APPLETON, Wis. — The Lawrence University softball team swept Beloit College in a Midwest Conference doubleheader on Saturday at Whiting Field and earned a second consecutive berth in the league tournament in the process.
The Vikings won the opener 6-5 and downed Beloit 8-2 in the nightcap. The two wins, coupled with St. Norbert’s sweep of Carroll on Saturday, propelled Lawrence into the four-team MWC Tournament next weekend.
In the opener, Lawrence (18-10, 6-2 MWC) built a 6-1 lead and then had to hang on for the win as the Bucs (5-27, 0-8) scored a single run in each of the final four innings.
Anna Wawiorka went 3-for-3 with a double, scored two runs and drove in another for the Vikings. Alissa Geipel went 2-for-3 with two doubles, and Alex Chiodo was 2-for-3 with a double for Lawrence.
Kara Vance went the distance to pick up the win. She allowed 12 hits, struck out four and didn’t walk a batter. Megan Salm went the distance for Beloit and took the loss. Salm also went 3-for-4 and hit a solo homer.
Beloit scored a run in in the seventh to trim the margin to 6-5 and had the tying run at first with one out. Vance got Mikayla Martin to fly out, and then struck out Josie Lindsey-Robbins looking to end the game.
In the nightcap, Lawrence broke open a close game in the fifth and sixth innings.
The Vikings pounded out 14 hits, and Taylor Dodson led the way by going 3-for-3 with a run scored and two runs batted in. Sam Belletini, Chiodo and Cory Paquette all had two hits and drove in two runs for the Vikings. Belletini also hit her first career homer, a solo shot, in the third inning to give Lawrence a 3-0 lead.
Beloit then scored two in the top of the fourth, but the Vikings countered in the bottom of the fifth. Lawrence got run-scoring singles from Chiodo and Paquette to grab a 5-2 advantage.
Lawrence added three more runs in the sixth. Dodson got it started with a run-scoring single, and Chiodo and Paquette both followed with run-scoring doubles to build the advantage to 8-2.
That was more than enough for Lawrence starter Liz Barthels. She went the distance and allowed five hits. Barthels struck out five and did not walk a batter. Martin allowed nine hits over four innings and took the loss.