No. 13 IWU downs Lady Lancers
WINONA LAKE, Ind. – Grace’s softball team came up short in an upset bid against No. 13 Indiana Wesleyan on Thursday.
The Wildcats (32-10, 17-5 Crossroads League) held off Grace 7-4 in the opener and won 10-3 in the second game.
In the opener, Grace put itself in an early hole. The Wildcats scored three runs on four hits and never trailed again.
The Lady Lancers (9-25, 5-17 CL) refused to let IWU ease away, however. Grace pulled within 3-2 in the third inning.
Sam Heim doubled, and Jessica Kaurich singled. With two outs, Britney Young brought both players in with a deep double.
The Wildcats countered by scoring a run in the fourth and fifth, but Grace continued to battle.
In the bottom of the fifth, Young came through with another two-out RBI hit. Kaurich and Morgan Tapscott reached base with two outs, and Young drove them both in with her second double of the game to make the score 5-4.
IWU added to its cushion in the sixth with a pair of runs, and Grace was unable to respond.
The Lady Lancers threatened to rally in the seventh. Grace loaded the bases and brought the go-ahead run to the plate with two outs. But the Wildcats handled a hard-hit ground ball on the final at-bat to end the game.
IWU held a slight 12-10 edge in hits. Young hit 2 for 2 with four RBIs, and Kaurich hit 2 for 3 with two runs scored. Heim and Tapscott each tallied two hits and a run.
Grace found itself in another deficit to start the second game. IWU poured in eight runs over the first two frames, and the Lady Lancers never recovered.
The Lady Lancers only had one baserunner over the first three innings, and Grace did not have a hit until Olivia Scarbrough’s single in the fourth. Scarbrough stole two bases in the inning to reach third, but she was stranded there with a fly out.
Grace, facing a run-rule shortened game with the score 8-0, was able to extend the contest in the fifth inning. Andrea Castillo reached base with a walk, stole second and reached third after a Wildcat error. She then scampered home on a well-executed double steal for Grace’s first run of the game.
The Lady Lancers added two more runs in the seventh. Castillo reached base to lead off the inning and came home on a ground ball from Heim. Later, Heim came around to score after a grounder by Taylor Asher.
Scarbrough was a bright spot offensively, going 2 for 3 with two steals, and Castillo scored twice and stole two bases.
Heim tossed 5 2/3 innings of relief, allowing two runs with six strikeouts.
The Lady Lancers will take on another ranked opponent on Saturday, hosting No. 3 Marian for a 1 p.m. doubleheader at Coach Phil Dick Field.