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Titans head to NCAA Tournament for the first time in 9 years

OSHKOSH SOFTBALL (WLUK)

OSHKOSH (WLUK) -- After losing the WIAC tournament, moving on to the national stage was not a sure thing for the Oshkosh softball team.

"We weren't really sure what to think," said Titans sophomore catcher Abby Menting. "We could have got it we could have not."

Now they can breathe a sigh of relief.

"So many jitters so much excitement with finals and everything it's super crazy right now just so much going on but it was such an exciting thing," said Menting.

"I was a little nervous, the kids were very nervous, very scared, totally excited," said Titans head coach Scott Beyer. "To hear our name really early, we were in the second pod of four, we didn't expect that and it was just like woah hey there we are."

What the 30-11 Titans say brought them back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2008 was each other.

"We consider ourselves a family and a lot of times our motto, what we go on," said Titans sophomore pitcher/outfielder Bailey Smaney. "We spend so much time with each other on and off the field and that just really grows our bond on the field."

"It definitely makes you want to play for each other, play harder and play for one another not for yourself at all," said Menting. "It really is one big family and we want to do it together."

"Being around the game a long time I've seen a lot of teams," said Beyer. "I truly believe you can win 5-7 wins a year more if you're playing for each other and playing as a family."

Opening up NCAA Tournament play, Oshkosh draws Benedictine University a team they played and lost to back in March, but the Titans say they're a completely different team than two months ago.

"It was one of our first games of the season so we've come a long way since then so I think we have a really good shot coming into it," said Menting.

"We played them in late March and that was 35 games ago it seems like now," said Beyer. "We've changed our lineup, they've changed their lineup. We've learned things, they've learned things. I think it benefits us more than anything just we're a better team now hopefully a better team as well."

First pitch Friday is set for 1 PM.

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