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Titans Sweep Maroons, Polar Bears

Kaitlyn Krol drove in two runs, including the eventual game-winner, during the Titans' victory over University of Chicago.
Kaitlyn Krol drove in two runs, including the eventual game-winner, during the Titans' victory over University of Chicago.

Sara Brunlieb earned the complete-game pitching victory and Kaitlyn Krol drove in two runs during the opener while Claire Petrus tossed a six-hitter and collected two doubles in the nightcap as the UW-Oshkosh softball team won a pair of games on Sunday (March 19) in Clermont, Fla.

UW-Oshkosh (9-3) came back for a 3-1 victory over University of Chicago (Ill.) during Sunday's first game before holding on for a 2-0 win over Bowdoin College (Maine) in the second contest.

Against University of Chicago, Krol drove home the eventual winning run with a two-out double in the top of the fifth inning and added a run-scoring single with two outs in the seventh frame to provide the game's final score.

Brunlieb (2-2) limited the Maroons to just five hits while striking out six batters in notching her second complete game of the year.

University of Chicago (3-1) brought the potential tying run to the plate with no outs in each of the final three innings, but Brunlieb allowed just one runner to reach second base over the last three frames.

The Maroon struck first with a run on two hits in the bottom of the fourth inning. Anna Woolery singled to lead off the frame and went to third base on a double by Maeve Garvey. Maggie O'Hara then followed with a sacrifice fly, but Brunlieb limited the damage by striking out the next two batters.

Tanya Hammitt delivered a pinch-hit single to spark the Titans' rally with one out in the top of the fifth inning. After Emma Fionda bunted McIlhany to third base, Berry laced a single to score McIlhany with the tying run, and Krol gave UW-Oshkosh a 2-1 advantage with a double to left field. The RBI was Berry's team-leading 12th of the season.

Brunlieb gave up a single to lead off the bottom of the fifth inning before getting three infield outs to strand a Maroon at second base.

Brunlieb then walked Woolery to open the sixth inning, but the Titans got a popup for the first out. UW-Oshkosh catcher Abby Menting then gunned down Woolery trying to steal second base, and a flyout concluded the threat.

The Titans' insurance run in the seventh inning began with a one-one walk by Fionda, who went to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Berry and scored on Krol's single to center field.

Carly Schultz singled to start the home half of the seventh inning, but Danielle Allen followed with a lineout to Brunlieb, who fired to Krol at first base to double up Schultz on the play. Brunlieb secured the victory by striking out Colleen Bennett to end the game.

Berry and Krol both had two hits for the Titans while Garvey and O'Hara hit doubles for the Maroons.

University of Chicago starting pitcher Molly Moran (1-1) was charged with the loss after yielding two runs on six hits in 4.2 innings pitched.

In the victory over Bowdoin College, Petrus (2-0) recorded her first career shutout after yielding six singles. She did not allow a Polar Bear to reach second base until the sixth inning.

Petrus also increased her season total to a team-best seven doubles at the plate while extending her scoreless streak in the pitcher's circle to 14.1 innings.

The Titans backed Petrus' pitching gem with single runs in both the second and sixth innings. A bunt single by Brianna Witter scored Petrus from third base to open the scoring, and a double by Petrus scored Lauren Torborg with no outs in the bottom of the sixth inning. Torborg led off the sixth frame with a pinch-hit single to center field.

Petrus gave up a leadoff, infield single to Natalie Edwards in the sixth inning. Lauren Nguyen pinch ran for Edwards and went to second base on a wild pitch. However, Petrus registered a strikeout, a groundout and a popup to strand Nguyen at third base.

Bowdoin College (3-4) threatened again in the seventh inning as Caroline Rice singled up the middle with one out. Claire McCarthy got a two-out base hit to put Polar Bears at first and third bases, but Petrus struck out Samantha Valdivia to clinch the victory.

Petrus, who did not issue a walk, ceded hits in each of the first three innings before retiring six consecutive Polar Bears over the fourth and fifth frames.

Bowdoin College's Emily Griffin (2-1) suffered the complete-game loss, allowing six hits with six strikeouts and two walks.

UW-Oshkosh owns a 12-11 record against University of Chicago since 1999. The Titans have won three straight games over the Maroons and eight of the last 10 meetings.

The Titans have won all three matchups with Bowdoin College, including an 8-1 victory last season.

UW-Oshkosh is off until playing Fontbonne (Mo.) and Buena Vista (Iowa) universities on Tuesday (March 21) in Clermont.

Photo by Paul Fionda