For the next 30 minutes, I recommend you close the conference realignment live thread, stop thinking about rumors and innuendos and the meaning of Mizzou's silence, and listen to Mizzou Softball Coach Ehren Earleywine (Coach #TremendousStubble himself) and I discuss the softball season that ended last weekend. He revealed some breaking information about the secret to Kristin Nottelmann's late-season success, he shared his thoughts on how to improve the game (and Mizzou's facilities), the DISRESPECT!!!! for Mizzou and Rhea Taylor, and much more. Coach is always a good quote and always forthcoming and honest in his answers, so I thought the interview turned out really well (aside from the ambulance that drove by at the beginning).
A few snippets after the jump.
"It was like a slow-pitch softball game."
On Nottelmann's pitching:
"We didn't find this out until two days ago when we had our meeting with Nottelmann. The first thing she says is, I have a stress reaction in the back of my hand. I said, 'when did this happen,' and she said 'I've been hurting ever since the regional tournament started.' I said, 'Why didn't you tell us,' and she said, 'I knew we didn't have many options and I just pitched through it,' which surprised me, and I respected her for it. I said, 'What happened?' She said, 'Prior to the regional tournament, I was throwing all my pitches with this grip [shows the standard grip, with finger tips pointed out]. Doug got with me before the tournament, and we put the pinky under the ball, and it allowed me to get under the rise more and on top of the drop more.'
She said because of shoving that finger underneath the ball, and the continual throw after throw after throw, it put a stress fracture in the metacarpal bone of her ring finger. And she said once she put that finger underneath, her ball moved more, her velocity was better, and her command was better. And I didn't know this! Here I'm thinking, this kid's gaining confidence … I was telling the media … and now I find out she stuck her pinky underneath the softball!
So our big dilemma now is, what do we do next year? Do you throw like this [fingers extended], or do you throw like this [pinky underneath]? Or is there a way that we can compromise? So … I think that's what happened. And you're the first one to know that from the media."
On the lack of nationwide appreciation (DISRESPECT!!) for Rhea Taylor:
"I just think it's a Mizzou thing. I don't think we're appreciated, and I don't think we're respected, not just in softball but I think in all sports. If Rhea played for Washington, they'd have talked about her and had her picture on TV all week, regardless of whether Washington lost two games in a row. I wouldn't have been a factor. I just think it's unfortunate that we get treated the way we do, and that's part of the reason we're on a mission to prove everybody wrong. It's like us against the world."