While many of us were relaxing poolside or in front of the television for spring break, the Lawrence University women’s softball team was busy playing one game after the other. The team traveled to Clermont, Fla. where they played a total of 10 games within a five-day period.
Cathy Kaye started the first game off right with a home run in her first plate appearance of the season. Shannon Murray also powered the offense, going 4-for-4 with a grand slam and five runs batted in. The Vikings went on to annihilate Franciscan University 14-1.
The Vikings were defeated 7-3 in their second game by the 13th- ranked Cortland State. Lawrence led 2-1 after the first inning thanks to a pair of Cortland errors in the bottom half of the frame, scoring two unearned runs. However, the Red Dragons went on to score in each of the final three innings to earn the win.
The “W” went to the Vikings in their 11-10 victory over the University of Minnesota-Morris in the third game of the season. Lawrence started the winning rally in the bottom of the seventh when Gaelen Lombard-Knapp led off the inning with a single. Cory Paquette then got hit by a pitch to put runners at first and second. Alex Chiodo laced a single to the outfield to score Lombard-Knapp with the winning run. Carli Gurholt went 2-for-3 with two doubles and two runs batted in to pace the Vikings. Emily Perish went 2-for-4 and drove in three runs, and Murray, who had a double and drove in three runs, pitched the final inning and picked up the win.
In the fourth game, Lawrence exploded with six runs in the fourth inning and rolled to an 11-3 nonconference victory over Macalester College. Lawrence scored twice in the third to start the scoring. The Vikings then scored six times in the fourth to take command. The big blow in the inning was Alissa Geipel’s bases-loaded, two-run double. After Macalester scored three times in the bottom half of the inning, Lawrence scored twice in the fifth and another run in the sixth to close out the Scots.
The Vikings were unable to secure another victory in Florida, losing 7-6 to Concordia (Wis.) University, 9-1 to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and 6-2 to UW-Superior. In a close game, the Vikings took a 4-2 loss against Plattsburgh State. Lawrence built a 2-1 lead heading into the top of the sixth thanks to a run-scoring triple from Gurholt in the first and single from Geipel in the fifth. Kaye went 2-for-3 and scored a run to pace the Lawrence attack. Emily Perish went the distance and took the loss.
The ninth game for the Vikings was another very close loss, falling 3-2 to Colby College. The Vikings left the bases loaded in the second and broke a scoreless tie in the third. Freshman Mary Diduch’s ground out scored a runner giving Lawrence a 1-0 lead, but Colby rebounded with three runs in the top of the fourth. The Vikings cut the lead to 3-2 in the fifth when Murray tripled and later scored on Diduch’s ground out. In their final game, The Vikings lost 12-4 to the University of Southern Maine.
Despite a 3-7 record coming out of pre-season play, the Vikings remain optimistic about the future. Diduch commented, “the games in Florida showed us that we have great potential as a team, and hopefully we will get to progress and develop as a team as the season goes on.”