Bailey Smaney and Claire Petrus pitched complete games in the pitcher's circle and Titan batters produced 25 total hits as the UW-Oshkosh softball team earned a pair of lopsided victories Friday (March 29) in Clermont, Fla.
UW-Oshkosh (8-6) backed Smaney's career best nine-strikeout pitching effort with 13 hits during an 8-2 win over The College of New Rochelle (N.Y.). The Titans then added 12 more hits as Petrus tossed a three-hitter in an 8-0, six-inning shutout against Colby College (Maine).
The Titans hit a combined .403 on the day and compiled a .441 on-base percentage. Smaney and Petrus limited the Titans' two opponents to a .216 batting average with 13 strikeouts and two walks allowed.
Abby Menting went 5-for-8 with two runs scored and two runs batted in to lead the productive Titan offense.
UW-Oshkosh's Chloe Lambie was 4-for-5 with a pair of RBIs and two stolen bases, Carly Szada drove in three runs, Sidney Budzinski collected three doubles and two RBIs as 14 different Titans reached base during the two games.
In the first game of the day, UW-Oshkosh erupted for five runs on seven hits during the top of the first inning. Petrus led off the game with a single, Acacia Tupa followed with a double and Menting drove home Petrus before The College of New Rochelle recorded an out.
Budzinski began another string of three consecutive hits with a two-run double, Grace Stevens added a single and Amanda McIlhany extended the UW-Oshkosh lead to 4-0 with an RBI single. Szada later capped the five-run explosion with a sharp single to left that scored Stevens from second base.
The College of New Rochelle cut its deficit to 5-2 on run-scoring doubles from Gaby Hay and Valerie Romano in the bottom of the third inning, but Smaney held the Blue Angels to two hits – both on singles by Hay – the rest of the way.
Smaney set down The College of New Rochelle in order in the sixth inning, tying her previous career high with a seventh strikeout for the second out of the frame. Smaney then concluded her outing with back-to-back strikeouts to end the game.
UW-Oshkosh added three runs in the fifth inning as three straight Titans singled with two outs. McIlhany plated pinch-runner Gabby Buikema with a single and Lambie's ensuing hit continued the inning for Szada, who delivered a two-run single to cap the scoring.
Smaney improved her record to 4-3 on the year after yielding eight hits and two walks. She did not allow a baserunner past second base after the third inning.
Lambie went 3-for-4 while McIlhany, Menting and Szada each added two of the Titans' 13 hits. Szada's three RBIs established a new career high.
Hay, who was 4-for-4 at the plate to pace the Blue Angels, suffered the complete-game loss in the pitcher's circle, surrendering 13 hits and three walks with one strikeout. Her record fell to 6-5 this season.
During the win over Colby College, the Titans gave Petrus the only run she needed via a two-out single by Buikema that scored Menting in the bottom of the first inning.
Petrus, who has tossed shutouts in both of her last two starts, did not give up a hit to the Mules until back-to-back two-out singles during the third inning. She proceeded to allow just one more hit – a mere infield single with two outs in the fifth frame – for the remainder of the contest.
Petrus (4-3) concluded the game with four strikeouts without issuing a walk. She now has five career shutouts in her three seasons at UW-Oshkosh.
UW-Oshkosh tacked on four runs in the fourth inning before ending the contest via the eight-run rule with three more runs in the sixth.
Katie Kugel, who recorded her first collegiate hit in the second inning, drove in the first run of her Titan career with a groundout during the fourth inning. Tupa hit a sacrifice fly that plated Natalie Dudek with the third UW-Oshkosh run. Menting singled to score Kugel, and a misplayed grounder by Colby College off the bat of Kailee Garstecki allowed Menting cross the plate for a 5-0 advantage.
The Titans' decisive sixth inning began with singles by Tupa and Menting before a walk to Budzinski loaded the bases. A wild pitch allowed Tupa to score, and Lambie drove home Budzinski and pinch-runner Emma Fionda to end the game with no outs.
Menting went 3-for-4 against the Mules for her second straight and 39th career multiple-hit game. Menting now leads the team this season with a .408 batting average, a .572 slugging percentage, 20 hits, 10 runs, five doubles and 12 RBIs.
Budzinski doubled twice for the Titans, who received at least one hit from each of the nine spots in the batting order.
Wiley Holton was charged with the complete-game loss for the Mules, ceding eight runs (seven earned) on 12 hits and two walks with zero strikeouts in five-plus innings.
UW-Oshkosh wraps up its trip to Florida with a doubleheader against University of Chicago (Ill.) on Saturday (March 30) in Clermont.
Photo by Paul Fionda