Softball Splits Pair of Nail-biters with MVNU

Two close Crossroads League softball games produced a split between Grace and Mt. Vernon Nazarene on Monday.

The Lady Lancers (7-15; 3-3 CL) suffered a 2-0 defeat in the opener before rallying for a 2-1 victory to end the day.

Despite losing by two runs, Grace outhit Mt. Vernon 6-5 in the first game. The Cougars (9-7; 5-3 CL) scored with a solo home run in the second inning and an RBI double in the fourth. Beyond those two innings, Mt. Vernon Nazarene did not advance a runner past first base.

The Lady Lancers advanced a runner to third base in back-to-back innings, but the visitors could not convert either opportunity. Chelsea Whitesell was stranded on third in the fifth, and Alex Shipley was left on third with a groundout in the sixth.

Allison Franklin pitched four solid innings in the start for Grace, yielding four hits and two runs with six strikeouts. Olivia Winget pitched the final two innings with one hit allowed.

Clarissa Knight was 2-for-3 to pace Grace’s offense.

In the second game, Brooke Shell scored both of Grace’s runs in a come-from-behind 2-1 victory. The Cougars struck first in the third inning with two walks and a single, but the Lady Lancers tied the game in the fifth.

After Shell reached base to lead off the inning, Hannah Adams tied the game with an RBI single.

Shell repeated the effort in the seventh inning, breaking the 1-1 deadlock. After Shell’s leadoff single, Alex Shipley sacrificed Shell to second. A wild pitch advanced the winning run to third base, and Clarissa Knight delivered the winning swing with a sacrifice fly ball to center field.

Adams limited the Cougars to three-up, three-down in the bottom of the seventh to preserve the victory. Adams tossed four innings of scoreless relief, holding Mt. Vernon to two hits and zero walks.

Shell finished 2-for-3 with two runs and a stolen base, Adams was 2-for-4, and Tiffany Featherston was 1-for-2.

The Lady Lancers open up Miller Field on Tuesday with a doubleheader against Marian at 3 p.m.

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