Coming off of a couple of tough games against UW-Whitewater, the Vikings played host to the Milwaukee School of Engineering last Thursday for a non-conference doubleheader. In the opener, Lawrence pounded out eight hits with four Vikings driving in two runs apiece. MSOE took its only lead in the first inning off a single that would be their only hit of the day. The Vikings scored six in the fourth on their way to the 10-1 victory. Catherine Marinac was impressive from the mound once again, this time pitching her first career one-hitter. In the second half of the doubleheader, Lawrence capitalized on a mediocre defensive effort by MSOE who tallied eight errors. The Vikings had only two earned runs in the contest but managed to put up the same 10-1 score-line, ending the game in the sixth due to the eight-run rule. Lawrence piled on 12 hits and Marinac capped off her career day with a second win. The sophomore from St. Paul was pleased with the team’s performance and their ability to bounce back from tough losses. “We have had some tough one-run losses, particularly in conference play, but have stayed mentally strong,” said Marinac. “I’m really proud of how we’ve come together and utilized our talent at every position.” The Vikings’ mental strength would be put to the test when they returned to conference action against the St. Norbert Green Knights on Saturday. Lawrence got off to a quick start putting up two runs in the first inning of the opener on a homer from junior Toren Johnson. The Vikings added two more in the next four innings before catcher Loni Philbrick-Linzmeyer delivered the dagger with a three-run homer in the seventh. Marinac pitched her sixth consecutive game and was victorious once again, giving up just a single unearned run in the sixth. The Green Knights were out for vengeance in the second game and pounded home eight runs in the first four innings to give them an 8-2 lead. Lawrence rallied in the fifth and sixth to tie the game going into the eighth inning. St. Norbert took the heartbreaker as they scored one and kept the Vikings scoreless in the inning. Johnson went 5-9 on the day with two home runs and Philbrick-Linzmeyer had five RBIs. The senior catcher was named MWC player of the week for her performances. During last week’s games, Philbrick-Linzmeyer broke Lawrence’s career RBI record and is also tied for most doubles per season. Wednesday, the Red Hawks from Ripon visited Whiting Field for a crucial North Division doubleheader. Ripon was up 3-0 in the low-scoring affair going into the seventh inning. Junior Molly Bouressa drove in a run to cut the lead and an Amanda Hauser single loaded the bases. The Vikings came up short, however, as the next two batters were unable to make the necessary happen. In the second game, the bats still seemed cold with both teams scoreless through the fifth. The Vikings broke the tie in the sixth as Molly Bouressa drove in Johnson who had singled earlier. Johnson drove in Garbanski in seventh on another single to hand Lawrence the 2-0 victory and the vital split. Marinac delivered another standout performance with her third shutout of the season. She credited Philbrick-Linzmeyer with helping her composure on the mound. “It’s hard sometimes because I don’t look that intimidating on the mound, but I feel composed out there,” said Marinac. “Maybe it’s my confidence, or that Loni and I are getting better at our pitch selections, but it makes me wish the season was longer.” The length of the season will be determined this weekend when Lawrence hosts Beloit for a doubleheader that they must sweep in order to secure a spot at the conference tournament.