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Titans Win Nightcap To Gain Split With Pioneers

Natalie Dudek owned three of UW-Oshkosh's 10 hits against the Pioneers.
Natalie Dudek owned three of UW-Oshkosh's 10 hits against the Pioneers.

UW-Oshkosh's Claire Petrus scored twice and earned a complete-game win during the second contest as the Titans and UW-Platteville split a softball doubleheader Friday (April 19) at the UW-Oshkosh Softball Park.

UW-Oshkosh (18-10, 5-3 WIAC) bounced back for a 7-2 win in the second game after falling, 1-0, during the opener. The Titans moved up a spot to third place in the league standings with six conference games left.

UW-Platteville (13-15, 3-3 WIAC), which is remains tied for fifth in the league, won a game in Oshkosh for the first time since April 12, 2000. The Pioneers have lost 12 of their last 14 meetings with the Titans.

UW-Oshkosh narrowly outhit UW-Platteville, 10-9, on the day after entering Friday leading the WIAC with 6.0 runs per game, a .339 batting average and a .404 on-base percentage.

During the second contest, UW-Oshkosh scored twice in the bottom of the first inning before adding five more runs in the second frame for a 7-0 lead.

Natalie Dudek, Amanda McIlhany, Abby Menting and Grace Stevens all drove in runs over the first two innings as the Titans took advantage of four Pioneer errors. UW-Oshkosh scored its first two runs on just one hit in the first inning thanks to a pair of UW-Platteville miscues.

UW-Oshkosh's Acacia Tupa had a triple, a walk, a stolen base and scored twice from atop the lineup. Menting and Sidney Budzinski both doubled for the Titans.

Petrus improved her pitching record to 7-6 on the year after limiting the Pioneers to two runs on seven hits and one walk with three strikeouts.

UW-Platteville starting pitcher Abby Burns (4-6) was charged with the loss, allowing seven runs (three earned) on four hits and two walks in 1.1 innings.

Shannon Gaul went 3-for-3 to lead the UW-Platteville offense.

In Friday's opener, UW-Platteville's Ashton Hoeppner outdueled UW-Oshkosh's Bailey Smaney in the pitcher's circle.

Smaney was perfect through three innings until Riley Kelsch led off the top of the fourth inning with a single. After a bunt moved Kelsch to second base, Rachel Martin delivered a single that scored Kelsch with the game's only run.

Smaney (11-4), who lost for the first time in nine decisions, allowed just the two fourth-inning singles the entire game. She walked three batters and struck out three on the way to setting down 10 of the last 11 Pioneers she faced.

Hoeppner (6-7), who went into the day with a WIAC-leading 67 strikeouts, recorded each of her last 20 outs on the infield after Tupa led off the bottom of the first inning with a flyout to center field. Hoeppner gave up a pair of singles to Dudek in the second and seventh innings and a single to Krol in the seventh.

UW-Oshkosh had runners in scoring position in both the second and seventh innings. However, Hoeppner pitched around Dudek's leadoff single in the second frame and registered a game-ending strikeout with runners at first and second bases.

The Titans travel to De Pere on Tuesday (April 23) for a doubleheader at St. Norbert College.