The reigning Pac-12 pitcher of the year is headed to the Sun Belt Conference.
Megan Kleist, who announced last week that she was transferring out of the Oregon softball program, will play her senior season for Louisiana-Lafayette.
Since Mike White left for Texas and Melyssa Lombardi was hired as head coach, six different players have left the Ducks.
“When looking at the memories made over the course of the last three years, the people I’ve met, and the opportunities I’ve had a chance to experience with my girls, I am forever grateful,” Kleist posted on social media Friday. “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.”
The Ragin’ Cajuns’ associate head coach, Mike Roberts, was Oregon’s pitching coach in 2014 and Kleist’s club coach.
“For a coach, team and program to have a great player, and more importantly a selfless player, like Megan Kleist choose to join your program is a tremendous honor,” Louisiana-Lafayette head coach Gerry Glasco said in a news release. "It speaks volumes about coach Mike Roberts that she relishes the opportunity to play for him in her final season.
“(Kleist) is clearly one of the most talented pitchers in the country, but what makes her truly special is her personality and attitude. She is as selfless as any pitcher I have followed.”
During three seasons in the circle for Oregon, Kleist posted a 59-18 record and a 1.60 ERA with 475 strikeouts and 70 walks allowed.
The defending Pac-12 champions Ducks have also lost pitcher Miranda Elish, former Marist High standout Lauren Burke, centerfielder Shannon Rhodes, catcher Mary Iakopo and freshman Alyssa Pinto this offseason.
Oregon already had to replace graduated seniors Jenna Lilley, Gwen Svekis, Lauren Lindvall and DJ Sanders from the team that entered the Women’s College World Series as the No. 1 seed.
There are currently only three players — Alexis Mack, Haley Cruse and Mia Camuso — remaining on the roster from the Ducks’ starting lineup at the WCWS in June.
The NCAA rule change that allows players to contact other schools about transferring without permission from their current institution went into effect Oct. 15. Elish, Burke and Rhodes will all play for White at Texas this season without having to sit out.
“Change is hard and it takes time for change, and I understand that,” Lombardi said during a recent interview with The Register-Guard. “The athletes that have decided to move on, I wish them the best and want them to be happy with what they do.”