PULASKI, Tenn. – The Grace College softball team finally got a chance to play outside in Tennessee at the Martin Methodist Meltdown, playing two games on Friday.
The Lady Lancers lost 7-5 to Martin Methodist and 11-3 to Campbellsville.
Grace took a few innings to adjust to playing outside. Martin Methodist capitalized on Grace’s rust by scoring at least one run in each of the first four innings. The Redhawks led 3-0 heading into the third inning when Brittany Melzoni made her mark on the game.
Two walks and a single loaded the bases for the Lady Lancers when Melzoni stepped up to the plate, and the freshman shortstop launched a three-run triple to right-center field to tie the game. Olivia Winget then singled in Melzoni as Grace claimed a 4-3 lead.
Martin Methodist tied the score in the bottom of the third and rattled off three more tallies in the fourth. Grace could only make up one more run in the fifth inning. Brooke Shell blasted a leadoff triple to left field, and Jordan McKinley’s ground ball allowed Shell to score.
Shell finished 2-for-4 with two runs, a triple and a stolen base, and Melzoni had three RBIs with a run scored. Morgan Hutcheson was 2-for-3, and freshman Hannah Adams got her first collegiate pitching experience with three strikeouts in three innings of relief.
In the second game against Campbellsville, who is receiving votes in the NAIA Preseason Poll, Grace doomed itself with costly errors. Grace and Campbellsville were equal with six hits apiece, but the Lady Lancers had six errors to help the Tigers to an 11-3 win.
Grace had three errors in a definitive third inning as Campbellsville erupted for seven runs to blow open the contest.
In the fifth inning, singles from Hannah Adams, Brooke Shell and Jordan McKinley brought in two Lady Lancer runs, and a throwing error allowed McKinley to plate Grace’s third run of the inning.
Grace had more errors in the fifth and sixth innings, allowing the Tigers to tack on four additional insurance runs.
Shell was 3-for-4 in the game with a double and stolen base, and McKinley, Adams and Morgan Hutcheson each tallied a hit. Amanda Bowman and Allison Franklin combined to pitch the game for Grace.
The Lady Lancers continue action Saturday morning against Bryan College and No. 11 Lindsey Wilson.