Pictured is Grace pitcher Elijah Bruns
Pictured is Grace pitcher Elijah Bruns
MOUNT VERNON, Ohio - Grace’s baseball team picked up a split against Mount Vernon on Monday afternoon, taking the finale of the series against the Cougars.

In the opener, the Lancers (12-13, 4-10 CL) held a brief lead at 1-0, but the Cougars (10-12, 7-9 CL) plated four runs to move ahead 4-1 after two innings played.

Grace was able to claw back a run in the fifth with a leadoff single from Bradyn McIntosh and an RBI single from Josh Cosme.

Mount Vernon tacked on three runs in the sixth to extend the lead to 7-2.

Grace would get within three after a two run seventh inning. Grant Hartley walked and moved into scoring position when Cosme tallied his second hit of the game. Maximo De Leon smacked a triple to clear the bases, but that would be the final run of the game for the Lancers.

Grace threatened to cut into the lead in the final frame with a pair of baserunners with two outs, but the Cougars were able to get through the inning unscathed.

De Leon had a productive game at the plate with 3 hits, 2 RBIs, and a stolen base. Cosme chipped in 2 hits, a walk, and an RBI.

Grace jumped out to an early 3-0, benefitting from a pair of Cougar miscues to start game two.

Sean Gannon drove in Sam Newkirk, who reached via error, to open the scoring. Two batters later, John Joyce’s fly ball to left was misplayed allowing Keenan LeBlanc to score. The final run of the inning crossed the plate on a Josh Cosme single.

The Lancers upped their lead to four in the third stanza. De Leon led off with a double, and Austin Carr contributed a sacrifice fly to bring him home.

Grace’s bats were kept at bay over the final four innings, with just two runners reaching base.

Mount Vernon plated runs in the third and sixth innings to draw within two, but lefthander Steven Hernandez pitched 4.1 innings of relief to close out the game and secure the 4-2 victory.

Trevor Yoder, making his second appearance of the year on the mound, notched the win.

De Leon led the way for Grace with two hits and a run. Gannon added a 1 for 3 game with an RBI.

Grace will begin a four-game series on the road at Goshen later this week. The first set of games will be on Thursday March 30 starting at 1 p.m.

Softball’s Upset Bid Comes Up Short

MARION - Grace College’s softball team dropped two contests against No. 6 Indiana Wesleyan on Monday afternoon.

In the second game of the doubleheader the Lancers nearly pulled off the upset, giving the sixth ranked Wildcats everything they could handle ultimately falling 2-1 in the tenth inning.

In the first game the Wildcats jumped out to an early lead and never looked back. The Wildcats scored eight runs through the first four innings while Grace’s offense was held in check.

In the fifth inning the Lancers offense got on the board. Annie Spicer got things started with a one-out single and Carly Ruiz followed up by putting a ball in play to put runners on first and second base.

Jeri Ellis picked up her fifth RBI of the season when she singled in Spicer to give Grace its first run of the day. The Lancers were unable to extend the inning any further, and dropped the game 9-1.

The second game proved to be a pitchers' duel, with each team's starting pitcher going the distance in the 10 inning game.

The Lancers immediately threatened in the first inning. Ellis, Ruiz and Tia O’Connor loaded the bases with just one out. However, IWU would record the final two outs without surrendering a run.

Ellis proved dominant in the circle for Grace, muting the Wildcats offense through the first five innings of play.

The Lancers drew first blood in the fourth inning when they once again loaded the bases. Ellis hit a sacrifice fly to right field that scored Avery Sleeth to give Grace a 1-0 lead.

IWU drew even in the bottom of the fifth inning after taking advantage of a lead-off triple.

In the seventh inning the Wildcats got a runner to third base, but Ellis once again proved her worth by inducing a ground ball to cleanly exit the bottom of the seventh and force extra innings.

Both teams picked up hits in the eighth inning, but neither squad could produce the go-ahead run.

In the bottom of the ninth IWU seemed poised to finally secure the game, but the opportunity was promptly ended as Montana Brincks and Laikyn Lowe ended the inning with a double play.

With the international tie-breaker in effect in the 10th inning the game would finally reach its conclusion.

In the home half of the 10th inning IWU would load the bases with just one out. Grace would momentarily survive as the Lancers got a force out at home for the second out of the inning.

However the Wildcats next hitter snuck a ground ball through the infield to bring the marathon affair to an end with IWU on top 2-1.

Ellis threw 110 pitches from the circle in game two and surrendered just two runs. In addition to her stellar pitching performance, Ellis also drove in two runs in the afternoon.

O’Connor was a steady source of offense for Grace, picking up three hits in five at-bats. Bella Durnan also had a multi hit game, picking up two base hits.

Grace will be back in action again on Tuesday as they travel to Taylor to take on the Trojans.

Pacocha Named CL Player Of The Week

WINONA LAKE - After leading Grace College’s women’s golf team to a tournament win in the Spring Tiger Invite, Carolyn Pacocha has been voted the Crossroads League Player of the Week.

Despite the weather being disadvantageous during the tournament, Pacocha carded an impressive score of 77, to lead Grace to a 33-stroke victory in the tournament.

Pacocha’s score was also good to tie for first place in the tournament. She is the first player in program history to earn the CL Player of the Week award.

Grace will be back in action again on April 5th. The Lady Lancers will host the Grace Invitational at the McCormick Creek Golf Course.