Happy Friday, friends and fans!
Tonight, the No. 1 seeded Oklahoma Sooners softball team officially begins its quest toward the 2021 Women’s College World Series, and that journey starts at Marita Hynes Field in the Norman Regional. Up first for Patty Gasso and her top-ranked OU squad are the Morgan State Bears out of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. First pitch is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. CT on ESPN3.
The road starts .— Oklahoma Softball (@OU_Softball) May 21, 2021
Marita Hynes Field
7:30 p.m. CT
https://t.co/FLBGPIVGxY#ChampionshipMindset | #RoadtoWCWS pic.twitter.com/oSVKUtamOL
Before the contest between Oklahoma and Morgan State gets underway, the Wichita State Shockers and Texas A&M Aggies are set to open the Norman Regional at 5 p.m. CT.
The winners of the two games on Friday will face each other in the first of three games on Saturday at 3 p.m. CT, while the two losing teams from Friday will play in an elimination game at 5:30 p.m. CT. Then, the loser of Saturday’s first game will take on the winner of the second game in another elimination game at 8 p.m. CT. That game’s winner will then take on the winner of Saturday’s first game on Sunday at 3 p.m. CT. If necessary, a regional-deciding rematch is scheduled for Sunday evening at 5:30 p.m. CT.
The winner of the Norman Regional will face the winner of the Seattle Regional on Thursday, May 27 through Sunday, May 30, with the highest-seeded team serving as the host of that subsequent super regional.
Now onto this week’s Friday edition of Hot Links! Sooner Hoops is headed to Myrtle Beach, Rhamondre inks deals with the Pats, the NBA MVP finalists are announced and more!
- On Thursday, eight Oklahoma softballers earned All-Central Region honors, with seven Sooners receiving First-Team recognition. Congratulations, ladies! Boomer!
- The OU men’s basketball team is set to participate in the 2021 Myrtle Beach Invitational from Nov. 18-21. In addition to the Crimson & Cream, the eight-team field includes Davidson, East Carolina, Indiana State, New Mexico State, Old Dominion, Penn and Utah State. It should be a great opportunity for the program as it tips-off the Porter Moser era.
- According to the latest projections from DraftKings Sportsbook, Spencer Rattler remains the odds-on favorite to win the 2021 Heisman Trophy.
- Four of the transfers Oklahoma welcomed via the portal are ranked inside 247 Sports’ top 50 players suiting up for a new college in 2021.
- Earlier this week, the New England Patriots officially signed Rhamondre Stevenson to an undisclosed deal after selecting the former OU running back in the fourth round of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Around the Sports World
- Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors, Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers and Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets have each been named finalists for the 2020-21 NBA MVP Award.
- Tim Tebow has officially signed a deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars as a tight end. The former Heisman Trophy winning quarterback will wear No. 85.
- On Thursday night, Albert Pujols recorded his first home run in a Los Angeles Dodgers uniform with this two-run dinger. It was the future Hall of Famer’s 668th homer of his career, and helped lead LA to a 3-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks.
- Class of 2022 four-star RB Jaydon Blue — a Texas Longhorns verbal commit — has announced his decision to forgo his senior season at Klein Cain High School in Houston in order to prepare for college.
- Legendary UConn Huskies women’s basketball head coach Geno Auriemma has signed a contract extension that will keep the 11-time national champ in Storrs through at least the 2024-25 season.
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