Titans Split Results With Spartans, Ephs

Bailey Smaney recorded her first save as a Titan during the Titans' win over Manchester University.
Bailey Smaney recorded her first save as a Titan during the Titans' win over Manchester University.

Natalie Dudek had four of UW-Oshkosh's season-high tying 16 hits in the first game of the day as the nationally ranked Titans split a pair of contests Monday (March 19) in Clermont, Fla.

UW-Oshkosh (10-4), ranked 25th in the NCAA Division III by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association, outslugged Manchester University (Ind.), 12-6, in the opener. The Titans concluded the day with a 1-0 setback to fourth-ranked Williams College (Mass.), which advanced to the national semifinals a year ago.

Dudek's four hits against Manchester University established a new career high while Natalie Dillon earned her first collegiate victory in the pitcher's circle and Bailey Smaney notched her first save as a Titan.

Seven of the Titans' 16 hits against the Spartans went for extra bases as UW-Oshkosh scored in each inning and matched its season high with six doubles.

UW-Oshkosh tallied four runs in the third inning, three in the second, two in the fifth and one each in the first, fourth and sixth frames.

The Titans opened the scoring on a two-out single by Kaitlyn Krol that plated Abby Menting.

Manchester University (3-4) claimed a 3-1 advantage in the top of the second inning with three runs on four hits, including a two-run single from Sydney Thompson with two outs.

UW-Oshkosh answered with three runs in the home half of the second frame as Erika Berry laced a two-run double to center field before Menting hit an RBI single that provided the Titans a 4-3 lead.

The Spartans knotted the score at 4 on a wild pitch in the top of the third inning, but the Titans responded with four runs in the bottom of the frame to take the lead for good. Jordan Manthei hit an RBI double to give UW-Oshkosh a 5-4 lead. The Titans added a pair of runs on a two-out throwing error and capped the four-run outburst on a Dudek single that scored Dillon for and 8-4 advantage.

UW-Oshkosh tacked on insurance runs on a sacrifice fly by Manthei in the fourth inning, a wild pitch that allowed Emma Fionda to score ahead of Acacia Tupa's RBI single in the fifth frame, and a run-scoring double from pinch-hitter Kailee Garstecki in the sixth inning.

Manchester University recorded its final two runs on solo homers from Thompson in the fourth inning and Laurren Ladwig in the seventh frame.

Dillon (1-0) earned the win after allowing one run in two innings of relief. She gave up three runs and recorded two strikeouts.

Smaney pitched the final three innings for the Titans, limiting the Spartans to one run on two hits. She struck out three without issuing a walk.

Eleven different Titans registered hits, including Amanda McIlhany and Tupa with two apiece.

Makenzi Nyland went 4-for-4 to lead Manchester University. Ladwig added three of the Spartans' 11 hits.

Spartans starting pitcher Mallorie Jennings (1-2) was charged with the loss, surrendering nine runs (six earned) on 12 hits and three walks in three-plus innings.

UW-Oshkosh left 10 runners on base while Manchester University stranded nine.

In the loss to Williams College, Ephs starting pitcher Rebecca Duncan allowed just two baserunners and drove in the game's lone run on a two-out single in the third inning.

Duncan gave up just one hit – a one-out infield single by Dillon in the top of the third inning – and hit Dudek with a pitch to lead off the second frame. Duncan, who retired the last 14 batters she faced and recorded three strikeouts, did not allow either Titan baserunner past first base on the way to improving her record to 2-0 on the year with the complete-game effort.

UW-Oshkosh starting pitcher Claire Petrus went the distance, allowing eight hits – all singles – and one walk. Petrus (6-1) stuck out two while stranding nine Williams College baserunners.

Williams College (4-0) had a runner at first base with two outs in the bottom of the third inning. Mackenzie Murphy then narrowly beat out an infield single, and Duncan followed with a single up the middle that plated Jessica Kim with the only run of the contest.

Duncan and Kim led the Ephs with two hits apiece.

UW-Oshkosh plays Calvin (Mich.) and Juniata (Pa.) colleges Tuesday (March 20) in Clermont.

Photo by Paul Fionda