Pictured are (L-R) Cassandra Hayes, Jeri Ellis and Bethany Gardner for Grace's softball team
Pictured are (L-R) Cassandra Hayes, Jeri Ellis and Bethany Gardner for Grace's softball team
WINONA LAKE - Grace College’s softball team saw a trio of players earn end-of-season recognition.

Cassandra Hayes and Jeri Ellis were named Second Team All-Crossroads League, and Bethany Gardner was an honorable mention for All-League.

Hayes was a reliable bat for Grace all season, hitting .329 while belting eight home runs. Hayes also led the team with 37 RBIs.

Ellis starred in a two-way role for the Lady Lancers, leading the team in batting average (.367) and ERA (5.41). The junior struck 63 batters across 148 innings pitched and also added 49 hits and six stolen bases.

Gardner finished her senior season with a .301 batting average and 15 RBIs. She locked down the centerfield position all year for Grace with .988 fielding percentage.

All three Lady Lancers started every single game during Grace’s 2022 season.

Grace Begins NCCAA Nationals With Win

MOBILE, Ala. - Grace’s men’s tennis began its national title defense with a victory on Tuesday.

The Lancers defeated Oakland City 4-0 to start pool play at the 2022 NCCAA National Championships.

Grace has two more pool play matches remaining, including Wednesday 10 a.m. against Judson and Thursday 10 a.m. against Asbury.

In doubles’ play, Ramiro Candia and Pablo Gregori earned a quick 6-1 victory at No. 3 doubles. Facundo Paredes and Ivan Antinori followed up with a 6-4 win at No. 1 doubles, wrapping up the doubles’ point for the Lancers (15-12).

Nicolas Doria was a quick winner in singles’ play, beating his opponent 6-0, 6-1 at No. 6.

Gregori was also a winner at No. 4 (6-4, 6-3), and Fabricio Galvan (6-4, 6-2) was victorious at No. 3 to conclude the 4-0 victory for the Lancers.

Grace is in pursuit of its second straight NCCAA national championship after claiming the 2021 title.

Ackerman Tabbed As Grace’s Next Women’s Tennis Coach

WINONA LAKE - A familiar face will step into the head coaching position for Grace’s women’s tennis team.

Emily Ackerman (Mast) will be the 10th head coach in program history, as announced by Grace College’s athletic department today.

Ackerman played for three years at Grace, ending her career as one of the most decorated players in team history.

She was a three-time All-Crossroads League performer and earned NCCAA All-American status, becoming the first All-American in team history.

She graduated with a number of mentions at the top of Grace’s record books, including: No. 3 all-time in singles’ winning percentage (36-12), No. 1 in career doubles’ winning percentage (38-10) and No. 2 in overall winning percentage (74-22).

“I am deeply humbled to be the next coach of Grace women’s tennis. I truly love this program, and I’m thrilled to invest back into a program that invested so much in me,” Ackerman said. “I’m eager to watch the Lord use our team to make His glory known.”

Ackerman will be taking the reins from Marcus Moore, who stepped down as coach after leading the team to its best five-year stretch in program history.

Ackerman was an assistant coach under Moore this fall and stepped in as the interim coach during the spring semester.

“We are excited to have Emily lead the women’s tennis program at Grace. Having been an athlete and assistant coach here, she has a deep understanding of the mission and culture of Grace,” said Grace’s Director of Athletics Chad Briscoe. “She has a tremendous knowledge of tennis and the recruiting landscape in Indiana, which will serve her well in this new role. We are looking forward to her impact both on and off the court as she leads!”

Gray tabbed as NCCAA’s Dee Morris winner

GREENVILLE, S.C. - Jacob Gray of Grace’s men’s tennis team was selected as the winner of a prestigious award on Monday.

Gray was named the 2022 NCCAA Dr. Dee Morris Award recipient. The award is part of the NCCAA’s Game Plan 4 LIFE series, which selects one student-athlete for each sport to honor for character, athletic and academic success and service.

Gray has been a strong doubles’ player for the Lancers with a career record of 26-12, including a 9-0 mark over the past two seasons.

He leads by example which is evidenced through his work ethic. However, Gray's leadership extends off the court as he's challenged his teammates to grow in their relationship with God. He's also been an active member of the Student Athlete Committee at Grace.

Gray serves at Warsaw Community Church near Grace College, in what started as an internship but turned into a part-time job. He holds a 3.95 GPA in finance and is using what he's learned to serve in the finance department of the church. Gray's work ethic has helped in the classroom as he will graduate this semester with both his undergraduate degree and a Master of Business Administration. He has earned several academic honors including Chi Alpha Sigma, Crossroads League All-Conference Academic Team, and NCCAA Scholar-Athlete.

“Jacob has demonstrated a clear Christian testimony, both on and off the court,” said Grace head coach Andy Lewis. “He is a dedicated and driven student-athlete, and we have been blessed to have him on our team.”