Over spring break, the Lawrence University softball team traveled to Fort Meyers, Fla. to play in the Gene Classic Tournament, and the results of their trip helped build momentum that will hopefully propel the team into their conference season. The team went 7-3, winning seven games in a span of seven days. Since those successful days of spring break, the women’s softball team has went 19 days without playing another game because of inclement weather. The challenge the Vikings face in waiting so long between games is one that will test their resilience and attitude as they must be patient and not lose the confidence they gained over break. Coach Tatro commented on the season that the team is so anxiously waiting to begin. “We try to look at everything and control what we can. We just can’t control the weather!” said Tatro. “It is both disappointing and frustrating that we haven’t started, but we have to take a positive outlook on the situation. We are using this time to throw elements of fun into practice to keep everyone positive.” As games continue to be cancelled, teams are forced to schedule more doubleheaders and the make-up games are crammed in whenever they can be played. Such a rigorous schedule could pose problems for the Vikes, as they must balance schoolwork and being gone from class for longer stretches of time. While things seem slow now, Coach Tatro knows the women are about to have a very demanding schedule. “I’m a little worried because I don’t want any of the girls missing class, but I also don’t want to play doubleheaders three days in a row,” Tatro said. Led by senior captains Tammy Weiss, Molly Bouressa, and Toren Johnson, the team knows that they cannot let their morale falter. Junior shortstop Van Groll continues, “We have not played a game in almost three weeks and we had some good momentum from Florida. Hopefully we can start up again right where we left off once conference begins.” The team has done a remarkable job filling in the holes left by graduates Becca Reason and Loni Philbrick-Linzmeyer, who is now one of three assistant coaches at Lawrence. “We only lost two starters last year, but they made up a big part of our offense,” Tatro explained. “We have overcome that loss as a team and we strike a great balance. In Florida, we weren’t relying on any one person. Instead, the hits came from a variety of players.” Tatro feels that this team approach is exactly what the Vikings need to take with them into the season. “When an opponent looks at the roster and sees that all hitters one through nine can get it done, it makes us hard to beat. Every player has stepped up across the board. We have freshmen who have taken on starting roles and we all just balance each other out very well.” The excitement for the start of the season remains high. “We have fun as a team both on and off the field and I think that we are all ready to finally start the season together. Plus, we are ready to beat our big rivals in the North, St. Norbert and Ripon, ” sophomore outfielder Amanda Hauser commented. From the South division, Lake Forest College is the team to beat this season. “We almost beat Lake Forest in the crossover tournament last year, so we are looking forward to taking them on again this year,” Hauser explained. Lake Forest was voted as the preseason favorite to win the conference tournament in the coaches poll and have won the conference tournament the last five years. Tatro said that team goals include “winning the North division and getting to the conference tournament. We haven’t won the tournament since 1999 so that would be a great accomplishment. But for right now, we just want to play a game!