Softball: All-American Megan Kleist won't pitch for Cajuns this year
Kevin Foote, The Advertiser, January 8, 2019
The UL softball community has been abuzz since Dec. 12 when the news officially broke that two-time All-American pitcher Megan Kleist was transferring from Oregon to the Ragin’ Cajuns softball program.
Well, a month later, it appears UL fans may have to wait a year longer than originally anticipated to see Kleist pitcher in a Cajun uniform.
On Tuesday afternoon, Kleist tweeted that she won’t actually be pitching at UL until the 2020 season.
"Over the last few weeks, with the support of Coach Glasco, I have carefully considered the future of my athletic and academic careers. Together we believe it is in my best interest to finish my undergraduate degree here at the University of Oregon. Upon completion of my undergraduate degree, I will join the UL softball program for the 2020 season," Kleist's tweet reads.
"As I transition from Oregon to Louisiana, I will also be able to begin the path to completing a masters degree at UL. This plan of action allows me to finish my education in an uninterrupted fashion and not lose sight of my academics — something everyone always mentions during recruitment. I am thankful for the opportunity to work with UL’s quality staff, and I can easily see that they value the best interests of their players, looking beyond life as only a softball player, and supporting all of my goals. To me, that’s all a girl could ever ask for.
"Thank you to the University of Louisiana for your cooperation in such a short period of time. I will be forever grateful for the ability to live out my dreams, on the field and in the classroom. See y’all in 2020. Much love, Kleisty," the tweet concludes.
Kleist is part of a huge player exodus from Oregon after head coach Mike White left the Ducks’ program for the Texas job in June.
Kleist’s connection with the Cajuns program is new UL pitching coach Mike Roberts, who was a youth coach for Kleist in Wisconsin.
UL transfer Megan Kleist (four from left on top) is shown here on team winning the 2012 ASA Class A 16U national championship with a 7-1 record in North Platte, Neb. The team was coached by current UL pitching coach Mike Roberts (top row, far right.) (Photo: File Photo)
In fact, on Kleist’s USA Softball team bio, she lists Roberts and her family as her biggest supporters.
Two days after she announced she was transferring to UL, Kleist tweeted out the following statement:
“I’ve been unable to come to peace with what has happened over the course of the last few weeks, however, I’ve been reminded that the recent circumstances I’ve been put under have been nothing short of a blessing in disguise.
"Most of you don’t know the story, but for those that do, will know how near and dear to my heart it has remained throughout the last six years apart. It has been my lifelong dream to once again play for the man who originally led to love, respect and play this game. Now I’ve been giving the opportunity to allow that dream to come full circle, and it was an opportunity I was unable to overlook.”
Kleist is coming off a first-team All-American season as a junior, going 21-7 with a 1.32 ERA. In 179.2 innings, she allowed 112 hits, 21 walks and struck out 221 while opponents hit .173 against her.
As a sophomore, Kleist was a second-team All-American, going 21-5 with a 1.32 ERA. In 169.2 innings, Kleist yielded 126 hits, walked 37 and struck out 161 while opponents hit .201.
As a freshman, the right-hander was a co-Freshman of the Year recipient in the Pac-12 after going 17-6 with a 2.36 ERA, giving up 131 hits, 12 walks and striking out 93 in 127.2 innings. Opponents hit .259 against her.
The 2019 Cajuns are scheduled to open the upcoming season at 5 p.m. Feb. 7 against Fordham in the Ragin’ Cajun Classic.