Lawrence spring sports work on skills over break

Several Lawrence University teams spent Spring Break 2015 in Florida gearing up for a rousing season at home. The softball team spent the week in Clermont, the baseball team in Winter Haven, and the men’s tennis team in Orlando. The softball team had a prolific break, returning to Appleton with an 8-4 record to start their season. The baseball team finished 6-3 for the break, and the men’s tennis team returned with a 1-4 record.

The softball competition began on Friday, Mar. 20, with a pair of games against Kalamazoo College and Framingham State University. The Vikings were felled by the Hornets 7-5 in the first game, but rallied to triumph 9-0 over the Framingham Rams. The following day saw a similar split, as the Vikings beat Buffalo State University 9-2 in their first game, but were defeated 8-0 by William Paterson University immediately after. Monday, March 23, was a similar story. Lawrence lost to Illinois’s North Central College 5-3, but gained some traction against D’Youville College and beat the Spartans 5-4. From there, the Vikings went on a two-day winning streak, conquering Thomas College 8-2 and Rochester Institute of Technology, 5-4 on March 24 and taking down both Colby College 5-1 and Oberlin College 9-1 on March 26. Friday, March 27, was the last day of competition in Florida for the Vikings, and they went out strong. Despite losing 5-1 to Elmhurst College, the softball team hit hard to finish with another 5-0 win against Colby College.

The baseball team played fewer games, but saw many worthy opponents from far away. On Friday, March 20, the Vikings started strong with a 21-1 opening victory over Crown College and again defeated Crown 9-5 in the nightcap. The next day, Lawrence faced Elmhurst College, falling to the Bluejays 24-11 in the opener but redeeming themselves with a 7-4 nightcap victory. On Tuesday, March 24, the Vikings defeated the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 8-6. Friday, March 27 was tougher for the Vikings, as they fell twice to Colby College 6-4 and 9-8, but they came out on top the next day with a pair of wins over Thomas College finishing 8-7 and 7-4.

The men’s tennis team stayed in Orlando for the break, facing a couple nonconference teams each day. On Friday, March 20, the Vikings warmed up with a pair of matches against Calvin College and Onondaga Community College (OCC). The Vikings fell to Calvin 7-2, but dominated OCC 9-0. On Sunday, March 22, Hamilton College defeated the Vikings 9-0 in the morning, and Colby College added a 9-0 victory of their own in the afternoon. Tuesday, March 24, was the end of the line for the Viking spring breakers, and they struggled to generate the momentum they needed to record another win. Carthage College posed a challenge for their fellow Wisconsinites, defeating the Vikings 9-0 before heading back north.

Already the Lawrence teams have competed Spring Term to build on their strong starts over the break. The softball team faced University of Chicago, Beloit and Mount Mary since returning, and they have the MWC Classic to look forward to April 10-12. Baseball played Beloit twice last week and are looking forward to competing against UW-Oshkosh and St. Norbert College in the area this weekend, April 11-12. The men’s tennis team has already added many matches to their spring break record, facing Monmouth, Illinois College, Knox, St. Norbert and Edgewood College since returning to Lawrence. They will next challenge Ripon, Carroll and Lake Forest in conference matches this weekend.