APPLETON, Wis. — The Lawrence University softball team picked up a critical Midwest Conference doubleheader sweep of Carroll University on Saturday at Whiting Field.
Lawrence (17-13, 5-7 MWC) topped the Pioneers (12-22, 8-6) 3-1 in the opener, and the Vikings got a 3-1 victory in the nightcap.
The Vikings need a sweep of their doubleheader at Ripon College on Sunday to secure a berth in the four-team MWC Tournament next weekend.
Shannon Murray went the distance for Lawrence in the opener and allowed just one unearned run in the second inning. She gave up seven hits, struck out two and walked one. Taylor Steinhilber took the loss for Carroll.
Carroll led 1-0 when Lawrence grabbed the lead with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third. The Vikings had runners at second and third with one out when Murray’s groundout scored Tierney Duffy to tie the game. Anna Wawiorka followed with a double to score Savanna Marsicek and the Vikings led 2-1.
Lawrence manufactured a run in the fifth using Cathy Kaye’s speed. Kaye was at first when Marsicek laid down a sacrifice bunt. Kaye was streaking toward third on the play, and first baseman Chrstine Roggemann threw the ball away at third. Kaye scored on the play, and Lawrence led 3-1.
Murray worked around a lead-off single in the sixth and set the side down in order in the seventh to secure the win.
In the nightcap, Murray escaped a huge jam in the seventh to secure the victory.
The Vikings grabbed an early 2-0 lead on Murray’s run-scoring single in the first and Cory Paquette’s inside-the-park homer in the third. After Carroll cut the lead to 2-1 in the fifth, the Vikings got the run back on Taylor Dodson’s RBI single in the bottom half of the inning.
Murray came in for starter Kara Vance in the top of the sixth, and then had to shut down a Carroll rally in the seventh. Lawrence led 3-1 when Carroll took advantage of an error, a single and a wild pitch to put runners at second and third with one out. Murray then struck out Hannah Sanidas looking and Kelsey Uhlenbrauck swinging to seal the victory.
Vance went 5.1 innings to earn the victory, and Murray got her fifth save of the season. Roggemann took the loss despite allowing just five hits over six innings.