Somebody stop Lauren Kost! The senior pitcher has won eight straight games to lead the LU softball team to first place in the MWC North Division. Her most recent triumphs came on Tuesday against St. Norbert’s Green Knights. In addition to Kost’s superb pitching, the Norbert series featured some timely hitting by sophomore centerfielder Toren Johnson The Vikings were forced to make a come-from-behind surge in the first game as Kost gave up four runs in the first inning. A three-run bottom of the first cut the lead to one. LU would go on to allow no more runs throughout the rest of the game. After it was tied in the third off a Loni Philbrick-Linzmeyer sacrifice fly, the game remained that way until the bottom of the seventh. With two outs, Johnson scored Becca Reason with a double to right-center to win the game. Johnson again contributed the winning RBI in the last inning of the second game. Her single to score Greta Raaen was her third hit out of the game total of seven for the Vikings. The 2-1 final score marked the sixth of the past eight games that have been won by a single run. Previous to the series with the Green Knights, the Vikes dismantled Finlandia University at home last weekend. Kost gave up only five hits on the day, a performance that solidified her as the Midwest Conference player of the week, as announced on Tuesday. Following their home series against Lakeland on April 21, the Vikings are set to play their most important remaining games – at Beloit on Saturday. Just as with U.S. News and World Report’s collegiate rankings, the two schools are deadlocked in the standings. In the case of softball, however, the ranking is first in the conference, not 53rd in the nation. The team’s next home games will be Tuesday at 3 against UW-Whitewater. They then round out the conference season at home next Saturday against Carroll.