The Lawrence Softball team ended their season on May 1 after playing a doubleheader against Illinois College and played their final home games in a doubleheader against Lake Forest the day before. The Vikings went into the weekend in a tight race for the final spot in the Midwest Conference tournament with Cornell College and Illinois College.
Their fight for the conference tournament began against the top team in the league in Lake Forest. The Foresters struck early in the first game, jumping out to a 4-0 lead after two innings. Lake Forest pitcher Jessi Werner took care of the game from there as she pitched a complete game shutout, never allowing more than one hit in an inning and only walking one. Senior and Vikings pitcher Jessica Demski also pitched a complete game. Lake Forest went on to win 6-0.
Foresters pitcher Jenny McTague continued Lake Forest’s stellar pitching day by giving them another complete game and allowing one run in the second game. The game was close until the Foresters scored 7 runs in the final two innings of the game and went on to win 10-1. Senior Anna Wawiorka had the lone RBI for the Vikings, while seniors Taylor Dodson and Savanna Marsicek both went 2-3.
The Vikings needed to sweep Illinois College in their double-header the next day to stay in contention for the final spot in the Conference tournament. In the first game, Lawrence was eliminated from tournament contention as Illinois won the game 8-0. Lawrence finished the season on a high note as they won the second game 6-2.
The Vikings will see six seniors graduate this year that saw great success in their careers at Lawrence, making the conference tournament three out of their four years. Despite this, the Vikings have a solid core of younger players and should remain near the top of the Midwest Conference.
Mother nature has not been kind to the baseball team. Due to numerous rainouts, they had to play seven games in four of the final days of the season. This included two doubleheaders against Beloit, a game against St. Norbert and a double-header against Lakeland. They went 2-5 over this stretch with both wins coming against Beloit. Their wins against Beloit were highlighted by a win on the mound for sophomore Matt Holliday in a game in which he also hit a three-run homer. Their second win came by a final of 5-4 and sophomore Cole Erickson was the star of that one as he drove in three runs.
The final games of the season were played on May 7 against Carroll. The pioneers took the first game, but the Vikings came back to win the second game of the doubleheader. The Vikings were desperately short handed on the mound. Sophomore Kyle Duex pitched a total of 13 innings between the two games.
While their overall record may be similar to last year’s, the Vikings made big improvements this year. They have already doubled their conference win total from last year. They also have no seniors so all of their players will be returning which means only good things for the team going forward.