Grace’s bats sharp in split of SAU
WINONA LAKE, Ind. – Grace’s softball team flexed its offensive muscle on Wednesday in a doubleheader against Spring Arbor.
The Lady Lancers racked up 29 hits in the two games, losing 7-6 in the opener before winning 11-9 in the final game at Coach Phil Dick Field.
The teams had no problem producing offense in the opening game. The sides combined for nine runs over the first three innings.
The score was 1-1 after the first inning. SAU scored first, but Jessica’s Kaurich’s RBI double evened the game.
In the second, Grace pulled ahead. Gardner’s single brought in two runs, and Gardner later scored after a ground ball by Olivia Scarbrough to make the score 4-1.
The Cougars responded with a four-run outburst in the third to regain the lead; SAU used a two-run home run in the inning to spark its rally.
The lead shifted back to Grace in the fifth. Britney Young started the inning with a leadoff home run, and Kaurich scurried home from third base after a wild pitch. Kaurich’s run put Grace on top 6-5.
SAU countered again, however, in the very next inning. The Cougars plated twice for a 7-6 lead.
That score held through the final out. Grace had a chance at a walkoff, leading off the seventh inning with consecutive singles. But the Lady Lancers could not find their winning moment as the next three at-bats resulted in outs.
Erin Lawhon pitched the final 4 1/3 innings, giving up six hits and one earned run. She struck out five batters.
Heim hit 3 for 4 with two stolen bases, and Taylor Asher was 3 for 4 with a double and a run.
Kaurich doubled twice, and Andrea Castillo had two hits and a run.
In the second game, Grace’s 16 hits helped cover up six defensive errors in an offensive battle.
The Lady Lancers scored all 11 of their runs in the first four innings.
Grace took the lead in the first thanks to an RBI double from Young and a sacrifice fly from Kaurich.
The lead swelled to 4-2 in the second inning. Jess Vandenboom had a sac fly to bring in one run, and Heim had a two-out RBI double for the next run.
Although SAU tacked on its third run in the top of the third, Grace exploded for three more runs in the bottom of the frame. Vandenboom drove in two runs with a two-out single to cap off a big inning.
Grace’s cushion ballooned to 11-6 in the fourth. Castillo had a two-run single in the inning, and Morgan Tapscott and Scarbrough also plated in the fourth.
The Cougars kept pressure on Grace by cutting their deficit to 11-9 in the fifth inning, but Grace’s defense held stout.
SAU threatened in the top of the seventh, putting two runners on base as daylight dwindled. But Lawhon got three outs on the next three at-bats to end the game.
Lawhon got the save by pitching the final 2 1/3 innings, allowing just one hit with two strikeouts. Dori Knight tossed the first four innings to record the victory.
Castillo was perfect at the plate, going 3 for 3 with a run and three RBIs, and Tapscott and Asher both had two hits and two runs.
Heim hit 3 for 5 with a run and an RBI, Young finished 2 for 4 with a double and a run, and Vandenboom drove in three runs.
The Lady Lancers are on the road Monday for the final time this season at Mt. Vernon Nazarene. Grace returns home next week on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday with a trio of doubleheaders at Coach Phil Dick Field.