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Grace Softball falls at SAU

SPRING ARBOR, Mich. – Grace’s softball team was unable to put together two complete games in a doubleheader loss at Spring Arbor on Monday.

The Lady Lancers let a late lead slip in the opener during a 5-4 loss, and the Cougars (11-10, 5-5 Crossroads League) completed the sweep 10-4 in the second game.

Grace outhit Spring Arbor 10-7 in the opener and seemed poised to take the game.

The Lady Lancers (8-16, 2-8 CL) were blanked for the first five innings as SAU pulled ahead 3-0. Two runs in the first inning by the Cougars were unearned, benefitting from a two-out error by Grace.

Grace broke onto the scoreboard and nearly won the game in the top of the sixth. Chandler Elliott and Ashley Kleinbub led off the inning with back-to-back singles, and Kyleigh Garner tied the game with a three-run bomb over the right field fence. Garner’s blast was the first home run of her career.

Olivia Scarbrough continued Grace’s surge with a single, and Britney Young doubled to bring in Scarbrough for the go-ahead run to make the score 4-3.

But the Cougars rallied back in the bottom of the sixth. Hannah Middlebrooks retired the first two batters in the inning, but SAU managed to tie the game with two timely hits. The Cougars then took the lead off a Grace error on the next at-bat.

Grace put two baserunners on during its final at-bats, but the final two batters were retired.

Middlebrooks threw well in a complete game. The freshman allowed two earned runs with seven hits from the mound.

Elliott was 3-for-4 from the plate, and Kleinbub and Garner had two hits apiece.

SAU scored in the first inning during the second game as well. The Cougars plated two times in the first and second innings to grab an early lead.

Grace scored one run in the second inning thanks to a well-executed squeeze bunt from Young to score Kleinbub.

In the top of the third, Grace tied the game with three more runs. Sam Heim plated on a fielding error by the Cougars, and Garner hit a two-out, two-run double to make the score 4-4.

But the Cougars won the game in the fourth and fifth innings. SAU scored twice in the fourth and hit a grand slam in the fifth. Grace was unable to produce a comeback over the final innings.

Garner was 2-for-3 with two RBIs, and Heim batted 2-for-3 with a run and a stolen base.

The Lady Lancers will play a doubleheader at Concordia on Thursday and at Huntington on Friday.