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'Most special team I've been around': UWO softball on the cusp of a College World Series appearance

Posted at 4:59 PM, May 20, 2024

OSHKOSH — After winning its NCAA Division 3 Regional last weekend, the UW Oshkosh softball team is now just two wins away from its second College World Series appearance in the last four years.

  • The Titans are 42-4 on the season; that's the best record in the program's history.
  • UWO started the year with a program-record 25-game winning streak.
  • They went 3-0 in regional play last week, including an 8-3 win over St. Benedict (Minnesota) in the clinching game on Saturday.
  • Oshkosh travels to Indiana later this week to take on defending national champion Trine University in the NCAA Super Regional round.
  • The winner of the best-of-three series advances to the Division III College World Series.

"This is probably the most special team I've been around," UW Oshkosh coach Scott Beyer, now in his 11th season with the program, said.

The Titans started the season with a 25-game winning streak, a program record.

Now, they're hoping the year ends with another trip to the College World Series.

"We know that with each other that we can do anything as long as we just stay within ourselves," senior infielder Morgan Rau said.

"Just getting another week with them and getting to play another two or three games is awesome," junior outfielder Abby Garceau, a Mishicot native, said.

The secret is simple: team chemistry and strong player leadership.

"I'm leading from behind this this year," Beyer said. "That's what makes this group a better group than any that I've ever had because they've done such a special job of lifting each other up, knowing the expectations and holding each other accountable.

The head coach joked that his own players seem to have taken over his job.

"I really don't have to do anything other than make a lineup and stand at third base sometimes," he laughed.

In Beyer's decade-plus at UWO, the program has become a destination school for softball players around the region.

"I was getting recruited by other schools and I was just like, if I could go to Oshkosh that would be awesome," Garceau said. "(I just loved) the culture that they've built."

Rau, who was named to the NCAA regional's all-tournament team for her performance last weekend, is from the Chicago area.

She said she would not have considered Oshkosh if not for the positive feeling she got while attending a team camp while in high school.

"Having people from all over and not knowing them from the start, it's crazy how fast we built these relationships starting in September," Rau said.

Both Garceau and Rau are key pieces to UWO's puzzle and grateful that they opted for Oshkosh.

"It was Option A, all the way," Garceau said.

"I'm so glad that I chose to go here," Rau added. "This is 100 percent where I was meant to be. The team, the coach, the place. It just reminds me of home. I'm super thankful to be here."

"To look back a little bit on what we've done in the last 11 years with all the great players and coaches that have helped me get to where we are with the program is awesome," Beyer said. "To see little kids that come to the games, they're looking up at our kids and going 'Man I want to be her one day...' It's a really cool thing to watch."

UWO's best-of-three series against Trine begins Thursday at 1:00 p.m. Click here for more information on where to watch and follow.