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Titans Land Six All-WIAC Softball Selections

Titans Land Six All-WIAC Softball Selections

First Team honorees Claire Petrus, Bailey Smaney and Acacia Tupa headline UW-Oshkosh's six selections to the 2019 All-WIAC Softball Team.

Petrus, a junior designated player, received all-conference honorable mention recognition a year ago while senior pitcher Smaney and junior outfielder Tupa earned their second straight First Team accolades.

UW-Oshkosh junior shortstop Natalie Dudek, senior catcher Abby Menting and junior second baseman Amanda McIlhany were each selected to the All-WIAC Honorable Mention Team. Menting garnered her third all-league award after being named the 2016 Position Player of the Year and a First Team selection in 2017. Dudek was also an honorable mention pick in 2017. McIlhany collected her first all-conference citation.

The 20-member All-WIAC First Team included the Position Player of the Year, UW-Stevens sophomore shortstop Lauren Luedtke, and Pitcher of the Year Bella Matthias, a junior from UW-Whitewater. UW-La Crosse was named the WIAC Coaching Staff of the Year.

Petrus, who started each of the Titans' 40 games, finished the season with a team-leading six home runs, 29 runs batted in, 61 total bases and a .587 slugging percentage while listing second on the squad with a .356 batting average. She currently ranks third in the league in home runs, fourth in RBIs, fifth in slugging percentage and ninth in total bases.

Petrus hit all but one of her home runs against conference foes this season, including a three-run shot in a win at UW-La Crosse. She also belted home runs against UW-Eau Claire, UW-Stevens Point, and went 3-for-4 with a homer and three runs batted in during a victory over UW-Stout.

Petrus did not commit an error in 48 fielding chances on the year and compiled a 9-9 record in the pitcher's circle with eight complete games, two shutouts and one save. She fired a pair of three-hit shutouts against Maine institutions Colby and Thomas colleges during a four-day stretch in March.

Smaney had a 14-8 record this year with a 2.78 earned run average, 14 complete games, five shutouts and 66 strikeouts in 136 innings pitched across 27 appearances and 20 starts. She leads the conference in wins, innings pitched and complete games while ranking second in the league in shutouts, third in appearances and pitching starts, and sixth in strikeouts.

Smaney, who was error-free in 38 fielding chances, won eight consecutive decisions between March 29 and April 19, compiling a 1.65 earned run average and tossing three shutouts during the span. She bookended the personal winning streak with a career high-tying nine strikeout, complete game performance against The College of New Rochelle (N.Y.) on March 29 and a five-hit shutout over Ripon College on April 19.

Smaney was the winning pitcher in the Titans' victory at top-seeded UW-Whitewater during the second round of the WIAC Championship after she tossed 4.2 scoreless innings on just two hits. She also earned a win over UW-Whitewater during the regular season in addition to league victories against UW-La Crosse, UW-River Falls and UW-Stout.

Tupa hit .347 on the year and led the Titans with 27 runs scored, eight doubles, two triples and eight stolen bases. Her four home runs, 59 total bases and .584 slugging percentage all ranked second on the team. Tupa, who did not commit an error in 47 fielding chances, lists fifth in the WIAC in home runs, sixth in slugging percentage, seventh in runs batted in and stolen bases, eighth in runs scored, and 10th in total bases.

Tupa recorded eight multiple-hit games this season, including three-hit efforts against UW-La Crosse, UW-River Falls and UW-Stout as she hit .409 during league play and led the WIAC with four home runs and 16 RBIs in the 14-game conference slate. During a six-game stretch against conference rivals between April 26 and May 3, Tupa batted .500 with nine runs scored, four doubles, three home runs, 12 runs batted in and two stolen bases.

Tupa opened conference play by going 5-for-7 at the plate during a doubleheader at UW-La Crosse with a pair of doubles, a home run, four RBIs and a stolen base. She later added three-hit games against UW-River Falls, UW-Stout and UW-Whitewater.

Dudek paced the Titans with a .374 batting average, 40 hits, eight doubles, 16 walks and a .465 on-base percentage. She lists second in the WIAC in on-base percentage fifth in walks, seventh in batting average and eighth in hits. Dudek was the only WIAC middle infielder to not commit an error in conference play, finishing fifth in the league with 27 assists during the 14-game regular season. She made just one error and played a role in seven double plays turned over UW-Oshkosh's final 22 games of the year.

Dudek, who struck out just once and walked 12 times across her first 110 plate appearances of the year, produced 12 multiple hit games this season, including four in a row from April 9-16. She homered on back-to-back days at the WIAC Championship after hitting one home run during the regular season.

McIlhany, a starter in each of the Titans' 40 games, batted .325 this season while finishing second on the squad with 39 hits and 24 runs scored. She put together a 13-game hitting streak – fourth longest in school history – from March 26 through April 9 as she hit .429 during the stretch with 11 runs scored, three doubles, one triple and a pair of home runs.

McIlhany, who hit a go-ahead three-run homer against UW-Whitewater, had a .976 fielding percentage this year, committing just four errors in 162 chances. She ranked fourth in the conference with 29 assists during the WIAC regular season.

Menting hit .348 on the year, tying for the team lead with 40 hits and eight doubles while hitting three home runs and driving in 23 runs. She got on base at a .500 clip during the conference regular season to rank second in the league. Menting's home run and five RBIs helped lead UW-Oshkosh to a pivotal doubleheader sweep at UW-Stout in mid-April.

Menting, a two-time All-Region First Team selection, concluded her standout career ranked third on the school's all-time list with 66 walks, sixth with 38 doubles and seventh with 17 home runs.

UW-Oshkosh (23-17) won at least 20 games for the WIAC record-tying 16th consecutive season. The Titans went on to finish third in the league postseason tournament hitting .309 on the year and leading the conference in scoring at 5.35 runs per game to go along with a .972 fielding percentage and 14 double plays turned. UW-Oshkosh had the only conference offense to record more walks (105) than strikeouts (102).

2019 All-WIAC Softball Team