Midwest Conference Classic

Phil Roy

The softball team traveled down to Janesville last weekend for the Midwest Conference Classic. The tournament pitted the MWC teams from the north against those from the south division. Action got underway for Lawrence as they took on the Lady Blues from Illinois College in their first game of the tournament.
The Vikings made use of some errant pitching by Illinois College to score five runs in the fifth inning to break the 2-2 deadlock. A wild pitch, a hit batsmen and three walks were capitalized on by Becca Reason and Carrie Van Groll’s run-scoring singles. The game ended with a 7-3 score-line and Catherine Marinac picked up the win with a consistent effort from the mound.
The fifth inning was far less friendly to the Vikes in their second game, however, as Lake Forest piled on four runs in the inning to give them a 5-2 lead before adding another two runs in the sixth. Lawrence rallied in the sixth inning, putting up four runs to cut the lead to one.
Catcher Loni Philbrick-Linzmeyer started the Vikes up with a double and went on to score on a two-base hit by freshman Amanda Hauser. Reason’s two RBI single then drove in Justine Garbarski and Molly Bouressa who both singled as well. The Vikings made the needed stop at the top of the seventh but went scoreless in the bottom to drop the heartbreaker.
In their next encounter, Lawrence’s fifth inning woes continued as Monmouth’s Fighting Scots rallied for six runs in the inning to undo the 5-0 lead the Vikings had amassed. Four Vikings had two hits apiece as Lawrence piled on 12 hits in the loss, which ended Saturday’s action.
The Vikings’ offense wasn’t as productive in Sunday morning’s encounter with Grinnell. Lawrence only managed four hits but had three of them in the fourth inning which saw the Vikes put up the only two runs of the game. Sophomore pitcher Marinac recorded her first career shutout as the Vikings held on for the 2-0 win.
The offensive drought did not continue into the afternoon’s play, however, as the Vikings capped off their weekend with a massive 19-1 win over Knox College. Five Vikings had two hits apiece as Lawrence pounded out 13 hits. Junior Toren Johnson went two for three and batted in four RBIs. Philbrick-Linzmeyer led the team’s offense over the weekend, pacing Lawrence’s attack with a .397 batting average and a team high 13 RBIs.
Philbrick-Linzmeyer was pleased with the team’s performance over the weekend and asserted that this year’s squad has a lot of potential.
“We played a lot of close games,” said the Green Bay native. “Losing by just one to Lake Forest, the conference’s traditional powerhouse, was impressive. We played a great game against Grinnell and followed it up with our performance against Knox.” She remarked that anyone in the conference can win on a given day this year and that the team’s ability to stay positive and focused will determine its success over the rest of the season.
On Wednesday, the Vikings made their way to Waukesha for a north division double header against Carroll College. Johnson and Philbrick-Linzmeyer batted in a run each in the seventh inning to give Lawrence the 3-2 win in the first game.
In the second game, the Vikings rallied from 4-0 down in the sixth inning but fell a run short, splitting the series. The Vikings move to 10-9 on the season. Lawrence will host the University of Chicago Friday, April 14. The first game starts at 3 p.m.

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