UW-Stevens Point swept a softball doubleheader over UW-Oshkosh by scores of 2-1 in the opener and 10-2 in five innings during the second contest Wednesday (April 24) in Stevens Point.
UW-Stevens Point (17-18-1, 3-8-1 WIAC) scored with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning to win the first game before outhitting the Titans, 10-2, during the nightcap.
UW-Oshkosh (19-13, 5-5 WIAC), which had won 24 of its previous 25 meetings with the Pointers, remain fourth in the league standings with four conference games left before the five-team WIAC Championship commences May 4.
The Titans and Pointers entered the day as the WIAC's top two teams in batting average and on-base percentage. UW-Oshkosh sported a league-leading .325 average and a .390 on-base percentage while UW-Stevens Point was second at .318 and .385, respectively.
UW-Stevens Point hit .362 against the Titans on Wednesday, and three Pointer pitchers combined to hold the potent Titan lineup, which also led the conference with 5.5 runs per game, to a .163 batting average on the day.
In Wednesday's first game, the Titans were held scoreless after Jordan Manthei's run-scoring single with two outs in the first inning.
UW-Stevens Point tied the score at 1 in the bottom of the first inning on a leadoff home run from Maddie Candre.
UW-Oshkosh had baserunners in each of the second through fifth innings but had just one runner past first base during the span. Sidney Budzinski led off the Titan seventh inning with a pinch-hit single. A sacrifice bunt from Emma Fionda advanced pinch-runner Chloe Lambie to second base, but two infield popups stymied UW-Oshkosh's final scoring chance.
Candre reached via a fielder's choice in the decisive bottom of the seventh inning. Candre stole second base with one out, advanced to third on Lauren Luedtke's subsequent single and narrowly scored on a groundball to UW-Oshkosh second baseman Amanda McIlhany, whose throw home was a fraction late of getting a diving Candre at the plate.
Candre and Luedtke both accounted for two of the Pointers' seven hits. Natalie Dudek hit a double among the Titans' five hits. Luedtke went into Wednesday leading the conference in batting average and runs batted in, while Candre was the league leader in runs scored.
Haley Barnes (7-5) picked up the win in relief for the Pointers after pitching three scoreless innings. Barrnes allowed one hit and one walk with two strikeouts in relief of starting pitcher Ashley Cohen, who limited the Titans to one run on four hits across the first four frames.
UW-Oshkosh starting pitcher Bailey Smaney (12-5) suffered the complete-game loss despite holding the Pointers to two runs on seven hits in 6.1 innings. She walked four and struck out three. Smaney entered the day leading the WIAC in victories, shutouts, innings pitched and complete games.
In the nightcap UW-Stevens Point took the lead for good with a five-run third inning before adding three more runs in the fourth frame to invoke the eight-run rule.
UW-Oshkosh once again took a 1-0 lead in the first inning as Claire Petrus led off the game with her team-leading fourth home run. The Titans then forged a 2-2 tie during the second frame, when McIlhany came around to score on a two-out throwing error.
UW-Stevens Point's five-run outburst in the third inning featured three walks and run-scoring hits from Sammy Buerger, Madi Greenaberg, Anna Palicka.
Buerger went 2-for-3 with three RBIs to lead the Pointers.
Petrus' home run and a leadoff single by Abby Menting in the fourth inning accounted for UW-Oshkosh's hits.
Palicka earned the complete-game pitching win, surrendering just two runs (one earned) on two hits and four walks with six strikeouts.
Petrus (7-8) was the losing pitcher after yielding seven runs (six earned) in three innings across two stints in the circle.
UW-Oshkosh hosts UW-Eau Claire for a doubleheader Friday (April 26) at the UW-Oshkosh Softball Park.