MCKENZIE, Tenn. – Grace College’s softball team started the 2018 season with a dynamic offense display at Bethel (Tenn.).
The Lady Lancers (2-0) defeated the Wildcats in the season opener, despite Friday being Grace’s first time playing outside in 2018. Grace won the opener 9-7 and the second game 13-9.
In the opener, Grace showed no signs of rust. The Lady Lancers racked up 13 hits, including five players with multiple hits in a 9-7 win.
Freshman Dori Knight got the start in her collegiate debut and got the team off to a solid start. Knight held Bethel scoreless over the first three innings from the mound.
Grace scored its first run of the season in the top of the third inning. Hannah Herbster doubled and moved to third on a passed ball. Chandler Elliott then singled to bring in Herbster for a 1-0 lead.
In the fourth, Grace produced five more runs. Sam Heim hit an RBI double, and LeAnna Jimenez eventually executed a squeeze bunt to score Heim. Herbster laced a triple to score a run, and she raced home on a throwing error on the play. Abby Mozingo scored the fifth run of the inning after a successful sacrifice fly from Britney Young.
The Wildcats (0-4) scored three in the bottom of the fourth, but the Lady Lancers pulled ahead 9-3 over the next two innings. Jimenez had an RBI single in the fifth, and Knight had an RBI double in the sixth.
Bethel made the game interesting with four runs over the last two innings, but Hannah Middlebrooks came in to pitch and secured the win from the mound.
Heim batted 3-for-4 with two runs and a stolen base, and Herbster was 3-for-5 with two runs scored. Three freshmen also had multiple hits. Young was 2-for-2 with a run and an RBI, Knight had two hits, and Jimenez was 2-for-4 with two RBIs.
Knight got the win from the mound, striking out four batters in four innings and only allowing three unearned runs.
Grace needed to make a massive rally to win the second game. The Wildcats grabbed an 8-3 lead after three innings were complete.
Both teams scored a single run in the fourth inning to make the score 9-4, but Grace took over the contest in the fifth.
The Lady Lancers batted around the lineup in the fifth inning and scored six runs to take the lead for good. Heim, Emily Bobb, Morgan Tapscott, Jimenez and Mozingo all singled in the inning, including a two-out RBI single by Mozingo.
Elliott, batting after Mozingo, put Grace ahead for good with a two-out, two-run double to right field.
Grace added more insurance runs over the final two innings for the final 13-9 scoreline. Ashley Kleinbub plated in the sixth on a single from Bobb, and Elliott and Mozingo both plated in the seventh inning.
Knight impressed from the mound in the second game as well, giving up one run in the final 4.2 innings to get her second win of the day.
Elliott batted 4-for-5 with 2 doubles, 1 steal and 2 RBIs, and Bobb was 3-for-4 with 2 runs, 2 RBIs and 1 stolen base.
Kleinbub hit 3-for-5 with 2 steals, 2 runs and 1 triple, Heim tallied 2 hits, 2 runs and 3 stolen bases, and Jimenez was 2-for-4 with two RBIs.
The Lady Lancers end the weekend after Friday’s games as a result of the Martin Methodist Meltdown being cancelled.