The snow had finally melted and the fields were ready for play, but the Lawrence University softball team’s entrance to MWC play disappointed many after such preseason anticipation. Beloit College swept the Vikings 3-0 and 13-5. The team traveled Saturday to the Strong Complex Field for their doubleheader.
In the first game, while the Bucs threw a shutout against the Vikings, but Beloit earned only six hits throughout the seven innings.
Sophomore starter Shannon Murray pitched a strong and competitive game, with no runs against her until the bottom of the sixth, when Beloit exploded and hit a two-run double to right-center. The Bucs ended up scoring three runs this inning, resulting in the final score.
In the second game, sophomore left-fielder Cathy Kaye started the team out strong. In the first inning, she was walked and then proceeded to steal second and third, and finally scored on a wild pitch.
Beloit started the game with a solid entrance as well, responding powerfully to the Viking run with eight runs and six hits of their own against Emily Perish in the first inning alone.
However, the Vikings weren’t discouraged, and Gaelen Lombard-Knapp responded with a double to left-center. Perish and Mary Diduch were walked, and Alyssa Geipel reached on a fielder’s choice, bringing Lombard-Knapp in to score, making it 8-2.
Beloit managed another three runs in the third inning, but the Vikings fought back in the fourth. Geipel walked, Kaye singled to center field and Alex Chiodo was hit by a pitch. Carli Gurholt doubled to right center, bringing Kaye and Geipel to score. Murray singled, bringing Gurholt home and ending the Viking runs.
The Bucs had a run in the sixth and the fourth, bringing the final score to 13-5 and sweeping the doubleheader.
“Our pitchers played great, we just didn’t have the defense or bats to back it up,” stated Kaye on their performance.
“We would have really liked to have those wins over Beloit to start our run for the season, but we are going to use this Saturday as a reminder that we need to stay mentally focused throughout the entire game. If we are having a not-so-good day on defense, then we need to dominate with our bats. If we are not hitting the best, then our defense needs to pick that up. Our problem on Saturday was that we were slacking on both sides. Hopefully Saturday was the last time we can say that happened for us as a team,” commented Diduch.
The Vikings were scheduled to play Marian University March 31, but the doubleheader was cancelled due to weather conditions. The game has been rescheduled for Tuesday, April 26.