Photo of Patrick Danforth
Photo of Patrick Danforth
WINONA LAKE – Patrick Danforth set a program record on Tuesday for Grace’s baseball team.

Danforth recorded his 59th hit of the season during Grace’s 7-2 win over IU Kokomo; that mark broke Grace’s program record for most hits in a season.

The previous record of 58 hits was set by Josh Bailey in 1998.

Danforth tied the record with an RBI single in the second inning, and he broke the mark with another RBI in the seventh.

Grace wasted little time getting on the scoreboard on a brisk Tuesday afternoon.

Chris Griffin jump started Grace’s offense with a three-run home run in the bottom of the first inning.

The Lancers tacked on two more runs in the second inning, scoring both with two outs. Danforth and Jeff Pawlik provided back-to-back RBI singles with two outs, lifting the Lancers to an early 5-1 edge.

Grace tacked on another run in the third; Cal Curiel provided a single to allow Austin Carr to race home.

The only other run occurred in the seventh inning courtesy of the milestone man Danforth. With two outs in the inning and Cameron Woehnker on second base, Danforth laced a single to right-center field to bring in Woehnker and secure his place in the record books.

The Lancers’ pitching and defense took care of the rest. Grace kept the Cougars (25-18) off the scoreboard for the final five innings, making quick work of IUK’s bats.

It was a bullpen game for Grace; the Lancers threw seven pitchers with no one going more than two innings.

Evan Etchison began the game and struck out the side in his lone inning. Hunter Schumacher struck out a pair during his inning of work.

Mason Meyer and Jake Cox each pitched two scoreless innings to conclude the game; Meyer threw the sixth and seventh frames, and Cox pitched the eighth and ninth.

Caleb Farney, Joey Springer and Jake Decker also pitched for the Lancers.

Alex Rich had three hits and two stolen bases in the victory; he moved his single-season hit tally to 58 as well in the game, tying the previous mark for most hits in a season.

Curiel finished 3 for 5 with 1 run, 1 RBI and 1 stolen base, and Carr hit 2 for 4 with a run scored.

The win moves Grace’s record to 17-29; the team’s 17 wins are tied for the fourth-most in team history.

The Lancers will end the regular season this week with a four-game series at Taylor. The series will be held on Thursday and Friday with both doubleheaders beginning at 3 p.m.

Grace Softball Gives No. 8 IWU A Scare

MARION – Grace’s softball team could not complete a pair of upset bids against No. 8 Indiana Wesleyan on Tuesday.

The Lady Lancers lost two games at IWU — both by the score of 2-1. The Wildcats (41-7, 26-4 Crossroads League) won both games late as Grace’s young squad gave IWU trouble throughout the day.

In the opening game, no runs were scored until the sixth inning. Jeri Ellis kept IWU off the scoreboard for the first five innings, putting Grace in a position to claim a win.

In the top of the sixth, Grace made its move. Bethany Gardner led off the inning with a double. She moved to third base with a pop out, and Ellis brought her home with a sacrifice fly to right field.

But Grace’s 1-0 lead did not last long. IWU countered with a two-out rally in the bottom of the sixth, pushing across the game-tying run.

The Lady Lancers could not score in the top of the seventh, setting the stage for a walkoff. IWU used two singles and a Grace fielding error in the bottom of the seventh to plate the winning run.

Ellis had Grace’s lone RBI, and she also pitched a complete game. She gave up two runs on seven hits against IWU’s high-powered attack.

The second game had a similar storyline as the game remained tied until the sixth inning.

This time, however, IWU struck first by plating a run in the bottom of the second.

Grace had a response in the top of the third as Gardner led off the inning with a solo home run. The game remained deadlocked at 1-1 until the sixth inning.

The Wildcats generated the go-ahead run with another two-out RBI in the sixth.

The Lady Lancers were undaunted, however, and nearly had the game-tying run. Gardner singled with two outs in the seventh.

On the next at-bat, Jessica Kaurich produced a deep single to the fence, and Gardner charged around the basepaths towards home. The Wildcats used two quick relay throws to get the ball to home, and Gardner was called out on the tag in a split-second play. The tagout ended the game and secured the win for IWU.

The Lady Lancers outhit the Wildcats 7-4 in the second game, but Grace stranded seven baserunners and had to settle for the defeat.

Gardner was sensational from the leadoff position, hitting 3 for 4 with her home run.

Kierstin Fickas pitched another complete game for the Lady Lancers. She yielded four hits and two runs while striking out six.

The Lady Lancers have two more road series remaining this week, including at St. Francis on Friday (3 p.m.) and No. 17 Marian on Saturday (1 p.m.). Grace is in the hunt for a spot in the CL Tournament, which will be held next week.

Lancers finish 5th at CL Championships

LACONIA, Ind. – The Grace men’s golf team wrapped up the spring season at the Crossroads League Championships on Tuesday. The two-day event was played at Chariot Run Golf Club.

The Lancers finished the three-round tournament in fifth place out of nine teams. After ending Monday’s two-round day in fifth place, Grace maintained that position to conclude the tournament.

Noah Wright (223) and Parker Wilburn (224) were Grace’s top-two finishers, finishing seventh place and 11th place respectively. The duo both fired 77s on Tuesday in the final round.

Wright came on strong in his final round for the Lancers, carding two birdies and seven pars. Wilburn’s final round included 11 pars and two birdies.

Chase Byron was the low score on the day for Grace with a 75; he had three birdies and 10 pars, posting a two-day total 231.

Tristen Dubbs and Payton Kelly rounded out the scoring for Grace on Tuesday with an 83 and 87 respectively.

“I am very happy with the way our team started and continued to battle the past few days,” said Grace head coach Denny Hepler. “Noah Wright is our lone graduating senior; he has been our rock on this team for a few years, and we will miss his leadership and solid play.”

The Lancers’ fifth-place finish was the squad’s highest finish since 2019 when they placed fourth.