Kleist dominates in relief as Oregon tops Baylor 7-4 in WCWS
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Oregon pitcher Megan Kleist was thrown into the worst of situations in a Women's College World Series elimination game and got the best possible result.
With the bases loaded and no outs in the seventh, Kleist stepped in and escaped unscathed, and Oregon held on to beat Baylor 7-4 on Saturday. She struck out the first two batters she faced and got the third to ground out to earn the save.
''Holy cow, that really saved our bacon,'' Oregon coach Mike White said.
Kleist got the job done against Baylor's Nos. 3, 4 and 5 hitters.
''As usual, when our backs are to the wall, we tend to perform our best, and that's what Megan Kleist did in this situation,'' White said.
Miranda Elish (12-0) took a no-hitter into the fifth inning in the game that included a 75-minute rain delay. The weather made it feel like home for the Ducks.
''It's like Eugene came with us to Oklahoma because it always rains in Eugene,'' Oregon pitcher Maggie Balint said. ''We kind of get used to that as a team, and I think it's more beneficial to our team than it is to other teams because other teams don't get rain delays like we do.''
The Ducks (53-7) advanced to play LSU in an elimination game Saturday night.
Oregon took a 5-0 lead in the top of the fifth inning, but Baylor scored four runs in the bottom of the inning. Oregon's Mia Camuso hit a two-run double in the seventh to push the Ducks' lead to 7-4.
''We dug ourselves in a hole once again, and you just can't do that this time of year and expect to keep coming out of it,'' Baylor coach Glenn Moore said. ''It's going to bite you eventually, and we didn't play clean ball this tournament. But we had our moments, and we kept fighting.''
Gia Rodoni (18-4) was the loser. Kyla Walker had two hits for Baylor (48-15).
The Bears weren't highly regarded heading into the season, but they reached the World Series by beating No. 2 seed Arizona in super regionals. Moore is proud of what his team accomplished.
''This team overcame a lot, and they became a dang good team, very respected by everybody across the country, and it was because of hard work and paying the price and getting to this point.''
Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CliffBruntAP