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Titans Swap Shutouts With Green Knights

Bailey Smaney limited the Green Knights to just four singles en route to pitching her seventh career shutout in the opener.
Bailey Smaney limited the Green Knights to just four singles en route to pitching her seventh career shutout in the opener.

Bailey Smaney pitched a four-hitter in the opener as UW-Oshkosh and St. Norbert College exchanged softball shutouts Tuesday (April 23) in De Pere.

UW-Oshkosh (19-11) won the opener, 1-0, behind Smaney's fifth shutout of the year. St. Norbert College (19-15) then claimed the nightcap by a 4-0 score to snap a five-game losing streak to the Titans.

Each of the Titans' 14 hits on the day were singles while the Green Knights had three doubles, one triple and a home run – all during the second contest – among their 12 hits. UW-Oshkosh left a total of 18 runners on base, including 10 during the nightcap.

In Tuesday's first game, Smaney limited the Green Knights to just four singles and one walk en route to pitching her seventh career shutout.

Smaney allowed a hit to lead off the bottom of the first inning before retiring 10 of the next 11 batters. The Green Knights' lone baserunner during the span reached via catcher's interference with one out in the third inning.

St. Norbert College loaded the bases in the home half of the fourth inning on a hit, a walk and a hit batter. However, Smaney preserved the shutout by inducing a popup to the pitcher's circle to end the frame.

UW-Oshkosh provided Smaney the only run she needed in the fifth inning. Jordan Manthei led off the frame with a single before being lifted for pinch-runner Kate Fontanetta. Acacia Tupa followed with a single, and Claire Petrus' groundout advanced Fontanetta to third base with one out for Natalie Dudek, who lifted a sacrifice fly to center field that scored Fontanetta.

Smaney pitched around leadoff singles in the fifth and sixth innings before retiring the Green Knights in order during the seventh. Smaney completed the shutout with a pair of strikeouts to end the game.

Smaney (12-4), the WIAC leader in victories, lowered her team-best earned run average to 2.19 on the way to improving her career record to 30-9.

Manthei went 2-for-3 for the Titans, marking her fourth multiple-hit performance during the past 10 games.

St. Norbert College starting pitcher Emma Molenhouse (9-8) was charged with loss after allowing one run on five hits and one walk in four innings.

During the nightcap, St. Norbert College never looked back after scoring once in the bottom of the first inning and adding a pair of runs in the second. The Green Knights, who were outscored by a combined 23-6 score during their previous five meetings with the Titans, picked up their first win over UW-Oshkosh since 2012.

St. Norbert College's Carley Frauenhoff drove in the decisive run on a groundout in the first inning. Brianna Braeger added a two-out, two-run double during the second inning. Alyssa Sikora later capped the scoring with a solo home run in the fourth frame.

Sikora went 3-for-3 with a pair of doubles and a home run to pace the Green Knights, who also received two hits apiece from Braeger and Allison Knop.

UW-Oshkosh stranded two baserunners in each of the first three innings and left a total of seven runners on base through four frames. The Titans once again had two runners aboard in the top of the sixth inning, but a flyout ended the scoring opportunity.

St. Norbert College starting pitcher Ellie Olsen and reliever Morgyn Zielke combined to hold the Titans to seven hits and two walks.

Olsen (7-6) earned the win by scattering five hits and a walk across the first four innings. Zielke picked up her third save of the year, allowing just two hits and a walk with one strikeout across the final three frames.

Petrus (7-7) suffered the loss for the Titans after giving up four runs on four hits over the first 3.2 innings. She walked three batters and struck out one in the pitcher's circle while going 2-for-3 to lead UW-Oshkosh at the plate.

UW-Oshkosh relief pitcher Sidney Budzinski held the Green Knights scoreless on four hits across the last 2.1 innings.

UW-Oshkosh continues its string of 12 games over the last seven days of the regular season with a conference doubleheader at UW-Stevens Point on Wednesday (April 24).