Big homer lifts Huskies past Ducks in Series start
OKLAHOMA CITY — Washington appears to have Oregon's number.
Kirstyn Thomas' two-run homer in the top of the seventh inning helped the Huskies defeat the Ducks 3-1 on Thursday in the Women's College World Series.
The Huskies have taken three of four from their Pac-12 rival this season, and this time, they snapped Oregon's 15-game win streak. Taran Alvelo (33-7) pitched a complete game for Washington, which advanced to winners' bracket play on Friday.
It was Washington's first World Series win since 2013.
"It's tough to win that first game, tough to play in this environment for a bunch of kids that haven't done it before but have only dreamed about it their whole lives," Washington coach Heather Tarr said. "But now it's not a dream. It's reality, and we're ready for the next game."
In other games Thursday, it was Florida 8, Texas A&M 0; LSU 2, UCLA 1; and Oklahoma 6, Baylor 3.
Washington plays Oklahoma (57-9) Friday. Oregon takes on Baylor (48-14) on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. PDT.
Washington (49-12) scored one run in the third to open the scoring. Oregon (52-7) put two runners on with one out in the fifth, but didn't score.
After Thomas' homer put Washington up 3-0, Oregon's Lauren Lindvall doubled to start the bottom of the seventh. Jenna Lilley was hit by a pitch to put two on with no outs. Pinch-hitter Madi Bishop drove in a run, but that's all the Ducks got.
"So, yeah, there's runners on and runners in scoring position, but all that matters in that moment is that pitch that I'm about to throw," Alvelo said. "So I know if I can execute the next one, then those runners aren't going to pose a threat to our team if we can just execute in the moment."
Lilley, who was hit twice, was upset and threw her bat after she was hit the second time.
"I was just trying to throw, like, around the zone and do what I needed to do," Alvelo said. "A few got away from me, and that happens. But no hard feelings. I feel like it's part of the game. You've got to move on from it."
The Ducks had five hits and left eight runners on base.
"I just felt like we weren't aggressive at the right times," Oregon's Nikki Udria said. "I think we waited a little bit too long to get going and put that pressure on them. I'd like to see us come out on Saturday just ready to go. I felt like it took us a long time to get going today."
Oregon's Megan Kleist (20-4) pitched a complete game in the loss. The sophomore struck out two and walked four.
"Obviously it's a game that comes down to inches or opportunities, especially," Oregon coach Mike White said. "They made the most of their opportunities and we squandered some of ours."