Adams’s Grand Slam Powers Lady Lancers

A grand slam from freshman Hannah Adams sparked Grace’s softball team on Sunday as the Lady Lancers split St. Francis on the road.

Adams’s homer powered Grace to an 11-3 win in the opener, but Grace let a four-run lead slip away in the seventh inning of the second game in an 8-7 extra-innings defeat.

In the opening game, Grace got off to a fast start with four runs in the top of the first. Adams had an RBI single, Tiffany Featherston drove in two runs with a single, and Alex Shipley doubled in an early onslaught.

The Lady Lancers’ offense spilled over into the second inning when the first three batters reached base safely. Olivia Winget had an RBI single on the next at-bat, and Hannah Adams cleared the bases with a grand slam over the center-field fence.

Grace ended the game early with the eight-run mercy rule, taking the easy 11-3 victory. Winget went the distance from the mound, allowing three runs with two strikeouts.

Adams drove in five runs on a 2-for-4 performance, scoring twice herself. Brooke Shell finished 2-for-3 with three runs and a stolen base, Shipley was 3-for-4 with two runs and a steal, and Winget, Clarissa Knight and Featerston had two hits apiece.

The offense for the Lady Lancers (11-19; 7-7 Crossroads League) did not come as early during the second game. The Cougars (7-15; 4-8 CL) pulled ahead 3-0 after three innings before Grace began its rally.

Olivia Winget launched a solo home run in the fourth to put Grace on the scoreboard. The Lady Lancers threatened to score again when Hannah Adams, Chelsea Whitesell and Morgan Hutcheson reached base consecutively to load the bases with one out. But the Lady Lancers stranded all three runners with a pop out and a line out.

In the fifth, Grace struck again. Winget’s single allowed Brooke Shell to score. Hannah Adams then stepped up to the plate and laced a two-run triple down the left-field line to put Grace on top, 4-3. Whitesell added another run with a ground ball to plate Adams.

Alex Shipley produced a two-out single in the sixth to score Brittany Melzoni, increasing Grace’s lead to three. Winget scored again in the seventh off a sacrifice fly ball off the bat of Whitesell.

In St. Francis’s final at-bats of the seventh inning, the Cougars were poised to rally when they loaded the bases with one out. St. Francis hit a two-run single to cut Grace’s lead in half, and a two-out double tied the game at 7-7. The Cougars could have won the game with a runner on third base, but the final batter of the inning grounded out to second.

After Grace was retired in the top of the eighth, the Cougars won the game with a bases-loaded single to secure the series’ split. The teams will meet again at Miller Field on Friday.

Winget was 3-for-4 with two RBIs and three runs scored in the second game, and Adams was 2-for-3. Adams recorded seven RBIs and four hits over the doubleheader.

The Lady Lancers host three doubleheaders at Miller Field this week – Taylor on Tuesday, St. Francis on Friday and Goshen on Saturday.

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