With April coming to a close, Lawrence’s baseball and softball teams are wrapping up the regular season and preparing for the final few games of the year. Both teams have been busy, playing a total of 10 games in the last week alone. Both teams have been putting up strong fights and have put forward many strong individual performances over the last few weeks.
Last weekend, the Lawrence softball team (14-18, 5-11 MWC) travelled to play four games: two against Knox College (1-23, 0-16 MWC) and two against Illinois College (21-9, 13-3 MWC). This foray into enemy territory resulted in two wins and two losses. On April 22, the team played a doubleheader against Knox. The Vikings won the first game with a score of 13-2 in five innings. In the second game, Knox put up more of a fight but not enough to take down the Vikings. Lawrence won the second game 9-4. These wins were notable as they were the 398th and 399th wins for coach Kim Tatro in her career at Lawrence.
The next day, the softball team took on Illinois College. As was to be expected facing the first ranked team in the conference, the Lady Vikes lost both games. However, Lawrence did not go down without a fight. The first game ended with a score of 5-2. In the second, the Vikings were shut out 8-0.
While back to back losses to Illinois are hard to stomach, overall the weekend was a step in the right direction for the Vikings. The wins against Knox provide some late-season momentum to help the Vikes close out the season. Additionally, coming close to 400 wins for coach Tatro is a huge milestone for the program.
On the men’s side, the baseball team (4-24-1, 1-11-1 MWC) has been on something of a cold streak. Last weekend, the team faced off against five conference teams in three days. On April 21, the team took on Cornell College (13-14, 8-4 MWC). The Vikings lost 12-2 after seven innings. On April 22, the Vikings played two games, the first against Monmouth College (13-14, 6-6 MWC) and the second against Knox College (11-14, 4-8 MWC). The Vikings lost both games, 6-1 and 6-3 respectively.
On April 23, the team played their final two games of the weekend against Illinois College (9-21, 4-12 MWC) and Grinnell College (18-11, 11-5 MWC). Against Illinois College, the Vikings lost 6-1. Against Grinnell, the Vikings were again beaten after 10 innings, 22-8. While a 14-point margin of defeat seems a blowout, the game was closely contested until the bitter end. The Vikings started the game strong, leading 3-1 after the first inning. Grinnell responded, scoring 7 points in the third and fourth innings, to bring the score to 8-3. Not to go out without a fight, the Vikings rallied to score five points in the seventh and eighth, to tie the game 8-8. This standoff lasted until the tenth inning, when Grinnell put out 14 points and Lawrence was unable to respond.
Overall, the baseball and softball teams have been putting on strong showings. While both teams have had some tough losses this season, they have dependably put up good fights. Hopefully, the last few games of the season will reward this hard work!