May 21, 2002 - by
Chat Wrap: Brandi Stuart

May 21, 2002

Brandi Stuart: (3:28 PM ET ) Good afternoon everyone. Thanks for joining me. Let’s get to your questions.

Aimee (Tallahassee, FL): Obviously Florida State’s road to the WCWS was a little different than the seven other teams. How do you feel that winning three games on Sunday has affected the Seminole’s confidence level and mentality heading into the Series?

Brandi Stuart: (3:30 PM ET ) I think that after winning three games in one day, which is very uncommon, we feel confident in the endurance, character and heart of this team. We come here on an emotional high and we are ready to play.

Jenny(Los Angeles): How do you like traveling so far to college to play softball?

Brandi Stuart: (3:32 PM ET ) I love it. Being in a different place and being around different people, I think I have grown a lot more as a person and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I still get to see my family and friends but I have a chance to grow up by being away from home.

FSU was the only school I was looking at that had a good balance of academics and athletics. After being involved with the student goverment, I see there is a good balance and opportunities for female athletes.

Pete (Atlanta): Brandi, what did it feel like when you got that third win of the day and knew you were headed to the World Series.

Brandi Stuart: (3:34 PM ET ) It was great and it was a big relief after what happened last year when we were really close in the regionals. But we lost 3-2 in ten innings. That was rough. So after winning that third game it was a big relief and pressure was lifted off our shoulders. It is now our time to shine.

James: What are your thoughts about playing for Team USA?

Brandi Stuart: (3:34 PM ET ) It is just tryouts right now and I am honored to have the chance. If I make the team I will be very proud and it should be a lot of fun. It will be a really great opportunity and I look forward to representing my school and family very well.

Jennifer Aderchuck (Toledo, Ohio): I was wondering how much strength training you do, and if so, do you feel it has helped you succeed? Also, is the any other sports tha you played in high school that may have contributed to you being a succesful softball player?

Brandi Stuart: (3:37 PM ET ) We lift in the fall four out of five days. In the Spring we lift as much as we can, but not the day before games. Yeah, I think it definitely helps with endurance and with building strength for hitting and builds strength for base running and fielding. If you take advantage of it and lift correctly, it can be a big benefit.

I played basketball my freshman year and I think that helped my speed. But I had to quit because I had to pick a sport and stick with it. In basketball, you run like crazy and that really helped. Also, you learn how to play as a team and that is important.

Nick (Tally): : UCLA has some great pitching!!! Are there any pitchers that you faced this year that are of the high status of Groel and Freed from UCLA? Do you have to do anything differently as a batter when facing them?

Brandi Stuart: (3:40 PM ET ) I think so. As far as Amanda goes, we have faced pitchers that like to mix it up. She likes to throw a lot of junk so we have to be patient. I don’t think we have faced anyone that throws as hard as Groel but I think it is adjustable. I think we will be able to adjust to a pitcher like Groel faster than we will Freed. But we have faced more pitchers like Freed.

I don’t think you have to do anything differently. You see the ball and hit the ball. You have to have discipline. You have to find your pitch. At this level, you have to know what you are looking for. Those are the most important adjustments you have to make.

Slappy: How would you rate your season?

Brandi Stuart: (3:41 PM ET ) Personally, I think it is one of the best that I have had and one of the best the team has had. Individuals are a reflection of the team. The only reason I am doing what I am doing is because of my teammates. I wouldn’t be able to do what I have done if it weren’t for my teammates putting me in those certain situations where I can succeed. But as far as my other two years, this is definitely the best year.

Charlie (Tallahassee): Is the team going to do anything different in getting ready to play UCLA? Is there any new strategy for the game (like shaking up the line up again)?

Brandi Stuart: (3:42 PM ET ) I think we might make a few lineup adjustments but we won’t change things too much. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it. So we will keep the same focus and mentality as we have all season.

Hemsley (Tallahassee): It was so exciting to watch u ladies make it to the world series. congratulations. I watched the ACC tournament games against GT and UNC and it seemed like you were having serious problems hitting against those teams. In the regionals however, u all hit the ball much more crisply, especially against GT. What kind of adjustments did u make between the tournaments?

Brandi Stuart: (3:44 PM ET ) We just didn’t try as hard. I think we were trying to do too much. We were too emotional instead of trying to win a baseball game. We knew if we saw GT again, we would play them to win. We had a lot of motivation to beat them again. So we just relaxed more and let the game come to us instead of forcing the action.

Matt (Tallahassee): Is it difficult to keep up with your school work while playing softball?

Brandi Stuart: (3:45 PM ET ) Definitely it is tough but you have to do it. It is really tough especially when most of our games are away. Like right now I am missing a midterm for summer school. But the teachers realize that being an athlete is part of our lives so they accomodate us. Which is very nice.

Tom: How much of a momentum boost were the three wins Sunday going into the World Series? Go Noles!!!!!!

Brandi Stuart: (3:46 PM ET ) It was huge. Anytime you win three games in a day and the last one is the ticket to the World Series, you are on a high. It showed us what we need to do to get here and what we need to do to have a good tournament.

Thomas Robinson (Tallahasee, FL): First, congrats on making the World Series and having a great season so far. Second, how big a role did the crowd play in Sunday’s amazing three wins? I was at all three games (in left field with Brian, Chris, and Robbie!!) and thought the crowd was more vocal than usual.

Brandi Stuart: (3:47 PM ET ) They played a huge role. They were great. We always look forward to playing in front of our crowd for the tournaments. We get great support which is nice when you think about all the great sports at this school. It really helps us when you know people are cheering for you.

Nikki (panama city beach): What do you think about FSU’s chances in the tournament?

Brandi Stuart: (3:50 PM ET ) I think we have a 1 and 8 chance like everyone else. When you get here it is now all on an even playing field and I think we have just as good a chance as everyone else. We had to do twice the work to get here, but we like our chance.

That is all the time I have for now. Thanks for all the questions and the support. Keep us in your prayers and hi to my family. I love you.

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