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Huskies Spoil Sooners’ Saturday

Norman, OK- A picture perfect night in the aptly named Sooner State pitted the Big 12 regular season champion Oklahoma against Big East Regular Season Champion Connecticut in the winner’s bracket on Saturday.  As mother nature provided excellence, starters Braden Davis (Oklahoma) and Stephen Quigley (UConn) hoped to join her in the pursuit.  Both Davis and Quigley stifled the bats of their opponent until the Huskies broke through in the third inning.  Korey Morton’s RBI single put Jim Pender’s squad up a run in a game where runs would prove to come at a premium.  

Both Davis and Quigley efficiently made their way through two lineups that had been no strangers to putting up runs in a hurry.  While both offenses produced base-runners in nearly every inning, crafty pitching and smooth defense held the threats at bay.  Davis faced pressure from the Huskie offense but was effective in missing bats when it mattered most, striking out ten on the evening.  

Oklahoma Head Coach Skip Johnson handed the ball to reliever Dylan Crooks in the seventh inning, ending the day for Davis, who was responsible for the runners on first and second base.  That responsibility quickly came to fruition as UConn slugger Luke Broadhurst sent the OU reliever’s second pitch to the berm at L. Dale Mitchell Park.  Broadhurst’s 14th of the season extended the Huskie lead to 4-0 at the stretch.

The seventh inning also sparked the Sooner offense as Senior Kendall Pettis provided the left-field berm with a souvenir of their own.  While Pettis was able to trim the lead to three, it proved to be the only offense the host team could muster, in a night where Quigley nearly went the distance.  Penders handed the ball to Huskie reliever Brady Afthim, who would inherit a runner on first as Oklahoma looked to rally in the ninth following their first drawn walk of the game.  Afthim allowed the first batter he faced to get on before settling in to close out the victory for Connecticut.  

Following the loss, the Sooners will look to extend their season against Duke at 2:00 on Sunday.  UConn, the three seed in Norman, advances to the regional final and will await the winner between the top two seeds on Sunday night, and potentially Monday. 

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