The Lawrence University women’s softball team had a very productive week, winning all four games and finding its way within striking distance of first place in the North Division. This past weekend, the Vikings hosted the Carroll College Pioneers on Saturday and nonconference foe Finlandia on Sunday. The Vikings faced both opponents twice and took care of business in each game, winning two conference games decisively and the Sunday game’s dramatically. The Vikings beat Carroll College 14-1 in the first game and 11-7 in the later contest, outscoring the Pioneers by a combined total of 25-8. The phenomenal play of freshman Alex Goodson was on display over the weekend as she had two doubles and three RBIs in the first game and nearly hit for the cycle in the second. Goodson had a home run, a triple and two singles in the second game on Saturday giving her four more RBIs, meaning that she was responsible for only one run less than the entire Carroll College team. Amanda Hauser also performed well in both Saturday games with two RBIs and a double. Senior Toren Johnson was another bright spot for the Vikings, scoring three runs in the first game and getting two hits in the second. The Vikings, after beating Carroll convincingly on Saturday, had a much tougher time with Finlandia on Sunday. The women held on to beat Finlandia in the first game 4-3, behind solid pitching from junior Catherine Marinac, who gave up only one run. Goodson drove in the game-winning RBI in the second game with her sixth double of the season, a game in which she also hit her sixth home run, tying the Lawrence University record. The entire Viking lineup continues to perform well as they currently have seven players batting above .300, with sophomore Jenna Reichel and freshman Alex Goodson leading the way with averages above .400. Reichel is batting .420 and leading the team in stolen bases and hits. Junior Carrie Van Groll has been very solid with three home runs and a team leading on base percentage of .486. The defense of the title-chasing Vikings has been a consistency throughout the season and was on display over the weekend. Marinac was the winning pitcher in all four games and went from a record of 7-5 on Friday to 11-5 by Sunday evening. Marinac continues to be a rock for the Lawrence women as she gave up only one earned run in two games against Finlandia. Marinac and Goodson were both credited for their performances over the weekend with MWC weekly honors. Marinac was named Pitcher of the Week while Goodson was awarded Player of the Week honors. The Vikings trail St. Norbert College by just one game in the loss column and although we don’t want to look too far ahead, the women may find themselves battling it out for first place come May 1 as the Vikings host the Green Knights for what could be a very pivotal two games. The winner of the North Division is given the rights to host the Midwest Conference tournament held May 4 and 5. The Vikings still have four tough conference games before the St. Norbert face-off as they travel to both Ripon and Beloit for doubleheaders. If the Vikings continue their hot hitting and solid pitching there is no reason to believe the women won’t be spending their reading period doing more important things than reading: winning a title.