Archive for the ‘Feature Stories’ Category

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.

Grace Hits Walkoff Winner to Split with Taylor

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

Grace and Taylor squared off for a pair of tightly contested softball games at Miller Field on Tuesday.

The Lady Lancers (17-14, 10-8 Crossroads League) rallied from a two-run deficit to win the opener 3-2 on Alex Shipley’s game-winning swing. The Trojans (19-11, 13-5 CL) managed to split the doubleheader with a narrow 7-6 win in the second game.

Grace’s opening game with Taylor saw all five of the runs scored in the final inning.

Despite Grace having baserunners in every inning, it took until the seventh for the Lady Lancers to get on the scoreboard.

Grace stranded two runners in the second after Alex Shipley doubled and Kati Gregory walked. Grace also left Clarissa Knight on third base in the third inning. The bases were loaded in the bottom of the fourth for Grace, but again the Lady Lancers came up empty.

One of Grace’s best chances came in the sixth inning. The Lady Lancers had runners on second and third with one out, but the Trojans escaped with a double play and tagged out Hannah Herbster at home for the final out.

Chandler Elliott’s stellar pitching nullified Grace’s missed opportunities on offense. The freshman held the Trojans scoreless for the first six innings from the mound.

Taylor moved ahead 2-0 in the top of the seventh. The Trojans singled with two outs, scoring the first two runs of the game.

But Grace would have the final laugh. Brooke Shell led off the inning with a single and moved to third on a bunt and a single by Knight. Ashley Kleinbub produced a clutch two-out, two-run single to plate Shell and Knight, tying the game. Kleinbub moved to second on the throw at the plate, setting up the winning play. Shipley calmly laced a single to the gap in the outfield, allowing Kleinbub to score in dramatic fashion.

Shipley hit 3-for-4, and Kleinbub had two hits and two RBIs. Knight batted 2-for-3, and Herbster stole two bases.

The second game was a nailbiter down to the final out. Grace trailed 5-3 in the bottom of the sixth, but a solo home run from Chelsea Whitesell, and a triple from Hannah Herbster helped tie the game at 5-5.

Taylor produced the go-ahead runs in the top of the seventh to take a 7-5 lead. This time, the Trojans were able to hold onto their two-run lead, and Grace’s last-inning rally came up one hit short. Whitesell and Herbster doubled in the inning to score one run, but Herbster was stranded on second base when a line drive off the bat of Morgan Hutcheson was caught by the centerfielder for the final out.

Whitesell was 3-for-3 with 2 doubles, 1 homer and 2 RBIs. Knight was 2-for-3 with a double and a stolen base, and Herbster batted 2-for-4 with a double and a triple.

The Lady Lancers have three more home dates this week, including Wednesday 3 p.m. against Huntington, Friday 3 p.m. against St. Francis and Saturday 1 p.m. against Goshen.

Lancers Take One of Two From Pilots

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

Grace’s doubleheader with Bethel College on Tuesday was highlighted by a 12-inning duel at Miller Field.

Unfortunately for the Lancers (12-17, 5-9 Crossroads League), Grace dropped the extra-innings battle 2-1. But Grace rallied for a convincing 7-1 victory in the second half of the twin bill to split with the Pilots (8-16, 5-9 CL).

The first game was a 12-inning battle. The teams were tied 1-1 from the sixth inning until the decisive 12th.

Bethel struck first in the fourth inning. The Pilots benefitted from a two-out error to push a run across the plate.

Grace found the tying run in the sixth. William Swisher reached base with a single, and Quentin Herbster came on to pinch run. Herbster was moved to second on a bunt and came around to score on a throwing error by the Pilots.

The Lancers threatened to walk off with the win in the eighth inning. Grace loaded the bases with one out thanks to a single and two walks. But the next two batters retired with a strike out and a fly out.

Bethel finally broke through in the top of the 12th inning, scoring the go-ahead run with two outs in the inning. In their final at-bats, the Lancers put a runner on second base with one out. But Grace stranded Chase Baker at second with two fly outs.

CJ Swartz started the game on the mound, going seven innings with only allowing an unearned run. He struck out four and scattered six hits in an impressive performance. Tim Weber tossed five innings of relief, giving up three hits and one run with four strikeouts.

In the second game, Grace’s offense produced seven runs on six hits. The Lancers trailed 1-0 entering their half of the third inning, but Grace ripped off five runs to take control.

Colton Ferrand drove in the first run with a sacrifice fly to right field. Frank Rocchio followed that up with a two-out single to score another. Jared Lemler also had an RBI single in the inning, and Grace benefitted from two fielding errors by the Pilots to move ahead 5-1.

Rocchio doubled to lead off the fifth inning and eventually came around to score on an errant pickoff attempt. Lemler drove in his second run of the game with another two-out single, scoring Austin Green and giving Grace a comfortable 7-1 lead.

Jason Stevens and Wesley Gensch combined to handcuff the Pilots on offense. Stevens picked up the win after pitching six innings, surrendering one run and four hits. Gensch came in to pitch the final inning and struck out two of the three batters he faced.

Rocchio and Lemler were each 2-for-3, and Green scored twice.

The Lancers conclude the week with two more home dates. Grace hosts Marian on Friday and Saturday for a pair of doubleheaders. Friday’s games start at 2 p.m. and Saturday’s start at 1 p.m.

Grace Sweeps League Foe MVNU

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

Grace’s softball team produced a convincing sweep of Mt. Vernon Nazarene on Monday.

The Lady Lancers (16-13, 9-7 Crossroads League) took the opening game 7-1 before concluding the sweep 9-1 in a run-rule shortened second game at Miller Field.

Grace impressed on both sides of the field in the opener to win 7-1. Chandler Elliott put together a strong performance from the mound, going the distance for the complete-game victory. She allowed seven hits with five strikeouts to earn the win.

The Lady Lancers engineered a run in four of the six innings they batted. Brooke Shell led off the bottom of the first with a single and eventually came around to score on a ground ball by Elliott.

In the third inning, Grace hit five consecutive singles to start the inning. Clarissa Knight and Elliott each singled in a run to expand the Lady Lancers’ edge to 3-0. Alex Shipley singled and later plated in the fourth, and Grace tallied three more runs in the sixth.

After the first two batters were retired in Grace’s half of the sixth, the Lady Lancers produced a two-out rally. Grace hit safely in its next three at-bats then put another runner on via error. Elliott drove in the third run of the inning with a single.

Elliott finished off the Cougars in the seventh with a three-up, three-down inning.

Shell was 3-for-3 with three runs, and Morgan Hutcheson was 2-for-3 with two runs. Samantha Johnson was 2-for-3, and Elliott hit 2-for-4 with three RBIs. Ashley Kleinbub also notched two hits in the game.

Grace held the Cougars (10-15, 7-9 CL) to four hits in the second game en route to the 9-1 win. Amanda Bowman tossed the first four innings from the mound to get the win, and Hannah Adams pitched the final two scoreless innings.

MVNU got on the scoreboard first with a run off a sacrifice fly in the second inning. Grace responded with three runs in the third inning and never trailed again. Shell doubled in the first run, and Elliott’s single drove in Shell and Johnson.

Johnson sparked a two-out rally in the fourth inning, lacing a two-run triple to the outfield. In the fifth inning, another two-out triple keyed two more runs. Morgan Hutcheson’s triple put Grace ahead 7-1. Hutcheson then scampered home from third off a wild pitch.

The game ended prematurely due to the run rule in the sixth inning. Johnson led off the inning with a walk and promptly stole second. A ground ball moved Johnson to third base, and Ashley Kleinbub’s hit drove in Johnson for the winning run.

Johnson was a perfect 3-for-3 with 3 steals, 2 RBIs and 2 runs scored. Hutcheson hit 2-for-3 with two runs and two RBIs, and Shell batted 2-for-4. Brittany Melzoni also plated twice.

The Lady Lancers’ busy week features four more home dates at Miller Field. Grace hosts Taylor on Tuesday, Huntington on Wednesday, St. Francis on Friday and Goshen on Saturday in a pivotal league week for the Lady Lancers.

Grace College Students and Area Businesses Come Together for Mock Interview Night

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

Pictured is student Amelia Roman during the mock interview event at Grace College

A mock interview event for Grace College juniors and seniors was recently hosted by Grace’s Center for Career Connections (CCC). Employers from all across Kosciusko County gathered on Tuesday evening, March 31 at the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center to give over 75 students the opportunity to practice their interview skills. Set up in a “speed dating” format, mock interviews were conducted in two shifts with a networking session in between.  The event gave students a chance to hone their interview skills in a trial setting with actual business professionals in the local community. Freshmen and sophomores from the Millennial Scholar Academy and the Career Institute (preparatory courses offered by the CCC) were also in attendance. Over 280 interviews were conducted over the course of the evening.

Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer said, “It’s time well spent when you can sit down and spend a half hour with someone and find out where they’ve been, where they’re at, and where they want to go. I’m most impressed with the quality of students at this event.”

“The mock interview event was a huge success in many ways,” said Denise Terry, director of the Center for Career Connections at Grace. “Many students were able to make significant connections with employers through this event, and one person was offered a job right on the spot!  Employers note each year that they are extremely impressed with the caliber of students graduating from Grace, and this year was no exception.”

Participating employers included: 212 Media Studios, the Animal Welfare League, Best Schotz Productions, Big Brother/Big Sister, Biomet, Inc., Boathouse Restaurant, Bowen Center, Brandpoet, Cardinal Services, the City of Warsaw, Crosswinds (Lifeline), Crowe Horwath LLP, Da-Lite, DePuy, Egg Innovations LLC, the Evangelical Free Church of America, Fellowship Missions, Grace College, Hand Industries Inc., Helvey and Associates, Indiana Lakes Federal Credit Union, Junior Achievement, Lake City Bank, Louis Dreyfus Commodities, Lowe’s, Silveus Insurance Group, SYM Financial, United States Army, Vanguard Home Care, Warsaw Area Career Center, Warsaw Community Schools, Wildman Business Group, Winona Lake Grace Brethren Church, Zimmer, and Zing! Recruiting.

Nick Deck, student ministries pastor at Winona Lake Grace Brethren Church, has participated in the event for the past few years. “This event is great,” he said. “I love that it gives students a chance to meet with actual employers, who give direct feedback. The students I’ve met with are responsive, energetic, and are very eager to learn and grow. The educational shift that the college has been making is obviously making a difference; equipping professional, results-oriented graduates. It’s awesome to see how far the student body has come.”