OSHKOSH, Wis. - The last time the UW-Oshkosh softball program made it to DIII NCAA Super Regionals, it was 1988. "Die Hard" was in theaters, and George Michaels and Gloria Estefan topped the music charts. Only one person on this year's Titans team was alive: Head Coach Scott Beyer.
"(The players) give me a lot of guff about a lot of things, but they haven't said anything about how long ago it was or how old I am," Beyer said. "They know I'm young, but I'll be the only one that was born in '88 or around '88."
"I did not Wikipedia 1988. I haven't probably even watched a movie from 1988," said OF Caitlin Hoerning. "Something for the road trip - we'll find something from that year and watch it."
Throughout the La Crosse Regional, the Titans hit .350 at the plate and pitched for a combined 1.00 ERA. UW-Oshkosh also defeated two opponents that had beaten the Titans in the regular season, UW-La Crosse and Benedictine University.
"We've made some adjustments mentally at the plate, on defense and pitching, and I think that their mental game is catching up with their physical game," Beyer said. "They're as gifted as anybody I've ever coached as a team physically, and now the mental game is starting to peak."
Staying loose yet focused has been key, said RHP Sara Brunlieb, who was named the La Crosse Regional Most Outstanding Player after she tossed a four-hit shutout in the regional opener against Benedictine, recorded a save against UW-La Crosse on Saturday, and threw seven relief innings on Sunday to secure the regional victory.
"Obviously, there's a little bit of pressure on us, but we want to play like we have been all season - without pressure - just because we play better when we play loose," Brunlieb said.
Trine University (35-8) will host the Titans (33-11) in a best-of-three series in the Angola (Ind.) Super Regional, beginning on Friday at 3 p.m. CT.