Senior leftfielder Sydney Gardner was 5-for-6 at the plate to help lead the Lake Forest College softball team to 6-2 and 3-1 victories over visiting Lawrence University on Tuesday.
Gardner had three singles in as many trips to the plate and the Foresters out-hit their guests 9-8 in the opener. Lawrence, however, took the early lead with a pair of runs in the top of the third inning.
The home team finally got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth and without the aid of a base hit. Freshman shortstop Hannah Kalnicky drew a walk with one out and pinch-runner Erin Karasewski eventually raced home from second when a ground ball off the bat of junior third baseman Alyssa Grimm was fielded cleanly but thrown wide of first base by the Lawrence second baseman.
The score remained 2-1 in favor of the Vikings until the bottom of the sixth. Kalnicky started the rally again with a leadoff double, the only extra base hit of the contest. After the first out of the frame, Grimm singled through the right side of the infield to plate pinch-runner Diamond Owens with the tying run. Singles by sophomore catcher Sydney Wyatt and Gardner loaded the bases and Grimm beat the throw home on junior centerfielder Maria Zepeda's fielder's choice ground ball. Base hits by sophomore first baseman Riley Frisbie and senior second baseman Kat Beall brought home Wyatt and Gardner and Zepeda scored the fifth and final run of the inning on a sacrifice fly by freshman designated player Shaye Gauthier.
Junior Kyra Lenzi pitched the final two innings to earn her first victory as a Forester. She allowed two singles and struck out two without issuing a walk. Sophomore Missy Dieckman-Meyer started the game and was able to limit Lawrence to just two runs despite allowing six base hits and four walks in five innings of work.
Freshman pitcher Maddie Webb went the distance for the home team in game two, allowing just five hits and a walk while striking out four. She improved to 4-2 on the year.
Gardner continued her hot hitting in game two, belting the first of her two doubles in the contest over the rightfielder's outstretched glove to score Grimm and give the Foresters the lead in the bottom of the second inning.
The Vikings, however, tied the game in the top of the third and the score remained 1-1 until another successful sixth inning for the home team. Grimm started the rally with a one-out single and Gardner followed with a ground ball that was misplayed by the Lawrence shortstop. Zepeda followed with a bunt single and the throw from the pitcher sailed over the first baseman to score Grimm and put runners on second and third. Frisbie added a run-scoring groundout and, with darkness quickly falling, the Foresters went to the seventh with a 3-1 lead.
The Vikings threatened in the final frame when their first hitter singled to center. Zepeda, however, fielded the ball and fired to first, where Frisbie tagged out the runner as she rounded the base. Webb retired the next two hitters to complete the doubleheader sweep.
Lake Forest improved to 15-7 overall on the season and remained perfect in four Midwest Conference games. Lawrence fell to 6-12 overall and 0-2 in the league.
The Foresters will host a doubleheader against Illinois Wesleyan University, the sixth-ranked team in the nation, Wednesday at 3:00 p.m.