Chris Griffin
Chris Griffin
SPRING ARBOR, Mich. - Grace’s baseball team concluded its four-game series with Spring Arbor on a positive note.

The Lancers split the doubleheader on Saturday, falling 8-5 in the opener before winning 7-1 to end the day.

Grace was only outhit 8-7 in the first game, but the Cougars were efficient to turn their hits into runs.

Seven of SAU’s eight hits in the opener went for extra bases, including 4 doubles, 2 triples and 1 homer. Spring Arbor plated five times in the second inning and three times in the fourth, and Grace was unable to catch up.

The Lancers still had chances, scoring three runs in the sixth and another in the seventh. But Grace left multiple runners on base three times over the final four innings, allowing the Cougars to hold on for the win.

Jake Decker pitched the final 4.2 innings for Grace, yielding one earned run with two hits and four strikeouts.

Chris Griffin hit 3 for 4 with 2 runs, 1 double and 1 RBI, and Alex Rich was 2 for 5 with 1 double, 1 run and 1 stolen base.

In the second game, Grace jumped out to a 5-0 lead through its half of the fourth inning. Griffin doubled in the opening inning to plate Jaron Mullet for the game’s first run.

Grace seized control of the game with a four-run fourth. The first six batters reached base safely, including run-scoring hits by Sam Newkirk, Rich and Griffin.

The Cougars scored once in the bottom of the fourth, but Grace quickly retaliated with two more in the top of the fifth. Dalton Turner and Colin Carr had back-to-back doubles to kickstart the Lancers’ inning.

In the end, Grace only needed a few runs to win thanks to the sterling pitching performance from Kameron Koch.

Koch pitched a complete game, allowing five hits and one run. He walked three and struck out three to earn the win from the mound.

Griffin hit 2 for 4 with two RBIs, Turner batted 2 for 4 with two runs scored, and Jeff Pawlik was 2 for 4 with a stolen base.

The Lancers’ next doubleheader is Tuesday against IU South Bend. The games are scheduled for 4 p.m. in Granger, Ind.

Ellis’ strong pitching leads Grace to softball split with SFU

WINONA LAKE, Ind. - A complete-game performance from Jeri Ellis helped Grace’s softball team to a split with St. Francis on Saturday.

After Grace lost the opener 14-2, Ellis’s arm propelled the Lady Lancers to a 4-1 victory to end the day.

Grace struggled out of the gate against USF. The Lady Lancers committed several untimely errors in the field, and the Cougars’ bats were sharp at the onset.

The Cougars racked up 14 runs between the second and fifth innings, ending the game prematurely due to the run rule.

Ellis drove in the only runs of the game for Grace, finishing 1 for 3 with two RBIs. Laikyn Lowe walked and scored a run, and Olivia Hess also walked and plated.

In the second game, the majority of the runs were plated in the second inning. USF scored first in the top of the second to take a 1-0 lead which proved to be short-lived.

Lowe and Hess reached base to begin the second inning, and the pair came home to score after a throwing error by the Cougars.

Ellis helped her own cause with a double on the next at-bat, scoring Bethany Gardner to provide Grace a 3-1 lead.

Ellis took care of the rest from the mound. Although USF had a hit in each of the next three innings, Grace’s defense kept the Cougars from scoring. Lowe completed a 6-3 double play in the fifth to end a potential rally by USF.

Ellis seemed to get better as the game progressed, mowing down USF 1-2-3 in the sixth and seventh innings to secure the win. For the game, she allowed six scattered hits with one walk. She needed just 81 pitches to complete the game.

Jessica Kaurich hit 3 for 3 with an RBI, and Ellis and Jaden Cardoso each finished 2 for 4. Gardner, Ellis and Britney Young all doubled in the game.

The Lady Lancers are back home on Tuesday with a doubleheader against Mt. Vernon Nazarene starting at 3 p.m.

Grace wins multiple events at IWU

MARION, Ind. - Grace’s track and field team had its second outdoor meet of the year on Saturday with the Indiana Wesleyan Polar Bear Invitational.

The Lancers had several athletes win their respective events in addition to earning a few NAIA qualifiers.

Nordia Campbell impressed for the Lady Lancers. Campbell won the 200-meter dash in a time of 24.68 seconds. She also set a school record in the 100 with a time of 12.12 seconds, good for the NAIA “B” standard.

Gracious O’Connor was the runner-up in the 200 (24.69) as she and Campbell both hit the NAIA “A” standard.

Isaac Brown won the high jump with a clearance of 6-feet-8.75, and John Green won the men's 200 with a time of 21.58. Both Brown and Green reached the NAIA “B” standard.

In the women’s 400 hurdles, Michaela Buriff and Kaitlyn Mack placed third and fourth respectively. Bethany Hoffman finished 10th in the javelin.

Issiac Mitchell ended ninth in the men’s 400, Brown was fifth in the long jump, and Joy Abbott placed sixth in the javelin.

The Lancers’ next meet is scheduled for Saturday at Taylor for the George Glass Invitational.

No. 11 CMU tops No. 13 Grace

FAYETTE, Mo. - In a top-15 clash among NAIA powerhouses, No. 13 Grace’s women’s soccer team lost on the road to No. 11 Central Methodist on Saturday.

Grace was shorthanded, missing its top-two leading goalscorers, and the Lady Lancers (11-5-1) were unable to get on the scoreboard in the defeat.

The first half was evenly played with CMU holding a slight 5-3 advantage in shot attempts. Erin Crew, Amber Meade and Danae Moriarty each tried a shot before halftime for Grace.

The Eagles (15-3) managed to get on the scoreboard in the 25th minute, the only goal produced before halftime.

The score remained 1-0 until the final minutes. The Eagles found an insurance goal in the 87th minute, resulting in the final 2-0 scoreline.

Bethany Blackwood made six saves as Grace’s goalkeeper.

The Lady Lancers do not have another match scheduled this spring at this point. Grace is headed for a likely NAIA National Championship appearance this spring; the first match of the NAIA tournament will be held April 15.

Grace has already had a memorable season, reaching the championship game of the Crossroads League Tournament and the NCCAA National Championships. Grace’s five losses have all come to ranked opponents.