot, but it has given us an opportunity to see how they’re going to approach their at-bats and exactly how the pitcher’s pitch. We have a game plan. Whether or not we execute it is the question.”

On the team’s strength:

“I think the big thing is, obviously these two [Danielle Koltz and Emily Osterhaus], Emily on the mound and Danielle at the plate. When Danielle hits well, we play well. When Emily pitches well, we play well. We play pretty solid defense. We try not to get ourselves in trouble, but I just preach that you can’t give teams extra outs. You’ve got to be really mentally tough and just try not to give a team extra outs, so that’s huge.”

On being in Oklahoma:

“For me, I’ve had the opportunity a few times from my past playing career, playing against the Oklahoma City 89ers in triple-A, so I’ve been in this area before. I actually came here in saw this. I knew that they were going to be in awe when they came here and actually saw this campus. It was funny when we rode by the football stadium. Everybody was amazed because it dwarfs ours. It’s like 10 times the size of our football stadium, so it really is an honor for us to be here. So far everybody has been great, from the hotel to the reception here today, we’re looking forward to a great weekend.”

On their 1-0 game against Cal:

“It was interesting because we had actually played Texas the day before. We were playing them really tough, it was a 4-2 game into the sixth inning, and then they finally broke it open, but I just told them to just cherish this. We went out against Cal and I was a little concerned because they were pitching their No. 1 against us and then they brought in Jolene Henderson throwing 72 [miles per hour] against us, and I’m like ‘Who are we? We’re tiny Marist College.’ But we gave them what we could handle for that day and we’re kind of hoping that tomorrow can be that one day for us this year.”

Senior Pitcher Emily Osterhaus

 On her reaction to playing Oklahoma:

“It was honestly an unbelievable experience to see our name pop up and see that we were playing Oklahoma. It’s honestly an honor for us to even be here. We’re proud to wear Marist and come compete and show people that our school can try to hang with anyone. It’s going to be a cool experience. We’re trying to take in every moment that we can and just enjoy every experience that we get.”

On getting to the tournament:

“To even say that we’re a part of the top 64 teams is an honor and a cool experience for all of us. We’re just proud of that at this point. We won our MAAC championship, and we’re here showing the rest of MAAC that we’re going to support them and show everybody what we have.”

On being in Oklahoma:

“My travel ball team actually played in the 18 Gold Nationals three years in a row, so I got to go to Oklahoma City and I’ve seen that stadium and obviously played there, but I’ve never been to OU’s campus. It’s unbelievable to see the facilities and the stadiums and everything that there is to offer here. I’ve seen some pretty cool things, but this is obviously one of the top I’ve ever seen, so it’s cool to take it all in.”

Senior Infielder Danielle Koltz

On reaction to playing Oklahoma:

“I think we were pretty surprised that we were the first pick. We didn’t really know that it was coming that quickly, but we’re so excited.”

On getting to the tournament:

“It’s a big step. Our freshman year we only had 10 wins, and it was pretty bad. Just being a part of this is unreal in how far we’ve come. We’ve just been wanting this ever since we stepped foot at Marist.”

On being in Oklahoma:

“I’ve never been here, so it’s pretty cool experience for me. I know she [Osterhaus] has and a few other girls from our team have for travel ball, but everything here is amazing. It’s a lot bigger than our school, so it’s a pretty cool experience.”