Archive for the ‘Feature Stories’ Category

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.”

Grace Topples No. 19 IWU

Monday, April 6th, 2015

Grace’s softball team handed No. 19 Indiana Wesleyan its first loss in 25 games, upsetting the Wildcats on the road on Saturday.

The Lady Lancers beat IWU 8-5 in the second game of the doubleheader, snapping IWU’s 25-game winning streak and giving the Wildcats their first loss of the Crossroads League season.

“I’m proud of this team for continuing to battle and put themselves in a position to win. Their determination was evident throughout the game,” said Grace head coach Heather Johnson. “Our pitchers kept the game close, and we had timely hitting and strategic offense to ensure the win.”

The Lady Lancers did not back down from the Wildcats in the opener, producing two runs in the top of the first inning. After Brooke Shell and Samantha Johnson reached base safely to start the game, Clarissa Knight hit both players in with a shot to center field.

IWU responded with a three-run home run in the bottom of the first to grab a 3-2 lead, but Grace quickly tied it up. Shell reached base and moved to third on two bunts. Chandler Elliott then singled in Shell to tie the game.

Doubles in the fifth and sixth innings added two more runs for IWU as the Wildcats moved ahead 5-3. The Lady Lancers had baserunners in the sixth and seventh innings, but they were unable to rally for the win.

Knight was 2-for-2 with two RBIs, and Shell scored two runs. Elliott tossed the complete game, giving up two earned runs in six innings.

Grace jumped out to a lead early in the second game as well. Ashley Kleinbub blasted a two-out triple to deep left field to plate Knight and Johnson, and Kleinbub came around to score on the play on an errant throw.

Alex Shipley held IWU scoreless for the first four innings, and she added a fourth run of her own in the top of the fourth inning. The Lady Lancers looked to break the game open with a four-run outburst in the fifth, pushing their lead to 8-0. Shipley drove in two runs with a bases-loaded single, and Knight and Chelsea Whitesell also scored in the inning.

But IWU was not ready to surrender its 25-game winning streak. The Wildcats struck back with five runs in the bottom of the fifth.

Each team wasted chances to score more runs. Grace had bases loaded in the sixth inning, and IWU put runners on the corners in the seventh. But Allison Franklin shut down the Wildcats’ offense, striking out five batters in just 2.1 innings of relief from the mound.

Kleinbub was 3-for-4 with two runs and two RBIs, Morgan Hutcheson and Elliott were 2-for-3, and Johnson hit 2-for-5.

The Lady Lancers enjoy five home dates next week at Miller Field. Grace hosts Mt. Vernon Nazarene on Monday, Taylor on Tuesday, Huntington on Wednesday, St. Francis on Friday and Goshen on Saturday.

Green’s Shutout Lifts Lancers Over IWU

Monday, April 6th, 2015

Pictured is Austin Green pitching against IWU on Saturday

A complete-game gem from Austin Green helped Grace’s baseball team to a split with Indiana Wesleyan on Saturday.

The Lancers (11-16, 4-8 Crossroads League) lost the opener 5-3 before rebounding to a 5-0 win in the second game, thanks to Green’s shutout at Miller Field.

Grace started strong in the opening game, but the Lancers faded late. Grace pulled ahead 2-0 in the bottom of the first inning. Green produced a timely two-out RBI single, and Grace benefitted from two walks and two hit batsmen in the inning.

The Wildcats (17-17, 7-5 CL) responded by notching five runs between the fourth and sixth innings. IWU notched four hits in the fifth to go on top 3-2 and furthered its lead to 5-2 with two more runs in the sixth.

Grace pieced together a two-out rally in the bottom of the sixth. Logan Grigsby was hit by a pitch, and Jared Lemler singled next. Grigsby then scampered home on a stolen base as the Wildcats were distracted gunning down the runner at second base, making the score 5-3.

Quentin Herbster had a one-out double in the seventh inning to give Grace hope, but the final two batters for Grace were retired to end the game.

Frank Rocchio, Baker and Lemler were each 1-for-2 from the plate, and Logan Grigsby pitched 1.1 innings of scoreless relief.

In the second game, Grace got its revenge. The Lancers erupted in the third inning with five runs. Lemler and Grigsby led off the inning with singles, and Herbster was hit to load the bases with nobody out. Vosler then laced a two-run single to the outfield. Rocchio then cleared the bases, lofting a three-run homer over the fence to put Grace up 5-0.

Austin Green took care of the rest on the mound, holding the Wildcats scoreless for the duration of the game. The sophomore’s complete-game shutout featured 6 hits, 1 walk and 4 strikeouts in a sparkling performance.

The Wildcats had one of their best chances to score in the sixth inning with runners on second and third. But Rocchio helped turn a double play, and Vosler made an outstanding throw from the shortstop hole to retire the side.

Grace and IWU had six hits apiece and neither team had an error. Rocchio was 2-for-3 with three RBIs, and Grigsby had two infield singles and a stolen base.

The Lancers enjoy a homestand next week at Miller Field. Grace hosts Bethel on Tuesday and Marian on Friday/Saturday.

Kauffman Earns All-American Recognition

Friday, March 27th, 2015

Allison Kauffman wrapped up her sterling Lady Lancer career by being lauded as an All-American by the NAIA and NCCAA.

Kauffman was First Team All-American by the NCCAA and was honorable mention for NAIA All-American after an outstanding senior campaign.

The Fort Wayne, Ind., native led Grace in both scoring (17.7 points per game) and rebounding (8.9 rebounds per game). She finished the year ranked 10th in NAIA Div. II in total points (619) and total rebounds (313). Her 14 double-doubles were second in the Crossroads League

She will graduate as No. 2 in Grace’s program history for career points with 1,784 and career rebounds with 945. She made (183) and attempted (232) the most free throws in a single season in Grace’s history, and her 313 rebounds during the 2014-15 campaign were the second-most in a year, behind only the 314 grabbed by Cheryl Myers in 1989-90. Furthermore, she made 77.7 percent of her free throws for her career, finishing with the fourth-highest percentage from the foul line in a career.

Additionally, seven Lady Lancers were named Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes at the season’s conclusion. Grace’s seven Scholar-Athletes were the most in the Crossroads League and tied for third-most in the NAIA, behind only Hastings (Neb.) and Mount Marty (S.D.) who had eight apiece. Kauffman, Gabby Bryant, JoEllen Fickel, Heather House, Tiffany Petro, Kelsey Sule and Lindsey Schaefer were given the academic distinction. Student-athletes must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.5 and be a junior or senior in order to be nominated.

The Lady Lancers earned their third winning season in four years this winter under head coach Scott Blum. The senior class also racked up 74 victories since 2011, marking the highest four-year total in Lady Lancer history. The seniors also had a .500 or better record in Crossroads League play all four seasons – the first four such seasons in team history.

Postseason Honors Come in for Grace

Friday, March 27th, 2015

Grace’s men’s basketball team enjoyed its ninth consecutive season with a national tournament appearance during the 2014-15 season. It was also Grace’s first time appearing in two national tournaments in one season.

The Lancers’ success under head coach Jim Kessler earned a number of individual honors on the national scale.

Logan Irwin highlighted Grace’s awards haul by being named honorable mention for NAIA All-American and Second Team NCCAA All-American. The junior point guard led Grace in scoring with 13.6 points per game and also tallied a team-high 4.4 assists per game.

Brandon Vanderhegghen was named to the 2015 NCCAA All-Tournament Team. The junior guard had a sparkling tournament for the Lancers, averaging 20.3 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.0 steals over the three-game tourney. He ended the tournament with a career-high 28 points with six 3-pointers against Cincinnati Christian.

Additionally, Kyle Fillman and Drew Perrin were named Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes. Student-athletes must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.5 and be a junior or senior in order to be nominated.

The Lancers advanced to the “Sweet Sixteen” of the NAIA National Championships in Branson, Mo., before returning home to play in the NCCAA National Championships. Grace finished sixth at NCCAA Nationals.

Grace ended the year ranked No. 19 in the NAIA Div. II Coaches’ Postseason Top 25 Poll.

Grace College and Bethel College Unite for Common Cause

Friday, March 27th, 2015

Pictured left to right: Monica Boyer, Gov. Mike Pence, Dr. Bill Katip, Dr. Gregg Chenoweth

Rivals on the basketball court but partners when fighting for a common cause, the presidents of Grace College, Winona Lake and Bethel College in Mishawaka were among those attending the private ceremony this morning in which Gov. Mike Pence signed into law the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in the governor’s private Indianapolis Statehouse office.  Dr. Bill Katip (second from right), president of Grace and Dr. Gregg Chenoweth (right) president of Bethel College, are shown here after the ceremony with Gov. Pence and with local activist Monica Boyer.

In a press statement following the signing of the controversial bill, Gov. Pence explained, “Today I signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, because I support the freedom of religion for every Hoosier of every faith. The Constitution of the United States and the Indiana Constitution both provide strong recognition of the freedom of religion but today, many people of faith feel their religious liberty is under attack by government action.”

Also attending the ceremony was Monica Boyer, a Bethel graduate and current Grace employee. Boyer, a political activist, is president of Kosciusko Silent NO More and is co-founder of Hoosiers for a Conservative Senate.

Grace Splits Pair with Bethel

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

pictured is freshman Brittany Turner rounding third base against Bethel on Wednesday.

Grace’s softball team opened up Miller Field for the first time in 2015 with a doubleheader against Bethel on Wednesday.

The Lady Lancers (11-9, 4-3 Crossroads League) split with Bethel, losing the first game 5-2 before rebounding for an 11-7 win in the day’s finale.

In the opening game, the Lady Lancers struggled defensively with four fielding errors. The Lady Pilots (6-9, 2-5 CL) capitalized by scoring all five of their runs in the first two innings to take a commanding 5-0 lead.

Grace’s bats struggled for the first half of the game. Morgan Hutcheson notched the only two hits for Grace over the first five innings. The Lady Lancers eventually found a spark offensively in the sixth, scoring two runs off two hits. Kati Gregory launched a two-out single to deep right-center field, bringing in freshmen Chandler Elliott and Ashley Kleinbub.

Grace put a runner in scoring position with Samantha Johnson at second base in the seventh, but the final two batters were retired to stop any potential comeback.

Hutcheson was 2-for-4 with a double, and Gregory was 1-for-2 with two RBIs. Alex Shipley tossed three scoreless innings of relief, limiting the Lady Pilots to one hit with three strikeouts.

The second game started much more positively for the Lady Lancers. Grace jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning thanks to runs from Brooke Shell, Elliott and Kleinbub. Gregory doubled with two outs to score the final two runs of the inning.

The second inning was explosive for Grace. The Lady Lancers started the inning with six consecutive singles from Brittany Melzoni, Samantha Johnson, Shell, Hutcheson, Clarissa Knight and Elliott. Grace tacked on four more runs in the inning.

Bethel pulled one run back with a solo homer and added two more in the fourth to make the score 7-3, but the Lady Lancers blew open the contest in the sixth. With two outs in the top of the sixth, Knight came up with a stand-up triple to deep right-center field, scoring two runs. Elliott followed that up with a single to plate Knight and put Grace ahead 11-3.

The Lady Pilots made things interesting in their final at-bats, launching a grand slam to slice Grace’s lead down to four. But Allison Franklin got the next three batters out to end the game, striking out two in the inning.

Shell was a sizzling 4-for-4 with three runs and a stolen base. Elliott was 3-for-4 with four RBIs, Melzoni hit 2-for-3 with two runs, and Hutcheson batted 2-for-4 with two runs.

The Lady Lancers are scheduled for two more home doubleheaders this week, including versus Mt. Vernon Nazarene on Friday at 5 p.m. and against Huntington on Saturday at 1 p.m.

Brooke Shell Breaks Grace’s Record for Career Hits

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

In less than three seasons, All-American outfielder Brooke Shell has broken the career hits’ record for Grace’s softball team.

The senior from Hartford City, Ind., tied the career hits’ record on Saturday with a single against Goshen in the second inning. One inning later, she became the first Lady Lancer to record 200 career hits with a single to left field. Shell broke the previous record of 199 hits held by Olivia Winget (2011-14).

“I’m excited for Brooke to have broken the career hits’ record in only three seasons. She has been a pivotal player in our program’s transition,” said Grace head coach Heather Johnson. “She is an offensive leader on our team and continues to improve with each season. Brooke is a one-of-a-kind player to have coached, and she will have made a significant impact at the close of her career.”

Shell is arguably already the greatest offensive player in program history. She already holds the single-season records for most hits, most triples, most runs and most stolen bases.

She also is Grace’s all-time leader in career stolen bases (67) and is on pace to shatter the career batting average record. Shell currently boasts an average of .445 for her career, well above the current No. 1 spot of .411 held by Ginnette Dunwell.

Shell was a First Team NCCAA All-American in 2014 and has been honorable mention for NAIA All-American in 2013 and 2014.