By LARRY VAUGHT
When Rachel Lawson said Oregon had three dominant starting pitchers, she was not exaggerating.
Oregon (50-7) is the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament hosts Kentucky starting Thursday night in the Super Regional.
Being the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA softball tournament adds extra attention and pressure to the equation.
Kentucky outscored foes 28-1 in its regional sweep. Oregon managed just 12 runs in a win over Albany and two over Drake in the regional, but starting pitchers Miranda Elish (22-1) and Megan Kleist (21-5) combined to allow no runs, two walks and 10 hits with 36 strikeouts over 21 innings. Kleist game up a two-out single in the seventh against Drake to prevent her from having a perfect game.
Both Elish and Kleist have 0.92 earned-run averages going into the series with 16th-seed. Oregon hasn’t allowed a run in the last30 innings. Maggie Balint is the third dominant starting pitcher.