Women's College World Series: Kirstyn Thomas home run sends Washington past Oregon

UCLA, Oregon and Washington began their quest for a national championship Thursday at the Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City. 

WCWS Game 1: No. 3 seed Oregon vs No. 6 seed Washington:

Kirstyn Thomas put Game 1 away with a two-run, seventh-inning blast off Megan Kleist, giving Washington the 3-1 win over Oregon. The Junior's big swing would be a necessary cushion; Washington scored one run on a Sis Bates RBI triple in the third inning and held off a powerful Ducks team until an attempted seventh inning comeback. 

Huskies' starter Taran Alvelo faced trouble in the fifth, giving up a leadoff single to Puentes and hit Jenna Lilley with a pitch with one out down. But Danica Mercado popped out and Alvelo struck out Mack swinging on three pitches to keep alive the Huskies' slim lead heading into the sixth.

The Ducks would give a comeback one more shot in the bottom of the seventh. Lauren Lindvall led off with a double and Alvelo hit Lilley with a pitch for the second time. Ali Aguilar made a diving stop off Mercado's hit up the middle for the fource out at second, putting runners on the corners with one out. Madi Bishop hit an RBI ground out to give the Ducks their only run of the game. 

Alvelo dealt seven innings of one-run ball, allowing just five hits and striking out three. Oregon's Kleist was stellar despite the mistake to Thomas, putting up a complete three-run, four-hit effort, striking out two. 

The Huskies advance to the winner's braket, where they'll play the winner of an Oklahoma-Baylor matchup Thursday, June 2 at 6:30 p.m. PT. Oregon will play the loser of that game June 3 at 11:30 a.m. PT. 

WCWS Game 2: No. 13 seed LSU 2, No. 5 seed UCLA 1

UCLA

An interference call at home plate in the top of the fifth gave LSU the go-ahead run in its 2-1 win over UCLA Thursday afternoon in Oklahoma City. With the loss, UCLA faces an elimination game Saturday at 9 a.m. PT against ninth-seeded Texas A&M, which was run-ruled by Florida in the Women's College World Series opener.

With a runner on second and one out in the top of the fifth, LSU's Constance Quinn scored on an Amber Serrett single thanks to an obstruction call against UCLA catcher Paige Halstead, as it was ruled that she blocked the plate. Here's the play in question:

The Bruins had their chances to comeback in the fifth and sixth innings but couldn't produce a game-altering hit. UCLA had runners on first and second with two outs in the fifth before Brianna Tautalafua fouled out and produced back-to-back two-out singles to put runners on first and second in the sixth, but Halstead sharply lined one directly back to LSU pitcher Allie Walljasper.

Despite not recording a strikeout, Walljasper was stellar in the circle for LSU, going the distance and scattering eight hits and a walk while allowing just the one run, a Tautalafua RBI groundout with runners on second and third and one out in the bottom of the third. She did a great job in quieting a UCLA offense that scored 36 runs in its first five psotseason games this season.

LSU got its first run of the game in the top of the first on a Sahvanna Jaquish RBI double.

UCLA, which was undefeated in postseason play heading into the WCWS, got another great performance from NFCA Freshman of the Year Rachel Garcia, who also pitched all seven innings and gave up six hits and no walks while striking out seven Tigers. Leadoff hitter Delaney Spaulding had a 2-for-4 day at the plate to lead the UCLA offense.

Quinn went 2-for-3 in the No. 6 spot in the LSU lineup, as the Tigers will now face top-seeded Florida Friday evening.

 

 

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