Oregon tops LSU 4-1, will play Oklahoma in WCWS semifinals
June 4, 2017
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Megan Kleist came through again for Oregon.
Just hours after she fought out of a bases-loaded jam to earn a save against Baylor, she threw a complete game to help Oregon defeat LSU 4-1 in a Women's College World Series elimination game Saturday night.
Against LSU, she allowed just five hits and struck out nine with no walks.
"She just did a fantastic job, probably one of the best games she's thrown this year," Oregon coach Mike White said. "It's great to see her getting stronger."
It was just the kind of clutch performance the Ducks (53-7) will need when they play defending national champion Oklahoma in the semifinals on Sunday. Oregon will need to beat the Sooners twice to advance to the championship series.
Oregon had to expend pitching while Oklahoma took advantage of being in the winners' bracket and rested ace Paige Parker. But the Ducks are better equipped than most to handle the challenge. Kleist, Maggie Balint and Miranda Elish all have pitched at least 100 innings this season.
"We've just got to take it one game at a time," White said. "I'm not sure who we're going to pitch tomorrow, but we've got three good pitchers to choose from."
Kleist said the Ducks won't be intimidated by the crowd, which will be against them because ASA Hall of Fame Stadium is about a half-hour drive from the Oklahoma campus.
"The crowd's going to be bigger, and it's going to be louder," Kleist said. "You can vibe off the energy. Just kind of take it to them and attack each batter as we have."
Oregon's offense is coming around, too. Alexis Mack had three hits and scored two runs and Mia Camuso added two hits for the Ducks. Gwen Svekis hit a two-run homer to open the scoring.
"On this stage, it's just — 10,000 people watching," Svekis said. "It's what you dream of from the time you're a little girl."
Shemiah Sanchez homered for LSU's lone run, and Allie Walljasper (18-6) took the loss for the Tigers (48-22) after giving up three runs and six hits in 2 2/3 innings.
It was a disappointing finish for the Tigers.
"We had runners on base," LSU coach Beth Torina said. "We had some at-bats we'd like to have over. We had some moments where we weren't very productive with our at-bats. I think every out needs to be a productive out, and we didn't do a very good job of putting our runners in scoring position, moving them up, and having productive at-bats with runners on base."
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