UPLAND – Grace’s baseball team dropped two games at Taylor to conclude the 2022 season on Saturday.

While the Lancers struggled to find offense on Friday to begin the series against the Trojans, those issues were a distant memory on Saturday.

Grace’s bats erupted for 19 runs, 6 doubles and 2 home runs during the doubleheader on Saturday. But the Trojans also excelled, winning the doubleheader by the scores of 19-11 and 9-8.

The opening game saw 30 runs score between the sides. The Lancers (17-33, 10-26 Crossroads League) got off to a fast start, generating five runs over the first two innings.

In the top of the first, Jeff Pawlik and Alex Rich reached base and scored with strong base running.

In the second inning, Josh Cosme homered, Patrick Danforth had an RBI double, and Cal Curiel drove in another with a sacrifice fly.

Grace led 5-2 after two innings, but the Trojans countered with five runs over the next two innings to pull ahead.

The sixth inning was pivotal. Grace entered the top of the sixth trailing by three, but the Lancers ended their at-bats with a three-run lead.

The first three batters reached base with singles to load the bases for the Lancers. Chris Griffin drove in a pair with a double, and Curiel brought another home with a single.

Sam Newkirk was the next batter, and he produced a two-run double down the left field line. Danforth drove in Grace’s sixth run of the inning with a two-out single, helping the Lancers to an 11-8 lead.

But the Trojans (36-16, 26-10 CL) had a response in hand. Taylor quickly retook the lead with four runs in the bottom of the sixth, and TU proceeded to plate seven more times in the following innings to stay ahead for good.

Despite 14 hits and 11 runs, Grace had to settle for the game one defeat.

Curiel finished with 2 hits, 2 RBIs, 2 walks, 1 run and 1 stolen base, and Rich was 2 for 4 with two runs and a steal.

Pawlik plated three times, and Danforth was 3 for 6 with two RBIs. Griffin had two hits and three RBIs, and Cosme finished 2 for 4 with his solo home run.

The second game saved all the drama for the final inning during the seven-inning bout.

Grace again got on the scoreboard first, plating twice in the second inning. Newkirk and Austin Carr had doubles on consecutive at-bats to score a pair of runs.

The Trojans erupted for four runs in the bottom half of the inning. Taylor scored twice in the fifth inning, and the score remained 6-2 in TU’s favor as the game reached the seventh.

The Lancers were not content to go down quietly. Carr produced another RBI double to begin Grace’s scoring.

Jake Cox drove in a run with a single, and Bradyn McIntosh ran home after a Trojans’ error.

Grace still faced a 6-5 deficit when Rich stepped up with two outs. But Rich showed his clutch gene, launching a three-run home run to left field to hand the Lancers an improbable 8-6 lead.

Taylor had the final at-bats in the bottom half of the inning, and the Trojans made good on their chance.

The Trojans used two singles and a double to tie the game at 8-8. After a strikeout, the Trojans found a walkoff winner with a two-out single to end the game at 9-8.

Carr finished 2 for 3 with two RBIs, Newkirk scored twice and drove in another run, and Rich had three RBIs.

The Lancers’ 17 wins this year are the most since 2016 and tied for the fourth-most in program history. Grace also reached double-digit wins in league play for the fourth time ever, including twice under head coach Ryan Roth.



Softball Upsets No. 17 Knights

INDIANAPOLIS – Grace’s softball team ended its season on a high note after taking down No. 17 Marian on Saturday.

The Lady Lancers dealt the Knights a 4-1 upset in the opening game; Marian had the final say with a 10-2 win in the final matchup.

Grace won 11 Crossroads League games this year under first-year co-head coaches Bo Coolen and Sam Coolen, the most since 2017.

Grace played one of its most complete games of the season in the opening win over the Knights (38-9, 28-8 CL). The Lady Lancers outhit Marian 8-4 and had zero errors in the field.

Jeri Ellis was the star, driving in two runs and pitching a complete game.

Grace claimed its first lead in the second inning. Ellis led off the frame with a solo homer to left field.

Marian countered with a two-out RBI single in the third to even the score at 1-1.

Ellis gave Grace its second lead of the game in the sixth inning. Bethany Gardner and Cassandra Hayes reached base with a single and double respectively. Ellis drove a single to center field, allowing Hayes to come home for a 2-1 lead.

Ellis retired the Knights 1-2-3 in the bottom of the sixth, and Grace added to its lead in the seventh.

Montana Brincks and Gardner gave Grace two baserunners. Jessica Kaurich then stepped up with two outs and put a double between right and center field, driving in both runners to expand the Lady Lancers’ cushion to 4-1.

The Knights managed a double in the bottom of the seventh, but Grace’s defense took care of the rest to retire the hosts.

Ellis pitched a four-hitter, allowing just one run with no walks across her seven innings. She also hit 2 for 3 with a run and two RBIs.

Gardner was 2 for 4 with two runs from the leadoff position.

In the second game, Grace grabbed another early lead. In the second inning, Ellis and Kendra Arnold began the stanza with back-to-back singles.

Bree Gardinier and Brincks then delivered RBIs on consecutive at-bats to hand Grace a 2-0 advantage.

Unfortunately for Grace, that was all the scoring the Lady Lancers (14-33, 11-25 CL) had left.

Marian used two major innings to break open the contest. In the fourth inning, the Knights took advantage of four Grace errors to score three runs and take the lead.

The sixth inning saw Marian manufacture five more runs, ending the game early due to the run rule.

Taylor Hodgen batted 2 for 2, and Ellis had another productive outing at the plate by hitting 2 for 3.