Sara Brunlieb earned a complete-game victory in the pitcher's circle during the opener, Clare Robbe tossed a five-inning two-hitter in the nightcap, and the UW-Oshkosh softball team concluded its 12-game trip to Florida with a pair of wins on Thursday (March 23) in Clermont.
UW-Oshkosh (14-4) defeated The College of Wooster (Ohio), 6-2, in Thursday's first game before cruising past first-time opponent D'Youville College (N.Y.), 8-0, in five innings.
The Titans avenged Wednesday's (March 22) 4-3 loss to The College of Wooster as Brunlieb surrendered two runs across seven innings while a matching her season high with eight strikeouts for the third time this year. Brunlieb (4-2) held the Scots to six hits and one walk.
UW-Oshkosh supported Brunlieb's efforts with four runs in the bottom of the third inning before increasing its lead to 6-0 with a pair of runs during the fifth.
Brunlieb pitched around a hit and a walk in the first inning by striking out Linea Brouse to escape the jam. Following the inning-ending strikeout, Brunlieb only allowed a one-out single in the third innng and a two-out hit in the fifth before losing her shutout bid in the sixth.
UW-Oshkosh gave Brunlieb all the support she needed with four runs on two hits, one walk and two Scots errors in the third inning.
Amanda McIlhany led off the decisive third inning with a walk against The College of Wooster starting pitcher Jenna Kendall. Emma Fionda reached on an error on a sacrifice bunt, and Berry followed with a bunt single that scored McIlhany all the way from second base.
Krol singled to score Fionda, and a pair of groundouts allowed Berry to cross the plate for a 3-0 UW-Oshkosh advantage. Krol then came in to score on a fielding error at first base as three of the Titans' four runs in the inning were unearned.
UW-Oshkosh tacked on two insurance runs in the fifth inning off The College of Wooster relief pitcher Rylee Bouillion as Krol walked and came around to score following a two-out throwing error on a failed pickoff attempt by Brouse, the Scots catcher.
After a rain delay of approximately 30 minutes, Lauren Torborg launched a triple to the left-field corner that scored Claire Petrus, who had reached first base on a fielder's choice and advanced to second on a wild pitch.
After retiring 13 of the previous 15 Scots batters, Brunlieb allowed a leadoff single to Chelsea Copley in the sixth inning. Marina Roski followed with a double – the Scots' lone extra-base hit of the game – to drive home Copley to break up the shutout. Brouse then delivered a one-out single to score Roski that trimmed the Scots' deficit to 6-2, but Brunlieb recorded five consecutive outs to end the game, including the last four via strikeouts.
Maddy Chase had two hits to pace The College of Wooster (6-9).
Kendall (3-5) suffered the loss in the pitcher's circle for The College of Wooster, yielding four runs (one earned) on three hits and two walks in three innings pitched. Bouillion surrendered a pair of runs (one earned) on three hits and three walks in three innings of relief.
Both teams managed just six hits, but the Scots committed four errors while the Titans did not have a defensive miscue.
In the victory over D'Youville College, Robbe lost her bid for a perfect game on consecutive two-out, infield singles by Therese Losardo and Ashley Carney during the third inning.
Robbe (5-2) notched her second shutout of the season and the ninth of her career by retiring the last seven Spartans batters, including the last three on strikeouts. Robbe concluded the contest with four strikeouts.
Natalie Dudek went 3-for-3 at the plate and scored twice for UW-Oshkosh, which exploded for seven runs on seven hits during the second inning. The Titans tacked on one run in the top of the fifth frame to invoke the eight-run rule.
The Titans sent 13 batters to the plate during their seven-run outburst as Dudek doubled to lead off the second inning and added a single later in the frame.
A single by Paige Giese drove home Dudek for the game's first run before McIlhany smacked a two-run double to increase the Titans' lead to 3-0 with no outs in the second inning. Torborg then hit a one-out, run-scoring double to end the outing of D'Youville College (3-7) starting pitcher Alexis Dymond.
Krol, the first UW-Oshkosh batter to face Spartans relief pitcher Hannah Turek, reached via a throwing error by shortstop Rylie Russo that allowed two Titans to score. Abby Menting and Dudek then singled to load the bases with one out, and a passed ball by D'Youville College catcher Victoria Purucker allowed Krol to score the seventh run of the inning.
Dudek led off the fifth inning with a single and advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Natalie Dillon. With two outs and Dudek still at second base, Spartans second baseman Ashley Conlan misplayed a ground ball off the bat of McIlhany, and Dudek raced around to score as the ball went through Conlan's legs and into right-center field.
Robbe set down the final seven D'Youville College batters, including the last three – all pinch hitters – on strikeouts.
Dymond (1-3) was charged with the loss for D'Youville College after allowing six runs on six hits in 1.1 innings pitched.
UW-Oshkosh is off until conducting its home opener with a doubleheader against Marian University on April 5 at the UW-Oshkosh Softball Park.
Photo by Paul Fionda