The Advance-Titan

Softball struggles at the plate, splits two in Minnesota

“The UW Oshkosh women’s softball team lost one game in a rout, and then dominated in its second game in the Luther College Dome Games at Rochester Dome in Rochester, Minnesota on March 7.

The women played their first game at 5:30 p.m. against Bethel University (Minn.) and lost in a blowout 10-1, after five innings due to the mercy rule. The mercy rule happens when a team is ahead by at least eight runs in five innings.

Bethel was leading 2-1 after the third inning, until an 8-0 run in the last two innings before the game ended.

“That’s the first time it happened, and we don’t want to get used to it,” head coach Scott Beyer said. “We started off really good and then lost our composure a little bit. We want to stay consistent.”

There were some pitching issues for the Titans, and sophomore pitcher Sara Brunlieb took the loss. Her record is now 2-1.

“I think there were many factors that went into the loss,” Brunlieb said. “It ranged from a small strike zone, to them hitting my good pitches, to me struggling with my screwball.”

Besides the loss, Brunlieb has done well so far this season, allowing only 23 hits, 10 runs, and holds a 3.57 earned run average.

“We as a pitching staff are working really hard, so I’m excited to see the results when it comes ready to play,” Brunlieb said.

Junior first basewoman Lindsey Luedke had 1 hit in 3 at-bats, with 1 RBI.

“She played pretty consistent,” Beyer said. “Through the first six games, she had put a solid performance in each game. We’re counting on her a lot this year.”
Beyer also said he wants her to be the fourth hitter on the lineup, which is a run-producing role.

Junior outfielder Hayden Krueger was the lone scorer in this game, allowed by Luedke’s first hit. She ended up with 1 hit and 1 run.

Junior outfielder Abbie Bircher of the Royals went 3-for-3 in hits and added 3 runs and 3 RBIs.

After the first loss, the Titans came back at 8:20 p.m. to demolish Buena Vista University (Iowa) in a six-inning shutout 9-0. Freshman pitcher Clare Robbe led the Titans to a win, only allowing the Beavers 7 hits. This was Robbe’s first win of the season.

“We said this is a good opportunity for us to show what we’re really made of, and that win placed a reality check to stay consistent throughout the season,” Beyer said.

Robbe said she gives the credit to the defense in helping her pull off the shutout.

“It felt really good to get the win,” Robbe said. “Having a solid defense behind me was mainly why the end result was a shutout.”

Beyer said this game was key for Robbe in order to get comfortable at the college level.

“It was a great game for her,” Beyer said. “It’s also a big confidence booster for not only her, but the team as well.”

Robbe has allowed 24 hits, 10 runs, and has a 4.04 ERA throughout the first six games.

Both teams were stagnant throughout three innings at 0-0, until the surge in the last three innings before the game ended.

Junior shortstop Haley Bayreuther only had 1 hit, but it was a major one as she hit a grand slam. She said she thought she didn’t hit very well, but it happened to be a grand slam.

“After the first loss, we all got together and said we needed to relax at the plate,” Bayreuther said. “We needed to hit the ball into the plate hard.”

She also said the team knew they were better than what happened with the first game. She ended the game with 2 runs and led the team in RBIs with 4. She currently has 7 runs, 9 hits, 3 home runs and 7 RBIs.

Senior catcher Katie Koepsel also hit a home run, while adding 2 runs and 2 RBIs.

“We showed our response to diversity during the second game,” Koepsel said. “After losing the first game, that lit a big fire under us to come back the second game and show what we’re really made of.”

She said the team made some pretty good pitches, along with clutch hits. Koepsel currently has 7 runs, 9 hits and 7 RBIs.

“Her leadership behind the plate is great,” Beyer said. “She feels the flow of the game and calls great pitches. Offensively, she’s a rock as our third hitter. Her confidence goes through the whole team.”

Luedke also added a run, 2 hits and 3 RBIs. Luedke currently leads the team in home runs with 5, and RBIs with 13. She also leads the team slugging percentage with 1.333.

Krueger also added 2 hits and 1 run. She currently has 6 runs, 8 hits and 2 RBIs.

Koepsel said the team is optimistic about the rest of the season with such a balanced team.

“We are going to have to be a learning curve early in the season, but we will do great things this season,” Koepsel said.

Robbie siad the upperclass have been great leaders this season.

“There’s guidance from players of all ages and the upperclassmen have really took responsibility to lead the team towards success,” Robbe said. “I couldn’t be happier to be on this team.”

Even though the women have started undefeated through the first six games last season, Beyer still says he is optimistic.

“We are just trying to be gritty this season,” Beyer said. “I’m cautiously optimistic, so we just need to see who we are and start putting the good things we have done together.”

The women will compete in a tournament at Clermont, Florida on March 23-27.”

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Independent Student Newspaper of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Softball struggles at the plate, splits two in Minnesota