Oregon didn't stay down for long. Less than 24 hours following a 9-6 loss to Kentucky Thursday night, the Ducks kept their heads above water to force a decisive Game 3 in the Eugene Regional.
Lauren Burke hit a two-run single in a four-run fourth inning and the Oregon Ducks evened their NCAA Super Regional against Kentucky at one game apiece with a 6-1 victory on Friday night. The game ended past midnight.
Burke drove in a pair of runs and the third scored on a throwing error before Mia Camuso added an RBI single to give the top-seeded Ducks a 4-0 lead in the fourth.
Alex Martens hit a sacrifice fly to left in the bottom half to narrow it to 4-1 for No. 16 seed Kentucky.
Jenna Lilley hit a two-run double in the sixth to put Oregon up 6-1. She celebrated by raising her hands in an 'O' as the sellout crowd at Jane Sanders Stadium cheered.
Miranda Elish (23-1) allowed one hit and one run over seven innings for the win. She struck out seven. Grace Baalman (14-9) allowed three runs on three hits over 3 1/3 innings for the loss.
"Oregon did a great job responding today," Kentucky coach Rachel Lawson said. "I thought their pitcher looked great."
"She was pounding the zone pretty hard," she said. "She was going hard early, getting the first-pitch strike. At the end she went to her changeup more. She was moving it around, mixing it up a lot, and that kept us off-balance."
Abbey Cheek drove in five runs on a pair of home run on Thursday night to lead the Wildcats in a 9-6 upset of the Ducks.
The series finale is set for tonight, with the winner advancing to the College World Series. First pitch is set for 9 p.m.
Keith Taylor is sports editor for Kentucky Today. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter @keithtaylor21
* The Associated Press contributed to this story.