Abby Menting hit a go-ahead grand slam in the nightcap as the UW-Oshkosh softball team split two games for the second straight day on Saturday (March 3) at the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Leadoff Classic in Tucson, Ariz.
UW-Oshkosh (6-2), ranked 20th in the NCAA Division III by the NFCA, lost to 24th-ranked Babson College (Mass.) by a 15-5 score before downing DePauw University (Ind.), 12-3 in five innings, in the second contest.
Babson College and UW-Oshkosh both advanced to the Super Regional round of last year's national tournament.
Erika Berry went 5-for-6 on the day to lead UW-Oshkosh.
In the victory over DePauw University, Menting launched a grand slam to give the Titans the lead for good at 6-2 with no outs in the top of the second inning.
The first six UW-Oshkosh batters reached base to begin the decisive second inning as Amanda McIlhany hit a leadoff single, and Katie Fontanetta and Natalie Dillon drew back-to-back walks to load the bases for Acacia Tupa, who knotted the score at 2 with a run-scoring single.
Menting then blasted a grand slam – her first home run of the season and 13th in her career – and Fontanetta capped UW-Oshkosh's seven-run, second-inning outburst with a two-out, two-RBI single that extended the lead to 8-2.
The Titans tacked on three insurance runs in the third frame and one more in the fifth on the way to securing their fourth win via the eight-run rule this season.
UW-Oshkosh's three-run third inning featured an RBI single by Kaitlyn Krol and a two-run double from Berry. Krol increased the Titan advantage to 12-3 with a run-scoring double in the fifth frame.
Krol gave UW-Oshkosh a 1-0 lead in the first inning with a two-out single that plated Tupa.
DePauw University (3-3) claimed a 2-1 advantage in the home half of the first frame on a two-run double from Becca St. Germaine. The Tigers then cut their deficit to 11-3 in the third inning on St. Germaine's run-scoring grounder.
Menting had a pair of hits and drove in four runs while Berry and Krol both recorded three of the Titans' 12 hits. Berry was a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate with a double and a walk.
Claire Petrus went the distance in the pitcher's circle for the Titans, yielding three runs on three hits en route to improving her record to 4-0 on the year. She walked three and struck out three.
DePauw University starting pitcher Devin Pieper was charged with the loss after allowing eight runs (seven earned) on eight hits and five walks in two innings pitched.
In the setback to Babson College, the Beavers had 19 baserunners over the first four innings and finished the game with an 18-8 advantage in hits.
Babson College (2-1) took a 3-0 lead on a three-run homer from Annie Quine in the top of the first inning.
UW-Oshkosh answered with three unearned runs in the bottom of the first frame as Natalie Dudek plated a run with a groundball, and Krol and Berry followed with consecutive RBI singles to tie the score at 3.
The Beavers scored four runs in the second inning for a 7-3 advantage and put the game away with a pair of runs in both the third and fourth frames. Babson College concluded the scoring with a four-run seventh inning.
Jacqueline Paul provided Babson College the lead for good at 6-3 with a three-run double with one out in the second inning. Victoria Casey added a two-out, two-RBI single in the fourth frame to extend the Beaver advantage to 11-3.
UW-Oshkosh pulled within 11-5 in the fifth inning following run-scoring hits from Rachel Ashauer and Dillon.
Paul, Quine, Josephine Mares and Ashley Tango had three hits each for the Beavers.
Berry and Jordan Manthei both went 2-for-3 to lead UW-Oshkosh.
Ali Reilly picked up the win in relief for Babson College. She held the Titans to two runs on six hits in six innings pitched after entering with two runners on with no outs in the second frame. Reilly registered six strikeouts and issued three walks.
Bailey Smaney (2-2) suffered the loss for the Titans, ceding six runs on six hits in 1.1 innings pitched.
UW-Oshkosh concludes its trip to Arizona on Sunday (March 4) with games against Wittenberg University (Ohio) and University of St. Thomas (Minn.).