Arizona State eliminates LSU
OKLAHOMA CITY -- The top four seeds all survived the third day of the Women's College World Series as the tournament cut its field in half Saturday.
Top-ranked California (58-6) staved off elimination by beating Oregon 6-3 in the final game of the day. No. 3 Arizona State (52-10) came out of the loser's bracket to beat LSU 6-0.
Hays: ASU's Bach is All Business
Arizona State's Hillary Bach didn't throw a pitch during the postseason a year ago. But with the season on the line Saturday, she delivered a shutout against LSU, writes Graham Hays. Story
After winning their first two games of the tournament, both No. 4 Oklahoma (52-8) and No. 2 Alabama (57-7) got to watch from the stands.
Oklahoma will face defending champion Arizona State on Sunday and Alabama will play California. Both ASU and Cal must win twice to advance to Monday, while the Sooners and Crimson Tide are one win from moving on.
In the other two games Saturday, Oregon avoided elimination earlier in the day with a 3-1 victory that sent Tennessee home, and LSU ended South Florida's season, 1-0.
Jace Williams staked California starter Jolene Henderson to an early 3-0 lead with one swing in the top of the first inning against Oregon.
"I was just trying to have a good at-bat," Williams said of her home run. "That's been my approach, just go out there and swing at good pitches."
Right fielder Alix Johnson was a big part of two big ASU innings against the Tigers. In the third she broke a scoreless tie with a three-run homer on the first pitch from starter Rachele Fico.
In the fifth, Johnson singled, stole second and scored.
"I think we needed to make a statement this game that our bats were alive," Johnson said. "We scored a lot of runs and got a lot of runners on base."
ASU starter Hillary Bach was called for five illegal pitches for lifting her pivot foot but settled down to finish the four-hitter.
LSU ends its season at 40-25.
Cal jumped out to a quick lead when Williams hit a three-run homer on a 2-2 pitch from Oregon starter Jessica Moore in the first.
The Bears added two more runs in the second and another in the fourth when Victoria Jones homered.
Henderson improved to 38-3 with a complete game.
"My team has always been there for me," Henderson said. "Even when they're not hitting they're behind me defensively."
Oregon (45-18) scored a run in the third on Samantha Pappas' homer and then two more in the sixth thanks to freshman Sara Goodrum's double.
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press