Baseball Drops Three Of Four To St. Francis
Grace’s baseball team took one out of four games in a weekend series with St. Francis.
Grace and USF split the opening set of games on Friday with both games being decided late.
The Cougars won the opener 4-2 with all six runs being scored in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings.
The game was scoreless through six innings thanks to sharp pitching and strong defense. Grace scored the initial run in the bottom of the seventh thanks to an RBI double from Jeff Pawlik.
The Cougars responded immediately in the top of the eighth, generating three runs to take the lead for good.
A double from Austin Carr drove in Chris Griffin in the bottom of the eighth, but Grace was unable to score again and settled for the loss.
Houston Haney pitched eight innings, giving up three runs with five strikeouts. Griffin reached base four times, and Carr and Alex Rich each had two hits.
Grace found revenge in the second game, winning a walkoff 8-7. The Cougars tried to assume control early by opening up a 4-0 lead, but Grace had other plans.
Houston Haney got the Lancers on the scoreboard in the fourth, doubling to score Griffin. Haney scored again later in the inning, crossing home plate after a passed ball.
In the bottom of the field, Griffin launched a two-run home run over the left-field fence to cut USF’s lead to 5-4. Pawlik plated in the sixth to tie the game.
The Cougars tried to pull ahead with a single run in the seventh and eighth, but each time Grace had an answer. Timely hitting from Carr and Grant Buschman kept the game even.
Neither side scored in the ninth, sending the game into the 10th frame. In the bottom of the 10th, Haney reached second base. Sam Newkirk then singled him in for the walkoff win.
Griffin batted 2 for 6 with three runs and two RBIs, and Carr hit 2 for 4.
The Cougars clinched the series with a Saturday sweep. USF won the first game 14-6 and the series finale 5-1.
Nick Stoltzfus had two strong stints in relief on Saturday. He did not allow an earned run to score in four combined innings of relief.
The Lancers will return to action next weekend, playing a four-game series at Spring Arbor.
Track Moving Along In South Carolina
Grace’s track and field team began its outdoor campaign on Friday and Saturday with the Rams Invitational.
The Lancers traveled south for the meet, which was held at Columbia International University in Columbia, S.C.
Heather Plastow impressed for the women, winning one race and setting a school record in another. She won the 800-meter race in 2:21.28, and she broke the outdoor 1500 record with a time of 4:44.43.
Kyle Smith won the 800 in a time of 1:52.94, good enough for the NAIA “B” qualifying standard. Abbott Joy claimed the javelin win with a mark of 167-feet-5.
Gracious O’Connor was runner-up in the 200 (25.11 seconds) and fourth in the 100 (12.50).
Caleb Brown placed in three events, including third in the hammer (150-11), sixth in the shot put (42-0) and seventh in the discus (131-0).
Dimitri Margaritidis placed fifth in the 1500 (4:01.61), and Ashley Stoltzfus was seventh in the 400 (1:00.82).
Michaela Buriff (400 hurdles, 1:09.85), Tyler Morrison (400, 50.83) and John Green (100, 11.05) each placed sixth in their respective events.
The men’s 4×400 relay finished third. Luke Smith, Morrison, Michael Williams and Kyle Smith finished in 2:23.12.
“This was a good early season trip and a strong start to the outdoor season,” said Grace head coach Jeff Raymond. “We look forward to getting all of our team together for next week’s meet.”
Next weekend the Lancers will compete at Indiana Wesleyan for the Polar Bear Invitational.
Huntington Shuts Out Grace Softball In DH
Grace’s softball team ended the week at Huntington on Saturday for another Crossroads League doubleheader.
The Lady Lancers dropped both games of the series, falling 6-0 and 8-0. Grace’s offense struggled to string together hits in the pair of shutout defeats.
Grace was barely outhit 9-8 in the opening game, but the Lady Lancers were inefficient offensively. Grace stranded 10 baserunners in the 6-0 defeat while Huntington left just three on base.
Jeri Ellis hit 2 of 3 with a double, and Bethany Gardner and Laikyn Lowe each had two hits as well.
In the second game, the outing was scoreless through four and a half innings. But the Foresters erupted with a six-run fifth inning en route to the 8-0 shutout.
Jaden Cardoso batted 2 for 3, and Jessica Kaurich and Cassandra Hayes each recorded a hit.
The Lady Lancers’ next series is at Taylor on Monday. Grace returns home on Tuesday (against Goshen) and Saturday (against St. Francis) at Coach Phil Dick Field.