OKLAHOMA CITY — Lauren Cumbess had an unforgettable experience in her first Women's College World Series game.
The Normal West High School graduate went 3-for-3, including a solo home run, and drove in two runs as No. 14-ranked Kentucky beat No. 6 Louisiana-Lafayette, 4-1, in a first-round contest Thursday night at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium.
Cumbess drove in Kentucky's first run in the first inning with a double. The senior blasted a home run over the left-field fence to put the Wildcats (49-14) ahead 3-1 in the fourth. Cumbess reached on a bunt single in the sixth on a play in which Kentucky scored on a throwing error by Louisiana-Lafayette (49-9).
"We just love being here," said Cumbess. "We just want to enjoy every moment. No one plays well under pressure, so we're not playing with any pressure on ourselves. We're going out there, trusting what we've worked on in practice. We think that we're prepared to face anybody. What happens, happens. We're just going for it."
Kentucky's Kelsey Nunley (30-9) threw a one-hitter, allowing a solo homer to Lexie Elkins in the first, while walking five and striking out seven.
The victory advanced the Wildcats to Friday's 8:30 p.m. championship bracket contest against second-seeded Alabama (51-11).
Alabama 6, Oklahoma 2: Jaclyn Traina threw a one-hitter, and Peyton Grantham and Jadyn Spencer homered in Alabama's victory over defending national champion Oklahoma.
Oklahoma' only hit off Traina (24-3) was a solo home run by the third batter, Shelby Pendley. Otherwise Traina — the winning pitcher for the Crimson Tide in the decisive game of the 2012 WCWS — kept the Sooners off balance, striking out nine.
Grantham hit a three-run homer in the fourth inning to put Alabama up 4-2 and Spencer's two-run shot in the fifth made it 6-2 and chased Oklahoma starter Kelsey Stevens (37-9).
Oregon 3, Florida State 0: Sophomore left-hander Cheridan Hawkins threw a one-hitter and top-seeded Oregon beat Florida State.
Alexa Peterson had a pair of hits, including a run-scoring double, to help Oregon (55-7-1) break the school record for victories in a season. The Ducks advanced to play Florida on Friday.
Florida State (55-8), making its first WCWS appearance in 10 years, will face Baylor on Saturday in an elimination game. Florida beat Baylor 11-0 in five innings in the first game of the tournament.
Florida 11, Baylor 0: Hannah Rogers threw a complete-game three-hit shutout and fifth-seeded Florida rolled over No. 13 seed Baylor in the opening game.
Rogers (27-8) threw her fourth shutout of the postseason for the Gators, who have won six of their seven NCAA Tournament games this season by shutout. The run-rule win over Baylor (47-15) was the fifth of the tournament for Florida (51-12).