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Track/Field Readies for League Championships this Weekend

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

Grace’s track and field team is set for the climax of the season – the 2015 Crossroads League Championships.

The two-day event is held at Goshen College and features all 10 league schools competing in 42 events. The meet will kick off on Friday at 2:30 p.m. with several men’s and women’s field events.Saturday’s events will start at 1:50 p.m. with the opening ceremony and will wrap up with the awards ceremony at 6:45 p.m.

2015 EVENT SCHEDULE

A fan bus is available for Grace students to watch the action on Saturday, leaving from Grace’s campus. For more information, contact Grace Student Affairs.

The Lancers have high hopes for the 2015 meet under head coach Jeff Raymond. Grace has broken numerous school records during the indoor and outdoor season. The men’s side has rewritten seven school records (two in outdoor season) with Nathan Brown responsible for three of those. The women’s team has set 13 new records (seven in outdoor season). Micah Pollard and Mya Brown have each been a part of four new records this year.

Additionally, the Lancers have been named the Track/Field Athlete of the Week by the Crossroads League six times. The NCCAA has selected as Grace’s student-athlete as the National Athlete of the Week five times this year.

Golfers Tackle Bethel Invitational

Monday, April 20th, 2015

Grace’s golf team placed seventh over the weekend at the Bethel Invitational.

The Lancers were just five strokes removed from fifth place in the nine-team tournament held at Blackthorn Golf Club.

Grace shot a combined 312 after the first round but added nine strokes on Saturday to finish with a team score of 633.

Jon Schram led the way for Grace again. The sophomore’s two-round total of 153 (75-78) was good enough for ninth place on the individual leaderboard.

Taylor Fanning was consistent with an 80-79 to finish second for Grace. Tyler Ham fired a 78-83, and Daniel Zawlocki rounded out Grace’s scoring with an 81-81. Zachary Allyn fired a first-round 79 in the tournament.

Grace has one regular-season tournament remaining. The Lancers will participate in the Huntington Invitational from the Rock Hollow Golf Club on April 24-25.

Elliott Tosses One-Hitter in Split with Huntington

Monday, April 20th, 2015

Chandler Elliott pitched another gem for Grace’s softball team against Huntington on Saturday.

Elliott’s one-hitter lifted the Lady Lancers (24-19, 17-13 Crossroads League) to a 5-0 victory in the opening game, but the Foresters evened the day with a 5-4 win in nine innings to wrap up the doubleheader.

In the opener, Elliott got all the run support she needed in the first inning. Brooke Shell started the game with a single, and Clarissa Knight followed her two batters later by launching a two-run home run over the center field fence.

Grace added two insurance runs in the fourth and another in the fifth. Knight and Samantha Johnson plated in the fourth, and Hannah Herbster singled in Morgan Hutcheson in the fifth to make the score 5-0.

But the first game was all about Elliott’s pitching. The freshman hurler allowed just hit in seven innings. She needed just 80 pitches to finish the complete game and struck out four batters in the process.

Knight finished 2-for-3 with two runs and two RBIs, and Kati Gregory was 1-for-3 with a run and a double.

Grace’s momentum carried over into the second game. The Lady Lancers scored three times in the first inning and led 4-0 headed into the fifth. But the Foresters (17-21, 14-16 CL) rallied to tie the game in the sixth inning.

Neither team could score in the seventh, sending the game into extra innings. Huntington threatened to win the game in the eighth with a triple, but the runner was picked off by Gregory and Brittany Melzoni. The Foresters managed to punch across the winning run in the ninth, however. Grace could not muster a hit over the last four innings of the contest.

Alex Shipley pitched well from the start, giving up one run in five innings of work. Grace was outhit 10-4 in the game. Shell, Herbster, Elliott and Ashley Kleinbub had hits for Grace.

The Lady Lancers wrap up the regular season next week. Grace plays at Marian on Tuesday and then hosts Spring Arbor on Friday and Indiana Wesleyan on Saturday.

Lancers Excel at Huntington Invitational

Monday, April 20th, 2015

In the final tuneup to next week’s Crossroads League Championships, Grace’s track and field team had a strong performance at the Huntington Invitational on Saturday.

In a field of eight teams – including six from the Crossroads League – Grace’s men’s squad finished second while the women were fourth. Grace set five school records and had one NAIA qualifier in an impressive outing.

“It was a great day, weather-wise, and we took advantage of that with some strong performances. I think we set ourselves up very well for the Crossroads League meet next week,” said Grace head coach Jeff Raymond. “We have some momentum going in, and our team gained some confidence today.”

Mya Brown met the NAIA Outdoor National qualifying standard in the 400-meter hurdles race. She won the event in a school-record time of 1:03.45.

Brown then teamed up with Micah Pollard, Paige Kindig and Jo Boren to set another school record in the 4×100 relay, winning the race in 48.61 seconds. Pollard went on to break the 400 record in a race-winning time of 57.74, and Brown combined with Alicia Hertzler, Boren and Katelyn McCullough to win the 4×400 relay in 4:01.43.

Brown also placed third in the triple jump, and Boren was third in the 200. Hannah Treadway finished third in the shot put at 37-feet-9.25, and McCullough was third in the 800.

On the men’s side, three freshmen helped the 4×100 relay team break the school record. Nigel Ngwenya, Joel Zook, Jared Poorman and Austin Keisling crossed the finish line in 43.62. Tyler Back had strong showings in the shot put, where he won the event, and in the hammer throw, where he set the school record at 143-4.

Nathan Lane won two events, including the 1500 and the 3000, and Donovan Graham also took first place in the 800. Nathan Brown placed second in the pole vault and the high jump, and Macallister Seitz (shot put) and Lance Taylor (400) also finished second in their respective events.

The 2015 Crossroads League Championships are held at Goshen College next week. A fan bus for Lancer students is available to support the track and field teams.

Grace Athletic Department Announces New Apparel Deal with Nike

Friday, April 17th, 2015

The Grace College Athletic Department is pleased to announce a new apparel partnership with Nike, Inc., starting this summer.

Nike will be the official apparel provider and footwear dealer for the Lancers’ varsity teams starting June 1 after Grace’s current deal with Adidas expires on May 31.

“We have appreciated our relationship with Adidas, and we’re excited about the future to partner with Nike. We look forward to the growth and branding that will take place for not only our student-athletes, but also for the campus, alumni and community,” said Grace athletic director Chad Briscoe. “We desire to provide the best possible resources for our student-athletes, and we believe that this contract with Nike will afford us that opportunity.”

The agreement with Nike provides Grace with a continued and consistent look, design and coloring across each of the Lancers’ 15 varsity programs.

As part of Grace’s three-year deal with Nike, a new online retail store will be launched for all 15 varsity sports and for general athletic apparel. The site can be used to buy official Lancer Nike gear, including sport-specific items sold exclusively online.

Grace’s athletic teams will transition to Nike uniforms over the next three seasons in conjunction with the current uniform cycle amongst the programs.

Grace’s Offense Soars in Split with Bethel

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

Pictured is Brooke Shell coming home to score against Bethel. Shell was 9-of-10 on Tuesday in the doubleheader.

Grace’s bats were sizzling in a doubleheader with Bethel at Miller Field on Tuesday.

The Lady Lancers (22-17, 15-11 Crossroads League) erupted for 35 hits and 20 runs over two games. Bethel came from behind to win 10-9 in the opener before Grace closed out the day with an 11-4 victory.

Brooke Shell was the powder keg to Grace’s offensive explosion. The All-American senior batted 9-for-10 on the day, including a perfect 5-for-5 in the second game.

Bethel kicked off the doubleheader’s scoring with two runs in the first, but the Lady Lancers responded with a four-run outburst in the second inning. Grace loaded up the bases with two outs, and Morgan Hutcheson responded with a bases-clearing triple to the left field fence. Brooke Shell then batted in Hutcheson to put Grace up 4-2.

Clarissa Knight added a solo home run in the third, but the Lady Pilots (13-21, 9-17 CL) rallied to take a 6-5 lead with a three-run homer of their own in the fourth.

In the bottom of the fourth, Grace regained the lead. Shell doubled in Hutcheson for the first run, and Ashley Kleinbub drove in Knight for Grace’s seventh run. The Lady Pilots pushed across a run in the fifth to knot the game 7-7.

Bethel scored another in the sixth to take a one-run lead, but Grace responded with two runs to go back on top 9-8. Elliott singled to plate Shell, and Knight came home from third base on a ground ball for the go-ahead run.

Grace was one out away from winning the game, but a dropped fly ball with two outs allowed Bethel to tie the game at 9-9. The next batter singled in another run to give Bethel the eventual game winner. The Lady Lancers moved a runner to second base with one out in the bottom of the seventh, but Grace was unable to drive in the tying run on its final two at-bats.

Shell hit 4-for-5 with a run and two RBIs from the leadoff position, and Kleinbub was 3-for-4. Knight scored three times and notched two hits, Hutcheson had two runs and three RBIs, and Hannah Herbster batted 2-for-4.

The Lady Lancers scored early and often in the second game. Grace ripped off five runs in the bottom of the first off six hits, including back-to-back RBI doubles from Elliott and Kleinbub.

Grace had a hit in every inning it batted. The Lady Lancers tacked on one more run in the second, three in the fifth and two in the sixth to complete its dismantling of the Lady Pilots’ defense. Hannah Adams earned the win on the mound for Grace, tossing four innings. Alex Shipley pitched the final three innings.

Shell notched five hits from the leadoff position, scoring four times in an impressive display. Herbster batted 4-for-5 with two runs and two RBIs. Grace outhit Bethel 19-7 in the second game with eight players getting a hit. Knight, Kleinbub, Elliott and Hutcheson each tallied two hits.

The Lady Lancers wrap up the week with away games at Mt. Vernon Nazarene on Friday and at Huntington on Saturday.

School Records Tumble at Little State Championships

Monday, April 13th, 2015

One of Grace’s largest meets of the year produced one of Grace’s most memorable results at the Little State Championships on Friday and Saturday.

The Lancers’ track and field team broke five school records and tied another mark in the 12-team event, held at Indiana Wesleyan University.

“This was the best competition we’ve faced outdoors, and many people stepped up to the challenge,” said Grace coach Jeff Raymond. “We’re still not full strength because of some nagging injuries, but we’re getting closer. The next few weeks are shaping up to be pretty exciting.”

Micah Pollard and Mya Brown had a part in three school records, and Jo Boren helped in two relays that also broke marks.

Pollard tied her own school record in the 100-meter race and placed second in the event. She was also fifth in the 200 race. Her time of 25.09 seconds in the preliminary race was the fastest 200 time in Grace’s history. She went on to join Brown, Boren and Paige Kindig to set the 4×100 relay record in a time of 49.09.

Brown and Boren teamed up with Alicia Hertzler and Katelyn McCullough in the 4×400 relay, setting the program record in a time of 4:00.35. Brown’s third school record came in the prelims of the 100 hurdles, crossing the finish line in a time of 15.27. She finished fifth in both the 100 hurdles and the triple jump.

Additionally, Tyler Back launched the longest hammer throw in school history at 140-feet-7. Back also placed eighth in the shot put with a heave of 46-4.

Grace’s field performers had strong outings. Jesse Feitz and Hannah Treadway finished seventh and eighth respectively in the javelin. Victoria Gimben had a season-best mark in the high jump to place sixth, and Macallister Seitz was sixth in the discus at 147-3.

On the track, Nathan Lane was fourth in the 1500 at 4:01.14, and Donovan Graham was also fourth in the 800 at 1:56.81. Lane and Graham joined forces with Matthew Lee and Lance Taylor for a fourth-place showing in the 4×800 relay, and the 4×400 team of Jared Poorman, Joel Zook, Lee and KeJuan Leek finished fifth.

The Lancers have one final tune-up before the Crossroads League Championships on April 24-25 at Goshen College. Grace will take on the Huntington Invitational on April 18.

Grace blows past Maple Leafs

Monday, April 13th, 2015

pictured is freshman catcher Kati Gregory on Saturday

Grace’s softball team took down Goshen 6-3 and 8-6 on Saturday in a doubleheader.

The Lady Lancers (21-16, 14-10 Crossroads League) improved to 8-3 over their last 11 games with the sweep at Miller Field.

Goshen (2-30, 2-19 CL) jumped out to an early lead in the opening game, striking a two-run home run in the first inning. Clarissa Knight cut the Maple Leafs’ lead in half in the bottom of the inning. After Knight singled and stole second base, Chandler Elliott doubled to right field with two outs to drive her in.

Grace had another two-out double in the second inning off the bat of Hannah Herbster, plating Brittany Melzoni to tie the game. Knight put the Lady Lancers ahead in the third inning with her second run of the game.

The Lady Lancers added another run in the fourth and two more in the sixth to take a comfortable 6-2 lead. Knight notched her third hit of the game with two outs in the sixth, driving in Melzoni and Brooke Shell with a double.

Goshen threatened in the seventh, scoring one run and loading the bases with two outs, but Elliott got the final batter to fly out to center field. Elliott tossed the complete game from the mound, allowing nine hits with three strikeouts.

Knight led Grace’s offense with a 3-for-3 performance, doubling twice, scoring twice, driving in two runs and stealing a base. Melzoni plated three times and had a steal, and Kati Gregory batted 2-for-3.

In the second game, Grace’s offense was balanced. Eight different Lady Lancers had hits, and Grace scored in five of the six innings it batted.

Goshen plated a run in the top of the first, but Grace tied the game in the bottom of the inning. Elliott launched a two-out double to plate Knight from first base.

In the second inning, Grace had another two-out rally. With Alex Shipley on base, Herbster and Shell had back-to-back hits to give Grace a 2-1 lead. Grace did not trail again.

Grace continued its two-out offense, scoring four runs over the third and fourth innings with two outs against them. Ashley Kleinbub launched a two-run single with two outs in the fourth to put the Lady Lancers ahead 6-3.

Herbster had an RBI single in the fifth inning, and Maribeth Strong’s sacrifice fly drove in Brittany Turner to give Grace an 8-3 advantage.

The Maple Leafs made a valiant run in their final at-bats in the seventh inning. Goshen managed to score three runs off four hits to pull within two, but Allison Franklin struck out the final two batters from the mound to secure Grace’s sweep.

Turner and Herbster were each 2-for-3, and Turner had a double and a stolen base. Kleinbub had two hits and two RBIs, and Shell was 2-for-4. Shipley and Knight scored twice, and Elliott drove in two runs.

The Lady Lancers play another home doubleheader on Tuesday, hosting Bethel at 3 p.m. at Miller Field.

USF Takes Pair of Close Games from Grace

Monday, April 13th, 2015

Two seventh-inning rallies from Grace’s softball team came up short on Friday as St. Francis swept the doubleheader.

The Lady Lancers (19-16, 12-10 Crossroads League) fell 7-6 in both games at Miller Field.

In the opening game, Grace’s late rally was not enough to catch up with the Cougars (13-13, 8-10 CL). St. Francis jumped ahead 5-1 after a four-run outburst in the fifth inning. The Cougars ripped off four hits and benefitted from a fielding error to plate four runs.

Grace pulled one run back in the sixth inning. Clarissa Knight doubled to lead things off, and Chandler Elliott singled her home.

The Cougars pushed across two more runs in the top of the seventh for added insurance, and those runs proved to be the difference in the game. With two outs in the inning, St. Francis singled and then hit an inside-the-park homer to go up 7-2.

Grace started off its final at-bats with consecutive singles from Kati Gregory and Hannah Herbster. After the next two batters were retired, the Lady Lancers had their backs against the wall. But Grace showed resilience. Maribeth Strong and Herbster scored, and a Cougar dropped fly allowed Knight and Elliott to plate and make the score 7-6. The final batter grounded out, however, ending Grace’s rally one hit shy.

Elliott batted 3-for-4 with two runs scored, and Brooke Shell was 2-for-4. Kati Gregory had two hits, and Knight scored twice.

The second game saw Grace fall into another early hole. St. Francis scored two runs in the first and second innings and held a 4-0 lead heading into the fourth inning.

Grace scored its first run of the game on its first hit of the game in the bottom of the fourth. Clarissa Knight bombed a 1-1 pitch over the center field fence to make the score 4-1. The Lady Lancers cut the gap to one with a two-run rally in the sixth. Samantha Johnson bunted in one run, and Shell scored the second run off a ground ball.

But similar to the first game, St. Francis scored the decisive runs in the top of the seventh. The Cougars ripped off three runs on four hits to pull ahead 7-3.

Grace did not fade, however, and nearly won the game in the final at-bat. Gregory and Alex Shipley hit safely on the first two at-bats, and Brittany Melzoni drove in both runners to spark Grace’s rally. Shell produced a clutch triple to the center field fence, scoring Herbster and cutting the gap to just one. But Grace was not able to drive in Shell from third base. With Shell on third and Knight on second, Elliott hit a potential game-winning line drive. Unfortunately for Grace, the laser was hit directly at USF’s shortstop to end the game.

Shell was 2-for-3 from the leadoff spot, and Herbster plated twice.

The Lady Lancers wrap up a busy week at Miller Field on Saturday. Grace will host Goshen at 1 p.m.

Offense Erupts for Grace in Sweep of Foresters

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

Pictured is Grace's softball team huddling during their sweep of Huntington on Wednesday **photo taken by Brook Vosler

Grace’s softball team enjoyed 21 runs in a doubleheader sweep of Huntington on Wednesday.

The Lady Lancers (19-14, 12-8 Crossroads League) won the first game 12-1 in five innings and held on for a 9-8 victory in the second game at Miller Field.

Grace jumped in front 3-0 with a three-run second inning. Chandler Elliott, Ashley Kleinbub and Alex Shipley singled in the inning, and Shipley scampered home on a stolen base for the final run of the inning.

Huntington pulled one run back in the fourth with a solo home run, but the Lady Lancers were about to effectively end the game in the bottom half of the inning.

Grace batted around in the fourth, ripping off nine runs on eight hits. Chelsea Whitesell set the tone for the inning by leading things off with a double. With the bases loaded, Brooke Shell doubled to deep right field to plate three runs. Shell later scored on a squeeze bunt by Samantha Johnson for the second out of the inning.

The Lady Lancers were not finished with two outs, however. Grace hit five consecutive singles to score two runs, and Kati Gregory drove in two more runs with a double down the left field line.

Elliott finished off the Foresters (10-14, 7-9 CL) from the mound in the fifth, ending the game due the run rule. Elliott allowed six hits and struck out two in a complete-game performance.

Elliott, Kleinbub, Whitesell and Shipley were each 2-for-3 with two runs scored, and Shipley also drove in two runs. Clarissa Knight was also 2-for-3, and Shell had two RBIs.

Grace continued to flex its offensive muscle in the second game. Knight doubled to the fence in the first inning, allowing Johnson to score from first.

The Foresters responded in the top of the second inning, scoring two runs to go on top 2-1. Brooke Shell put Grace back on top with one swing in the bottom of the inning. With the bases loaded and one out, Shell laced a two-run single to right field. Elliott and Kleinbub had back-to-back two-run singles later in the inning.

Huntington trailed 7-2 entering the top of the fourth, but the Foresters did not back down. The Foresters showed resilience, tying the game at 7-7.

Grace moved ahead 9-7 after timely hitting put the Lady Lancers back on top. Shipley doubled in the fifth, and Hannah Herbster drove her in with a single. Johnson led off the sixth with an infield single and promptly stole second. She came around the score the go-ahead run off an RBI single from Elliott.

Huntington threatened in the bottom of the seventh, pushing across one run to make the score 9-8. The Foresters had runners on first and second with nobody out when Knight made the defensive play of the game. Knight fielded a ground ball at short, tagged the runner from second base and gunned down the batter at first. Elliott then struck out the final batter of the game to get the save from the mound.

Herbster batted 3-for-4 in the game, and Johnson was 2-for-4 with three runs and two stolen bases. Shell and Shipley each notched two hits, and Elliott was 2-for-3 with three RBIs.

The Lady Lancers have two more home dates remaining this week. Grace hosts St. Francis on Friday at 3 p.m. and Goshen on Saturday at 1 p.m.