Softball falls behind conference rivals

Greg Peterson

With six games scheduled
in the last week including four
divisional matches, the Lawrence
softball team lost five games and
won one, with all but one game
being decided by a large margin.
Lawrence’s only close game in the
grueling week of play, a tough
1-0 loss to first-place St. Norbert
decided in the seventh inning,
served as a microcosm of the week
as a whole: all in all, the breaks did
not go the Vikings’ way.
In last Saturday’s home doubleheader
against Beloit College (9-22,
5-6 MWC) the first game began in
the worst possible manner, with
the first four runners reaching on a
total of one hit. After the dust had
cleared, Beloit had scored seven
runs in the first inning, with the
Vikings committing three errors
before they recorded a third out.
The Vikings (13-11, 5-6 MWC)
scored twice in the third inning on
extra-base hits by Dani Cherry and
Alex Goodson. However, the result
of the game was never in question,
with Beloit coasting while
Lawrence tried to reach the end of
the game in one piece.
While sophomore pitcher
Emily Perish did give up 13 hits in
her complete-game losing effort,
it is worth noting that only one
of the Buccaneers’ nine runs was
earned. Perish was not to blame
for the defeat as much as a general
sloppiness of play on the
part of the Vikings as a whole – a
malady to which Perish herself was
not immune, making a three-base
throwing error and hitting a batter
in just her first inning of work.
In the second game against
Beloit, the Vikings continued their
defensive sloppiness, but excellent
pitching – a two-hit shutout by
freshman pitcher Shannon Murray
– and hitting rendered any defensive
issues unimportant.
In what would quickly turn into
a 9-0 blowout win for Lawrence,
the Vikings’ offense, sparked by
a three-run homer by Goodson,
rolled to an easy victory. Murray
helped herself with a first-inning
triple, and the game ended after
just 59 minutes: Kim Tatro’s squad
had rolled to a victory as easily as
Beloit had in the first game of the
doubleheader.
After their split against the
Buccaneers, the Vikings hosted
the University of Chicago in the
team’s Friends of Jaclyn Day. Both
teams have adopted children with
neurofibromatosis type 1 – the
Vikings’ adoptee is eight-year-old
Emma Broeniman – and the doubleheader
was scheduled to raise
money for brain tumor research.
Unfortunately, the Maroons beat
the Vikings 8-0 and 7-2, winning
both games easily.
The Vikings’ marathon week
continued with a Wednesday
home-and-home series against
first-place St. Norbert. The first
game, played in De Pere, was the
Vikings’ closest match of the week,
as the game remained scoreless
into the bottom of the seventh
inning. The pitcher’s duel, pitting
Murray against St. Norbert’s Kayla
Krueger, proved to be an exciting
one, with only one runner reaching
third base in the first six innings.
However, the game was ended
in dramatic fashion by St. Norbert
third baseman Collette Ullmer,
who led off the bottom of the seventh
inning with a walk-off home
run to give the Green Knights the
win. In an unremarkable but still
tense game, the Vikings had lost to
first-place St. Norbert 1-0.
The second game of the doubleheader,
played in Appleton,
showed the Vikings’ disappointment
at losing such a close game
to their divisional rival; Vikings
pitchers Murray and Perish gave
up 11 runs in the first inning,
and St. Norbert (20-6, 10-0 MWC)
coasted to a 12-1 victory.
The only bright spot for the
Vikings was a third-inning RBI
single by Goodson, who currently
leads the team in RBIs with 27.
After their marathon week,
which ended with a Thursday
home game against Marian, the
Lawrence squad has one day off
before Saturday’s 1 p.m. game
at divisional opponent Carroll
University.

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