Late Heroics Propel Grace to Wins Over Marian
Grace’s softball team opened up Miller Field for the 2014 season in thrilling fashion, taking down Marian in a doubleheader on Tuesday.
The Lady Lancers upended the defending Crossroads League champs 12-11 on a walkoff double from Hannah Adams in the first game. Grace then rallied for a 7-5 victory in the second game.
It took a heroic effort from Hannah Adams to put away Marian in the opener. The Lady Lancers (9-15; 5-3 CL) saw leads of 7-0 and 10-7 disappear against the Knights (11-11; 5-7 CL) as Marian refused to fade.
The Knights faced a three-run deficit as they entered their final at-bats in the seventh. But Marian rallied with four runs on three doubles to take its first lead of the day.
In Grace’s half of the seventh, Brooke Shell led off with a single. Olivia Winget was walked, putting the winning run on base. That set the stage for Adams, who laced a double to deep right-center field to bring in Shell and Winget for the winning tallies.
Adams finished 4-for-5 with two runs scored and five RBIs in a standout performance. Clarissa Knight, Winget, Shell and Chelsea Whitesell notched two hits apiece, and Shell scored three runs and stole two bases. Winget homered and scored three runs.
In the second game, Grace’s offense got off to a slow start. The Knights seized a 5-1 lead after their half of the fourth inning before Grace started its rally.
In the bottom of the fourth, Grace’s first two batters were retired. But the Lady Lancers showed resolve with a two-out rally of four runs. Brittany Melzoni, Samantha Johnson and Brooke Shell hit three straight singles to load the bases, and Alex Shipley hit a two-run single to right field. Clarissa Knight followed that up with a bases-clearing double to tie the game at 5-5.
Shipley came in to pitch the final three innings for Grace, limiting the Knights to one hit. She also struck out six batters in an impressive relief performance.
In the bottom of the sixth, Grace scored the decisive two runs. After loading the bases with two singles and a walk, Paige Petrone was walked to plate Jordan McKinley. A wild pitch on the next at-bat allowed Knight to scamper home for the final 7-5 margin. Shipley went on to strike out two of the three batters in the top of the seventh to earn the win on the mound.
Shipley and Knight finished 3-for-4 at the plate as each player drove in two runs.
The Lady Lancers have their second home series of the season on Thursday when Grace welcomes Huntington at 3 p.m.