Grace’s baseball team was unable to keep pace with Spring Arbor on Saturday.
The Lancers (5-29, 5-14 Crossroads League) could not slow SAU’s offense in a 10-2, 10-1 doubleheader defeat.
In the opener, Grace scored its only runs in the fifth inning. Sid Elford singled to start Grace’s rally. Houston Haney then laced a 3-1 pitch over the left field fence for a two-out, two-run home run.
But the Cougars (22-20, 12-8 CL) used a three-run first inning and a six-run fifth to ease away from Grace.
Haney batted 2-for-3 with a run and two RBIs, and Cameron Maxwell was 1-for-3 with a double.
Josh Tew was sharp in relief, tossing two clean innings to close out the game for Grace.
The second game was a nine-inning affair. David Anderson did his best to keep the game close from the mound. The sophomore limited SAU to three runs through six innings.
But the Lancers were unable to cross home plate until late in the contest. Grace was stifled into just two hits for the first seven innings.
The Cougars used a three-run homer in the top of the seventh to double their lead.
In the bottom of the eighth, Grace loaded the bases thanks to a pair of singles from Ethan Brooks and Maxwell as well as a walk to Haney, but a potential rally was ended with a strikeout.
SAU tacked on four runs in the ninth, and Grace could only respond with one. Elford placed a double down the left field line, allowing Aaron Voirol to race home for the Lancers’ only run.
Gabe Douglass hit 2-for-4 to lead Grace’s offense.
The Lancers are on the road Monday, playing Indiana Wesleyan in a single game.
Grace’s softball team was tripped up in a doubleheader against Spring Arbor on Saturday.
The Lady Lancers (12-28, 6-20 Crossroads League) lost 8-3 and 18-6 at Miller Athletic Complex.
In the opening game, Grace was only outhit 10-9. But the Cougars (19-21, 13-15 CL) were consistent each inning on offense and benefitted with five walks.
SAU scored in each of the first five innings to take a comfortable 8-1 lead. Grace’s first run came in the bottom of the first when Chandler Elliott’s two-out double scored Sam Heim.
The Lady Lancers did their best to rally in the final two innings. Kyleigh Garner scored in the sixth inning, reaching base on a single and racing home from third base on a passed ball. But Grace left two baserunners in scoring position in the inning.
In the seventh inning, Emily Bobb plated off a fielding error by the Cougars. Grace again stranded a pair of runners in scoring position in the seventh to lose 8-3.
Heim was 2-for-4 with a steal and a run, and Garner hit 2-for-4 with a run scored.
In the second game, the Cougars exploded in the last two innings to win by 12. The score was knotted 6-6 heading into the sixth inning, but SAU ended the game with 12 runs in the sixth and seventh.
Grace was active on the basepaths, swiping five bases. The Cougars held a 20-11 advantage in hits, however, and benefitted from several errors in the field by Grace.
Garner was strong at the plate, going 3-for-4 with two doubles and two RBIs, and Heim had 1 hit, 1 run, 1 RBI and 2 stolen bases.
Ashley Kleinbub was 1-for-3 with two steals and a run, Abby Mozingo was 2-for-4 with two RBIs, and Elliott finished 1-for-3 with a run and a run driven in.
The Lady Lancers continue play at home on Monday, hosting Taylor for a 3 p.m. doubleheader.
Track And Field
Grace’s track and field enjoyed several strong showings at the Little State Championships, held at Indiana Wesleyan.
Isaac Stuckey and Jacob Brown finished second and fourth respectively in the hammer throw, each with personal-best throws. Stuckey’s 193-feet-3 bettered his own school record and currently ranks No. 4 in the NAIA. Brown hit 184-1, which is No. 8 in the nation.
The men’s 4×800-meter relay grabbed third place. Brendan Hamilton, Jonathan Balda, Brady Willard and Sam Hill crossed the finish line in 7:53.53. Hall went on to finish fourth in the 800 at 1:57.81, and Hamilton set a PR in the 800 at 1:58.83 to place seventh.
Hall, Balda and Hamilton also teamed up with Martin Schiele to place eighth in the 4×400.
Thomas Hickerson earned a third-place showing in the javelin at 151-10, Isaiah Zeller was seventh in the pole vault, and Walker Hobbs was eighth in the shot put.
On the women’s side, Emily Anderson had the best showing. She ended in third place in the javelin.
Suzanne Sickafoose was fourth in the 400 at 1:00.58, and Jessica Zvers ended sixth in the 5,000 (19:37.10) and 10th in the 10,000 (41:13.42).
Sickafoose, Quinn Shelton, Alexis Williams and Melissa Goss teamed up in the 4×400 to finish in 4:22.29 for seventh place.
The Lancers are home April 28 for their first meet of the season at the one-year-old Bernard and Linnie Key Track and Field Complex. Seven teams are expected to compete in the Lancer Invitational, which starts at noon.