Coming out of Florida, the Lawrence University softball team ended their spring break and began their season with a 4-8 record.
The Vikings took down Anna Maria College 8-2 in their season opener, led by junior pitcher Shannon Murray going 3-for-4 in the game with a double and a run batted in in the third. Sophomore AlissaGeipel also drove in a run in the third, followed by two more Viking runs in the fourth, and finally an ending to their scoring in the fifth. Sophomore Mary Diduch doubled to left field to bring home two runners, followed with a single by freshman Liz Barthels for an RBI, capping the game and winning the first game of the season 8-2.
The Vikes lost their second game 3-2 against Salve Regina, but won their third 9-1 against Western New England in two major innings. Lawrence had four runs in the third, which Western New England weakly responded to with just one run. Lawrence had another power inning in the fourth, as junior Cathy Kaye smashed one to center field for a triple with bases loaded for 3 RBI. Kaye was then brought home off a sacrifice hit from Murray.
The Vikes lost the next four games against Trinity, Williams, SUNY-Oneonta, and UW-Stevens Point. Lawrence pulled out their third win against Colby 7-1 in just the first three innings. Vance doubled in the first for 2 RBI to start the Vikings off, followed by an amazing hit by Murray. With bases loaded, Murray nearly knocked one out of the park for a grand slam, but caught the top of the fence to fall back into play. Murray ended up with a double and 3 RBI, taking a solid 5-0 lead. Colby managed a run in the top of the third, and Kaye followed with a single in the bottom for two RBI to end the scoring.
The Vikings went on to lose against Washington and Jefferson, Plymouth State and UW-Whitewater, but won their last game of the trip 8-0 against Thomas. The Vikes had two runs in the first inning, then amped up the game in the second for five more runs to take a 7-0 lead. In the first, sophomore Alex Chiodo doubled and scored from Murray’s double, followed by a Vance single for an RBI. In the second inning, sophomore Cory Paquette chipped a single for an RBI, followed by Geipel smacking a double for three runs and a Murray double for an RBI. Diduch singled for an RBI in the fifth and the Vikes ended the game 8-0. Murray pitched a one-hit shutout with eight strike outs and no walks.
Diduch commented on the trip, “I personally believe our record does not explain the potential our team has, and that’s why we were collectively disappointed when coming back from spring break. But, we do have the potential, and that’s what we have to keep thinking about during practices. The basic plays are what got us in trouble in Florida.”
She continued, “When our defense did not back up the pitchers, it had a huge effect on us, and our bats weren’t making up for those mistakes we made in the field. When we play with energy, though, we are a solid team. Florida was great for learning about our team as a whole. Now with home games coming up, it’s time to take what we learned and step up to be the team we really are.”