Beloit, WI -- The Beloit College Softball team jumped into Midwest Conference play with both feet on Saturday against Lawrence University at the Strong Complex Softball Field, sweeping the doubleheader 3-0 and 13-5.
The wins snapped an eight-game losing streak for the Buccaneers and also marked the first time since the 2007 season that Beloit opened MWC play with two wins.
Katy Sandt tossed a shutout and Kandace Fox drove in the winning runs in the bottom of the sixth in the game one win.
It was a pitcher's dual from the outset in the game, though Lawrence threatened several times while the Bucs couldn't get a runner into scoring position. Sandt wiggled out of several tough jams with big pitches and her defense made all the plays behind her to preserve the shutout.
Finally in the sixth the Buccaneer bats got going. Sarah Stariha led off with a single and advanced to second on a passed ball. After an out, Tara Grode singled to advance Stariha to third. Grode then took second on a fielder's choice. Fox then hit a double to right center for the first runs of the game to put Beloit up for good.
After Fox advanced to third on a wild pitch, Tess Jacquez got a two-out hit to right field for the third run of the inning.
LU got a pair of runners on in the seventh with one out but Sandt got back-to-back fly outs to center to end the game.
In game two, after the Vikings scored a run in the top of the first without benefit of a hit, the Buccaneers sent 14 hitters to the plate, scoring eight runs on six hits with an error thrown in. RBIs went to Grode (two), Fox, Praises Vega, Kourtney Kingslien, Sandt, Stariha and Laura Byrne as Beloit took control early.
Lawrence loaded the bases with no one out in the second but got just one run while two runners were forced at the plate to make it 8-2. Beloit increased their lead to 11-2 in the third with Fox hitting a two-run triple and Tess Jacquez driving in Fox on a fielder's choice.
LU threatened to get back in the game in the fourth, plating three runs to pull back within 11-5. But the Bucs made it 12-5 in the bottom of the inning when Stariha stole third and scored on an error.
Sandt took over from eventual winner Jacquez in the fifth and shut down the Vikings. Stariha ended the game early with a two-out single in the bottom of the sixth to score McKenzie Falker.
Stariha finished with four hits while Grode and Falker both had three.
Beloit looks to continue their momentum on Monday with a non-conference doubleheader at Wheaton College. First pitch is at 3:00 p.m.