Megan Kleist allows one hit as Oregon wins second game of Eugene Regional

The Jane Sanders crowd rose to its feet. Oregon pitcher Megan Kleist had retired all 20 batters she had faced. Drake’s Macy Johnson came to the plate for the third time of the game, and on the first pitch, the lefty smacked a line drive into dead center field, breaking …

Oregon softball star pitcher Megan Kleist announced on Twitter on Friday that she will withdraw from the University of Oregon and that she intends to transfer. She's the sixth player to leave Oregon since Melyssa Lombardi took over the program. 

“I have grown an utmost appreciation for this state, this school, [its] fans, and for all of the memories created at Jane Sanders Stadium,” Kleist posted on Twitter. “While I never thought I would have to make this decision, it is in my best interest to continue my schooling and softball career elsewhere.”

Kleist, a senior, became Oregon’s ace after Cheridan Hawkins’ reign ended in 2016. That year, Kleist went 17-6 with a 2.36 ERA  and 93 strikeouts.

She leaves Oregon with a 1.60 ERA after back-to-back seasons in 2017 and 2018 of 1.32. Kleist struck out 475 batters in her three years as a Duck and had a 59-18 record.

Oregon has lost pitcher Miranda Elish, utility player Lauren Burke, center fielder Shannon Rhodes to former head coach Mike White and Texas. Catcher Mary Iakopo and incoming freshman Alyssa Pinto have yet to announce where they will transfer after leaving the program as well.

With Kleist and Elish now both gone, this leaves Maggie Balint as the only returning pitcher.

This story will be updated when more information becomes available.

Follow Shawn Medow on Twitter @ShawnMedow

Shawn is an associate sports editor at the Daily Emerald, covering Oregon football, women's basketball, softball and everything in between.

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