HUNTINGTON – Grace’s softball team split its third straight series, taking 1-of-2 from Huntington on Friday.
The Lady Lancers (7-16, 3-8 Crossroads League) won the opener 3-2 in a pitchers’ duel, but the Foresters (7-11, 3-5 CL) responded with a 6-5 victory in the second game.
Hannah Middlebrooks tossed a complete game gem to lead the Lady Lancers in the first game. She pitched all seven innings, allowing two runs with no walks and four strikeouts to get the win.
The first game was scoreless through four innings; despite each team having chances to score, the game remained 0-0 until the fifth inning.
In the top of the fifth, Grace took the lead. Sam Heim and Emily Bobb got on base safely, and the pair reached second and third base with two outs. Jessica Kaurich stepped in to produce a two-run, two-out double at that point for a 2-0 lead.
Middlebrooks kept Huntington off the scoreboard in the fifth and sixth innings, and Grace added its third run in the top of the seventh. Olivia Scarbrough singled with two outs to score Andrea Castillo, a play which proved to add an integral insurance run.
Huntington finally got on the scoreboard in its final at-bats; the Foresters plated two runs and had the game-tying run on second base. But Middlebrooks got the final out with a ground out to the pitcher’s mound to secure the 3-2 win.
Heim batted 2-for-4 with a run scored, Castillo was 1-for-3 with a run, and Morgan Tapscott hit 1-for-2.
Grace was on the verge of a sweep, but the Foresters struck late to steal the second game.
The Lady Lancers led 4-1 after five innings. Tapscott and Taylor Asher had RBI hits in the first inning, and Hannah Harless drove in two more runs with a single in the fourth.
Huntington scored a run in the sixth, but Grace responded with a tally in the top of the seventh for a 5-2 lead.
Three times in the second game, Grace ended an inning with the bases loaded. In the top of the seventh, the Lady Lancers had the bases loaded with nobody out, but the Foresters held Grace to just one run.
That fact proved costly as the Foresters won the game in walkoff fashion. Huntington tied the game thanks to a throwing error and a wild pitch in the bottom of the seventh, and the game ended on a sacrifice fly.
Heim tossed the first six innings, allowing three runs with four strikeouts; she also batted 2-of-5 with a run and a double.
Natalie Klingberg was a perfect 3-for-3, Tapscott hit 1-of-2 with a run and an RBI, and Kaitlyn Heffner was 1-for-2 with a run and an RBI.
The Lady Lancers travel to Goshen on Tuesday starting at 3 p.m.