Kleist dominates in relief as Oregon tops Baylor 7-4 in WCWS

Kristopher Nichols
June 6, 2017

The Oregon Ducks finish the season with an appearance in the Women's College World Series four of the last six seasons and a record of 54-8.

OR will have to beat Florida twice to earn a spot in the best-of-three championship series that is scheduled to get under way Monday night.

In front of 9,658 fans, Florida and Oklahoma picked up wins over LSU and Washington, respectively, on day two of 2017 Women's College World Series at USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium/OGE Energy Field.

And going into it being the No. 10 seed facing the No. 1 seed?

After relieving Gia Rodoni with two outs in the third and Baylor trailing 4-0, Kelsee Selman pitched superbly until the Ducks scored a pair of seventh-inning runs. She threw it home, but was late and the Sooners cut the Ducks lead in half.

Knighton doubled in the tying and go-ahead runs after a throwing error, a single and a fielder's choice accounted for the first run. With the Oklahoma faithful chanting "Power of Three" - the motto the Sooners have used for inspiration throughout the postseason - OU rallied for four runs of their own, including a two-RBI single from Shay Knighten and an RBI double from Nicole Pendley.

OR was unable to threaten the Sooners the rest of the way, going down in order in the sixth and seventh innings.

OR had to expend pitching while Oklahoma took advantage of being in the winners' bracket and rested ace Paige Parker.

OR went down in order in the sixth and seventh innings as Oklahoma held on with pitcher Paige Lowary coming into the circle for the last two frames.

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OR loaded the bases before Camuso drilled a two-run double to left field to extend the lead to 7-4.

OR extended its lead in the third off Walljasper.

Reagan Rogers pinch-ran and scored two batters later with the OR shortstop inexplicably tried to nab her at the plate - Rogers was safe by a mile - rather than simply throwing out Nicole Mendes at first on a grounder.

UO's Megan Kleist allowed one more run and was relived by Miranda Elish, who got the third out to end the inning.

But catalyzed by Wodach's bunt, the Sooners didn't conform to the tournament trend, and instead, they will play in the championship series for the fourth time in program history.

Against Washington on Thursday, the Ducks played as though the pressure of the Women's College World Series got to them. However, Gourley ended the Washington threat by getting Trysten Melhart to ground out to first. UO catcher, Svekis errantly threw the ball down the line, enabling the runner to reach base and advance to second.

Oregons Megan Kleist (21-4), who earned a win and a save in elimination games Saturday, took a shutout into the fifth against Oklahoma before unraveling.

Delanie Gourley spins her 10th strikeout of the game! A four-run fifth inning made all the difference as Oklahoma overcame a Danica Mercado two-run homer earlier in that frame.

But the joy of that huge win didn't last long when No. 1 seed Florida claimed a 7-0 victory on Friday night to send LSU (48-22) into the losers bracket contest with OR (54-7). Single, run down the right foul line, and on the other side, Rogers steals third. The RHP yielded two earned runs (four total) on six hits.

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