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Stanford uses big inning to blast LSU, advance to Women’s College World Series



STANFORD – Sophomore NiJaree Canady strengthened her credentials as the best pitcher in college softball, throwing a second consecutive shutout while facing elimination to once again lead No. 8 Stanford into the Women’s College World Series.

Canady allowed three hits and one walk in six innings, and Stanford broke through with seven runs in the fifth to beat No. 9 LSU 8-0 in six innings on Sunday in the deciding game of the best-of-three Stanford Super Regional at Smith Family Stadium.

The Cardinal (48-14) will face top-seed Texas on Thursday at 4 p.m. in Oklahoma City.

It will be the fourth WCWS appearance for Stanford, who made the national semifinals last season behind Canady and also appeared in 2001 and 2004 when coach Jessica Allister was the Cardinal’s starting catcher.

Senior Caelen Koch had two doubles and an RBI single against LSU starter Sydney Berzon, and freshman Jade Berry hit a three-run homer on the first pitch from reliever Raelin Chaffin.

Kaitlyn Lim ended the game with a leadoff homer in the sixth inning.

Canady, who leads the NCAA in ERA at 0.67, allowed a career-worst six runs in four innings against the Tigers (44-17) on Friday night’s series opener. But she responded with a two-hitter in Stanford’s 3-0 win Saturday and allowed just five baserunners on Sunday.

The Tigers loaded the bases with one out in the fifth inning, but left fielder Kyra Chen caught a fly ball and threw out an LSU runner tagging from third to end the inning.

The Cardinal exploded in the bottom half of the inning.

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