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Titans Fall Twice In Sunshine State

Acacia Tupa singled and scored the Titans' lone run against St. Catherine University.
Acacia Tupa singled and scored the Titans' lone run against St. Catherine University.

The nationally ranked UW-Oshkosh softball team left 16 runners on base as the Titans suffered a pair of four-run losses Wednesday (March 27) in Clermont, Fla.

UW-Oshkosh (6-6) suffered setbacks of 5-1 to St. Catherine University (Minn.) and 6-2 to Franklin College (Ind.). The Titans stranded 16 baserunners on the day, including nine during the nightcap against Franklin College.

In the loss to St. Catherine University, Wildcats starting pitcher Annabelle Schutte limited the Titans to just one run on six hits during a complete-game effort. Schutte (4-2) lost her bid for a shutout on Abby Menting's run-scoring double in the bottom of the sixth inning.

St. Catherine University (8-5) broke a scoreless tie with a single run in the top of the fourth frame before extending its lead to 5-0 with a four-run sixth inning.

The Wildcats outhit the Titans, 9-6, as Alex Ehde and Amber Montero both went 2-for-4 for St. Catherine University. Both of Ehde's hits were doubles while Montero added a double of her own.

UW-Oshkosh starting pitcher Bailey Smaney was locked in a pitcher's duel with Schutte through three innings until Emily Sauer got the Wildcats on the board with a run-scoring single with two outs in the fourth inning.

The Titans stranded the tying run at third base in both the fourth and fifth innings. Seven straight Wildcats batters reached base to open the sixth inning that including four hits, one walk and one UW-Oshkosh error. The St. Catherine University four-run sixth inning included RBI singles from Jenna George and Trish Sherman before UW-Oshkosh recorded an out. The other two Wildcat runs in the inning scored on a wild pitch and an infield throwing error.

Smaney (3-3) was charged with the loss after yielding five runs (four earned) on seven hits in five innings. She walked one batter and struck out two.

UW-Oshkosh's Claire Petrus provided two scoreless innings in relief of Smaney.

During the loss to Franklin College, the Grizzlies outhit the Titans, 10-4.

The Titans answered the Grizzlies' two runs in the home half of the first inning with two runs of their own in the top of the second frame as Emma Fionda drew a walk with the bases loaded and Petrus hit a run-scoring single to tie the score at 2.

Franklin College (7-9) reclaimed the lead for good a with a three-run fifth inning as Justice Carmichael, Emily Thompson and Taylor Bounin each drove in runs.

Bounin, Carmichael and Lexi Gaffney all had two of Franklin College's 10 hits.

Petrus, who went 2-for-4 at the plate, suffered the loss in the pitcher's circle, allowing four runs on five hits in the three innings after entering to start the second frame. Petrus' record fell to 3-3 on the year.

UW-Oshkosh, which entered the day ranked 20th in the NCAA Division III by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association, returns to action with games against The College of New Rochelle (N.Y.) and Colby College (Maine) on Friday (March 29) in Clermont.

Photo by Paul Fionda