UWO softball receives at-large bid, advances to second straight NCAA tournament

Shelby Howe, Sports Editor

UW-Oshkosh earned one of 20 at-large berths to this year’s NCAA tournament after finishing second in both the regular season and in the postseason tournament in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

UWO received an at-large berth for the second straight season after reaching the super regional round a year ago.

This invitation is a goal head coach Scott Beyer said his team has looked to accomplish all season.

“We work very hard on our team culture in the off-season and have a team full of competitors,” Beyer said. “We work very hard competing with each other which gives us a great confidence when we take the field. We have great leadership with our captains and upper class-men to keep us focused on the process, and our mindset.”

UWO last made two straight NCAA postseason trips in 2007-08 and own a 13-15 record in seven previous NCAA postseason trips.

UWO had a 25-12 record for the 2018 season and a 10-4 conference season. The regular season conference schedule was shortened to 14 games over a span of a week and a half due to weather and field conditions.

The Titans went 2-2 at the WIAC championship that took place last weekend in Whitewater. The Titans beat UW-Stout in two games by scores of 9-3 and 7-1, but was defeated by UW-Whitewater by a score of 6-5 in two games.

Titan sophomore outfielder Acacia Tupa hit a three-run homer in the first matchup against the Warhawks on Saturday. UWO junior third baseman Kaitlyn Krol and sophomore Amanda McIllhany both hit home runs in Sunday’s game against UW-Whitewater.

The team is headed to St. Paul, Minnesota on May 10 to kick off the NCAA Division III softball championship.The opening pitch is set for 1 p.m. at University of St. Thomas Southfield where UWO plays against Central College (Iowa), who have a 27-10 overall record.

Good news keeps coming for the Titans as six athletes earn All-WIAC softball awards.

First Team selections include senior third baseman Erika Berry, juniors Krol and Bailey Smaney and sophomore Tupa. UWO has a league-high six players named to the 2018 All-WIAC Softball Team.

Berry was voted to the first team for the third straight season after receiving all-conference honorable mention recognition in 2015. Krol, earned her second straight all-league title after collecting honorable mention status a year ago. Smaney and Tupa both garnered their initial all-conference award.

The Titans’ honorable mention all-conference selections were sophomore designated hitter Claire Petrus and senior outfielder Brianna Witter. Both players received their first all-conference recognitions.

Witter said her experience as part of UWO softball has given her many memories that will forever carry into the future.

“Playing softball at UWO has made college one of the best times of my life and it has been one of the most rewarding and memorable aspects of my college career,” Witter said. “Being apart of a team you instantly have family at UWO and you experience all of colleges ups and downs together. I have made so many memories with my teammates who will definitely be my friends for life.”