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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Softball

Klingler walks-off as Cougars sweep Huskies


WEB-Justin-Tijerina-IMG_0588

The sun proved to be a problem for the Huskies Sunday, but senior second baseman Kayla Holland and the Cougars stayed strong through their comeback.  | Justin Tijerina/The Cougar

With two outs and only one opportunity left, junior Courtney Klinger stepped to the plate and became the hero.

Klinger smacked a walk-off double and brought home sophomore Shelby Miller, locking in a 4-3 victory and a weekend sweep over UConn.

“Sundays have not been our best, so I was really proud of our team for finding a way to get a Sunday win,” Holas said. “It’s been a long time since we’ve had one of those.”

For the Cougars, it was their fourth comeback of the season after trailing 3-1 late in the game.

Following a fly out, Miller was able to work a four-pitch walk and Klingler hit a double to right center that was deep enough for Miller to score.

“I thought today we started out a little slow, it’s the third day and everyone is sore and tired and it took a little bit to get going,” Shrum said. “We picked it up and were able to finish the series out very well.”

The Huskies got the scoring started in the top of the second, adding two before Miller was able to kill the rally with a big strikeout. The Cougars responded quick, scoring one in the bottom of the inning when senior Tiffani McKnight singled home junior Julana Shrum following a lead-off walk.

UConn added a run in the top of the fourth inning on a sacrifice fly to go up 3-1, but the Cougars took advantage of a Huskie misplay in the bottom of the fifth to tie it up 3-3.

Freshman Kaylin Crumpton led off the inning with a double. Senior Selena Hernandez followed with a walk to give the Cougars two on and nobody out. After consecutive ground outs that advanced the runners, the Cougars had runners on second and third with two outs.

Klingler’s high pop fly was lost by the second baseman in the sun, allowing both Cougar runners to score.

Shrum picked up the victory for the Cougars, pitching 3.2 shutout innings of relief for starter Summer Groholski and gave up only two hits.

But more significantly, the Cougars added a patch of purple on their jerseys in partnership with the March of Dimes, which works to improve the lives and health of mothers and babies.

The Cougars will look to get back above .500 this weekend as they travel to Tulsa for a three-game series against the AAC rival. The series starts with a doubleheader at 1 p.m. on Saturday.

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