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Brianna Davis robbed a home run and hit one of her own in the span of an inning against the Profs on Saturday. Photo Credit: Michael Sudhalter
Brianna Davis robbed a home run and hit one of her own in the span of an inning against the Profs on Saturday. Photo Credit: Michael Sudhalter

Titans’ Historic NCAA Postseason Tournament Results In Fifth-Place Finish

MARSHALL, Texas- The UW-Oshkosh softball team's historic postseason run came to a close on Saturday (June 1) as the Titans were defeated by Rowan University (N.J.) and placed fifth in the 2024 NCAA Division III Softball World Series.

This year's edition of the World Series is being hosted by East Texas Baptist University on Bell Park at Taylor Field.

This was the Titans' third appearance in the World Series. They finished sixth in the 1988 finals hosted in Elmhurst, Ill. and fifth in the 2021 finals in Salem, Va. The fourth seed in the tournament, they defeated fifth-seeded Virginia Wesleyan University (40-9) 4-1 past midnight on Thursday night (May 30) in a 9 hour and 28 minute marathon win. Thursday's win is the first first round victory for the Titans in NCAA postseason history. UW-Oshkosh then moved on to face Linfield University (Ore.), the top seed in the national championship. Sophie Wery (Jr. • Seymour) tied the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the third inning with a 2-RBI double and the score remained unchanged as the Titans threw Brianna Bougie (Fr. • Oshkosh), Abby Freismuth (Sr. • Fond du Lac) and Sydney Nemetz (Jr. • Marinette). The Wildcats broke the tie in the top of the seventh on a 2-run home run and recorded three straight outs in the bottom half of the inning to send Oshkosh to the elimination bracket.

Oshkosh notched eight hits to the Profs' 12 and walked three times with a double and a home run. Rowan also registered a double and a home run, adding two walks and a stolen base.

Brianna Bougie (Fr. • Oshkosh) earned the start for UW-Oshkosh once again, going 2.0 innings and striking out one while allowing two runs on three hits and two walks.

Rowan scored first in the bottom of the first inning on a passed ball and a sacrifice bunt after two leadoff singles put runners on base.

Haylie Wittman (So. • Kaukauna) led off the second inning with a walk, advancing to third on an Abby Garceau (Jr. • Mishicot) fielder's choice and a throwing error by Prof second baseman Liz McCaffery. She scored a batter later as Morgan Rau (Sr. • Downers Grove, Ill.) singled to left center. Rowan got out of the inning without allowing another run, holding a 2-1 edge headed into the bottom half of the inning.

The Profs had two runners on base with an out as McCaffery reached the plate. She hit to Wittman, who tagged second before throwing home to Wery, who ran down the runner at third for the 28th double play of Oshkosh's season, a metric it leads the nation in.

Nemetz relieved Bougie for the third inning and threw 2.0 innings. She fanned a Prof while giving up two more runs on five hits.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, Rowan added its third run on a single to center field. McCaffery hit a deep sacrifice fly ball to left field with two on-base later in the inning and Brianna Davis (Jr. • Oshkosh) brought it back into the park to save two runs while another crossed the plate for a 4-0 lead.

Appearing for the second consecutive day after not pitching since May 11 was Freismuth, who pitched the remainder of the elimination game. She allowed three runs on four hits.

Davis led off the top of the fifth by blasting her first home run of the season over the bleachers beyond the left field fence to cut the score to 4-2. Wery followed Davis by hitting a double to left field, however she was stranded on third by the end of the frame.

The Profs turned a double play in the top of the sixth, maintaining their 2-run lead which they added to in the bottom half of the inning with a 3-run home run to left center field by Cat Thomas.

UW-Oshkosh's Wery and Hannah Ritter (Sr. • Marengo, Ill.) walked with two outs in the top of the seventh, but the Titans' historic postseason run was ended when Rowan left fielder Abigail Pawlowski made an athletic catch for the third out.

Three games were played after the Oshkosh-Linfield contest on Friday (June 1). No. 5 Tufts University (Mass.) eliminated No. 5 Virginia Wesleyan University 5-1, two seed and host East Texas Baptist University (Texas) sent Belhaven University (Miss.) to the elimination bracket with a 3-2 victory and Rowan advanced in the elimination bracket by defeating and eliminating three seed Case Western University (Ohio) by a 4-2 score.

No additional games are scheduled for Saturday and play will pick back up on Sunday (June 2) at 11 a.m. as Linfield and Belhaven face off to see who will represent Bracket 1 in the best-of-three finals. Rowan faces East Texas Baptist in the Bracket 2 semifinal matchup at 1:30 p.m.

Wery was named to the All-Tournament team at the conclusion of the event on Wednesday, June 5. She went 5-for-9 across Oshkosh's three games with two doubles and two RBIs. She also walked once and caught a runner stealing.

UW-Oshkosh finished its season with a 45-7 overall record, a WIAC record. The 45 wins is also a single season UW-Oshkosh record regardless of sport. The women's volleyball team set the previous record at 44 wins during the 1990 campaign as it won both the WIAC regular season and tournament titles and placed ninth nationally in the NCAA Tournament.

The Titans claimed their fifth regular season conference title by posting a 12-2 mark in league play and won both the Oshkosh Regional and Angola Super Regional rounds of the NCAA Division III Softball Championship and went 1-2 in the World Series to secure a fifth-place finish, the second in program history.

Ritter headlined the 2024 All-WIAC selections for Oshkosh as the team received a program record six first team honorees. She became the third Titan in program history to be named to the first team four times. Nemetz earned the honor for the third straight year and both Garceau and Morgan Rau made their second appearances. Wittman was honored as a first team all-conference selection for the first time in her career.

Nemetz was Oshkosh's first team member of the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-Region VIII Team, joined by Freismuth on the second team and both Ritter and Wittman on the third team.

Earning her third postseason honor, Nemetz was named to the NFCA All-America Third Team during the World Series banquet on May 29.

Head coach Scott Beyer joined the 300 career win club on Friday, May 24 with a win in the first game of UW-Oshkosh upset Super Regional win over Trine, the defending national champion. He is the winningest coach in program history and sits fifth in the WIAC record book with a 302-120 record and his .716 winning percentage is most in the conference among coaches with at least 170 wins.

Post-game Press Conference