UW-Oshkosh bows out of Div. III Softball Championship with 2-1 loss


UW-Oshkosh claims Eau Claire Regional title to advance to National Championship tournament. (Courtesy: UW-Oshkosh Athletics)

SALEM, Va. (WFRV) – Playing in its first NCAA Division III Softball Championship since 1988, UW-Oshkosh grabbed its first ever win at the eight-team tournament, but took fifth place at the event after a 2-1 loss to Birmingham-Southern.

The eighth-seeded Titans staved off elimination with a 7-1 win over Tufts on Friday but couldn’t find the offense in Saturday’s loss.

Even so, UWO gave third-seeded Birmingham-Southern a battle.

Trailing 2-0 in the fourth inning, Gabby Buikema looped a ball to right field that plopped between two fielders. As the ball was booted away, Buikema raced to second before an errant throw trickled into left field. Buikema grabbed two more bags for an inside-the-park home run, officially scored a double and a throwing error.

In the sixth, Buikema came to the dish again with a chance to tie it. With runners on first and second, Buikema slapped a hard liner toward left field, but a jumping snag by the third baseman secured the final out of the frame. The Titans did not put a runner on base in the seventh inning.

UWO’s Hannah Ritter recorded her 22nd multiple-hit game of the season and has now reached base in 31 consecutive games.

Amanda Mc Ilhany played in all 174 UWO games (173 starts) during the past five seasons and hit .323 with eight home runs, 24 doubles, 100 runs scored and 77 runs batted in while Natalie Dudek played in 173 games (172 starts) and hit .317 with six home runs, 26 doubles, 93 run scored and 81 runs batted in.

The Titans finished the season at 29-13 as WIAC champions.

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