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UW-Oshkosh Softball won its third NCAA Super Regional in program history with 3-1 and 5-2 wins over Trine on Friday
UW-Oshkosh Softball won its third NCAA Super Regional in program history with 3-1 and 5-2 wins over Trine on Friday

Titans Advance To Third World Series With Friday Sweep Of Thunder

ANGOLA, Ind.- Thursday's (May 24) loss to Trine University (Ind.) was put behind UW-Oshkosh softball on Friday (May 24) as the Titans rattled off 3-1 and 5-2 wins over the Thunder and advanced to the third NCAA Division III World Series in program history.

The Titans (44-5), ranked No. 12 in the nation by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA), eliminated the No. 5 defending national champion Thunder (43-5) and advanced to their third World Series in program history on 14.0 innings of work with six strikeouts from Brianna Bougie (Fr. • Oshkosh) and a 5-for-7 with two RBIs day from Hannah Ritter (Sr. • Marengo, Ill.). Bougie was named the Most Outstanding Pitcher of the Angola Super Regional and Ritter earned Most Outstanding Player. Oshkosh's 44 wins also breaks the WIAC record for most victories in a season, which was set by UW-Stevens Point at 43 in 1998.

UW-Oshkosh previously competed in the 1988 and 2021 editions of the World Series in Elmhurst, Ill. and Salem, Va. with sixth and fifth place finishes respectively.

Bougie etched her named in the UW-Oshkosh softball book by throwing all seven innings of both games, allowing just three runs on 12 hits and two walks with her six strikeouts.

Trine scored the first run of the day on a groundout to Ritter in the fourth inning of the first game.

The Titans got the bats going in the sixth inning, loading the bases with a pair of singles and an error to bring Morgan Rau (Sr. • Downers Grove, Ill.) to the plate. Rau capitalized on the opportunity and snuck a single down the right field line that scored Mia Crotty (Sr. • Palos Park, Ill.) and Brianna Davis (Jr. • Oshkosh), giving the Titans a 2-0 lead. Abby Garceau (Jr. • Mishicot) sent another run home in the following at-bat. She scored pinch runner Lizzie Slobodecki (Jr. • Carol Stream, Ill.) on a single to left field.

Bougie closed the door on the Thunder and forced a game three in the seventh inning by forcing two straight groundouts to Morgan Rau and a pop up to Haylie Wittman (So. • Kaukauna) in just three pitches.

Oshkosh picked right back up where it left off in the first inning of the second game of the day. Sydney Rau (Sr. • Downers Grove, Ill.) hit a leadoff single to left center, followed by Davis who reached first on an error and Sophie Wery's single to left field. Ritter sent Rau and Davis home by singling to the shortstop and Wittman scored Wery with two outs, singling to the pitcher and making the score 3-0.

Bougie worked straight up straight down innings in the first, second, fourth and fifth innings before another Titan run crossed the plate in the sixth inning. Pinch hitting for Cali Divito (Jr. • Mishicot), Amanda Martineck (Fr. • Frankfort, Ill.) notched her first RBI of the postseason by doubling to right center and scoring Wittman.

The Thunder finally got past their fourth batter in the bottom of the sixth inning and scored two runs on a double to left center.

Morgan Rau sent the final run of the super regional across the plate in the top of the seventh inning, scoring Crotty on a single to second base. Crotty was pinch running for Ritter, who reached on a two-out triple down the left field line.

Trine put one runner on base in the final half inning when the leadoff batter singled to left center and the next three batters were retired to secure the Titan victory.

Head coach Scott Beyer joined the 300 career win club on Friday afternoon with the win in the first game. He is the winningest coach in program history and sits fifth in the WIAC record book with a 300-118 record and his .718 winning percentage is most in the conference among coaches with at least 170 wins.

UW-Oshkosh is joined in its World Series bracket by No. 2 East Texas Baptist University, Case Western Reserve University (Ohio) and Rowan University (N.J.). The three-time World Series participant Tigers (43-2) swept the Marshall Regional with a win over Simmons University (Mass.) and two victories over Texas Lutheran University before winning both games of the Marshall Super Regional over Williams College (Mass.). The Spartans (40-7) won their regional and swept Coe College (Iowa) in their super regional to advance to the second World Series in program history while the Profs (39-8) won the regional and super regional rounds on their home field to reach the fifth World Series in program history.

Tufts University (Mass.) (38-8) and Virginia Wesleyan University (40-8) have already claimed their spots in the other bracket of the NCAA Championship, while two more remain to be filled.