Baseball and softball teams celebrate First Pitch banquet

On Feb. 17, the Lawrence University baseball and softball teams hosted the first annual “First Pitch” banquet at Pullmans to commemorate their previous season and anticipate the upcoming season. This was a chance for the fans to meet head baseball coach Chris Krepline and head softball coach Tracy Cromer, along with Lawrence University student athletes, family and friends of the program.  

Along with looking forward to the upcoming season, both teams acknowledged players from last season that were awarded for their tremendous impact on the field. 

The Vikings softball team had two all-conference selections, sophomore Janessa Gonzalez and junior Mattigan Haller. Gonzalez earned second team All-Midwest Conference at second base, and Haller earned second team All-Midwest Conference as a utility player.  

Baseball also racked up accolades, with four players earning All-Midwest Conference awards. Senior right-handed pitcher (RHP) Quinn Berglin, junior outfielder Parker Knoll and junior infielder Edan Perez were all named to the All-Midwest Conference first team. Senior Jacob Charon earned second team All-Midwest Conference as an outfielder. Berglin, Knoll, and Perez were also named to the All-Region team. 

More impressively, several players from both teams collected academic honors. Eleven out of 15 softball players and 20 out of 37 baseball players were named to the Midwest Conference Academic All-Conference team. Five baseball players — juniors Shane Foley and Knoll, senior Zach Leslie, Jordan Schafer ‘23 and Mitchell Sandleback ‘23 — were selected to the Academic All-District team. Five softball players — seniors Mary Boyle and Laney Martens and juniors Haller, Kourtney Mercer and Khayla Santiago — also were selected to the Academic All-District team. 

Both coaches announced their roster for the 2024 season and briefly introduced each player. The softball team held a Q&A with a player from each year, and each player explained how Lawrence athletics has positively impacted their lives. Baseball also held a Q&A with their seniors, and each senior shared their favorite memories from Lawrence athletics and their plans for after graduation. Each athlete expressed their love and passion for Lawrence athletics and couldn’t be more grateful for the family, friendships and memories that they made through the baseball and softball programs.  

Coach Cromer and Coach Krepline each gave a speech about their season outlook. The softball team is determined to change the narrative and dominate this season with an entirely new approach. With the addition of coach Tina Delpino, the Vikings pitching staff is a force to be reckoned with. The baseball team, although ranked fourth in the Midwest Conference rankings, aspires to make their way to the conference tournament. With a large roster, they have an abundance of talent to compete this season.  

Softball begins their season this Friday, Feb. 23 with a non-conference double-header against 15th ranked Concordia University (Wisconsin). Baseball opens their season this weekend in St. Louis, Mo. against North Park University on Friday, Feb. 23 and Heidelberg University on Saturday, Feb. 24.