Winget Nabs League’s Player of the Week Award

April 29th, 2014

Pictured is Olivia Winget at bat for Grace (photo credit: Patrick Stukkie)

Olivia Winget’s standout performance last week was honored when she won the Crossroads League Player of the Week award on Monday.

Winget became the fourth Grace softball player to win a player of the week award from the Crossroads League, joining Brooke Shell, Samantha Johnson and Hannah Adams.

Winget pounded out 11 RBIs on a .462 batting average last week to help the Lady Lancers secure their highest league finish (4th) in program history. The senior first baseman/pitcher homered twice in Grace’s series with IWU, tying the score each time with her homer. She tallied a hit in seven of the team’s eight games this week and scored eight runs.

She is the program’s all-time leader in hits and home runs with a handful of postseason games remaining in her sparkling career.

The Lady Lancers open up the CL Tournament on Wednesday against fifth-seeded Mt. Vernon Nazarene. The double-elimination tournament will continue through May 2.

Area Businesses Contribute to Mock Interview Night for Grace Students

April 28th, 2014

Pictured is Grace College student, Miles Barber.

A mock interview event for Grace College juniors and seniors was hosted last week by the Center for Career Connections at Grace College. On Wednesday, April 16, more than 50 Kosciusko County employers gathered at the Manahan Orthopaedic Capital Center to give students an opportunity to practice their interview skills. Set up in “speed dating” style, mock interviews were conducted in two shifts with a networking session and dinner in between sessions.  Freshmen and sophomores from the Millennial Scholar Academy and the Orthopaedic Scholar Institute were also privileged to attend.

“The feedback we received from employers and students was exceptional,” said Denise Terry, director of the Center for Career Connections at Grace. “Everyone was impressed with how well the event flowed and how valuable this experience was for both our students and the employers.  Several employers are pursuing the students they met with for actual employment opportunities within their companies.”

Jeremy Mullins, commercial manager at Louis Dreyfus said, “This event was a great opportunity for different business owners to see what kind of talent we have in our own back yard. It also gave students the opportunity to see the businesses that are in their community. No matter what industry you are in, it pays to have those personal connections.”

Participating employers included: 1st Source Bank, ABC Industries, Best Schotz Productions, Big Brother/Big Sister, Biomet, Brandpoet, Cardinal Services, Center Street Partners, Kosciusko/Warsaw Chamber of Commerce, the City of Warsaw, Crowe Horwath, DePuy, Egg Innovations, EnPak, Grace College, Grace Village Retirement Community, Hand Industries, Harrison Elementary, Helvey and Associates, Jefferson Elementary, Lake City Bank, Leesburg Elementary, Louis Dreyfus, Maple Leaf Farms, Pierceton Elementary, Royal Blue, Smith Academy for Excellence, Silveus Insurance, Spherion Staffing Services, Star Bank, SYM Financial, Tree of Life Bookstore, uLead, United States Army, Warsaw Community Schools, Winona Lake Police Department, Winona Lake Grace Brethren Church, Zimmer, and Zing! Recruiting.

Tim Minear, chief operating officer at Silveus Insurance, said, “As an employer in our community, this event was a great opportunity for us to team up and support the local college and students. The college is vital for our community, and the mock interviews event gave us the chance to jump in there and help.”

$350,000 Donation to Make Major Enhancements for Grace Soccer

April 28th, 2014

included is a visual rendering of the new soccer field by Design Collaborative

A comprehensive project is set to revamp Grace’s Miller Athletic Complex this summer, transforming the soccer complex to install lights, bleachers, team bench areas and a press box among other improvements.

A donor has pledged $350,000 anonymously to fund the soccer field improvements. Construction will be ongoing throughout the spring and summer and is scheduled to be completed by the start of the fall 2014 soccer season.

“These improvements to Miller Athletic Complex are a part of the college’s strategic plan to serve the needs of the entire Grace community,” said Grace President Dr. Bill Katip. “We’re creating valuable facility enhancements that will meet the needs for campus and varsity athletics and also attract members of the Grace community and prospective students. We cannot thank the donor enough for the commitment and passion to the continued growth and success of Grace College & Seminary.”

New lights installed at the soccer field will allow Grace men’s and women’s soccer games to be played at night for the first time. The teams will also enjoy upgraded team bench areas and a team meeting room at the field.

The soccer field itself will undergo a makeover with the pitch to be widened. The soccer complex will add 1,000 new bleacher seats, meeting the capacity requirement to host NAIA Opening Round matches.

Other upgrades to the soccer complex include a new scoreboard, fencing around the perimeter of the complex and a press box complete with wireless Internet to enable live video streaming of home matches.

The groundbreaking ceremony, held at the soccer fields, took place on Friday.

“We are very excited and thank the Lord for this gift that will enhance the soccer facility at Miller Athletic Complex,” said Grace Athletic Director Chad Briscoe. “We are humbled by the support from the donor who made this project a reality for our student-athletes, coaches, campus and community. This project will continue to impact the overall growth of the Miller Athletic Complex and make it an important part of campus life for the entire Grace community.”

According to Drew Flamm, Vice President for Advancement, the donor is an avid supporter of Grace College and the athletic programs. “We praise God for this gift. The family that made this gift loves Grace College and Grace College Athletics,” Flamm said. “They have invested their time, talent, and treasure to make the athletic program and our whole institution better. We have big plans for Grace College and Seminary, and so do our donors. We pray this is the one of many transformational gifts that makes a lifelong impact on students.”

Grace’s men’s soccer head coach Matt Hotchkin added: “We are extremely excited about this project. This is a huge deal for Grace soccer and Grace College. This will deepen the relationship with Grace and the community and will help us recruit the best of the best to Grace. Speaking for all of our former coaches and players, we are humbled with this great gift and are excited with how God will use this stadium to further His kingdom.”

Grace’s women’s soccer head coach Michael Voss remarked: “This is absolutely fantastic! I am super stoked for this renovation of our facility. The ceiling of possession-attacking futbol has been raised immeasurably. This positions Grace to host amazing matches and to exponentially increase the ability to live out our mission of loving God and being a baller. This is a fantastic time to be a Lancer!”

Five School Records Crumble at CL Championships

April 28th, 2014

Grace’s track and field teams had one of its strongest showings of the season at the 2014 Crossroads League Championships.

The Lancers broke or tied five school records and had one runner (Lance Taylor) qualify for NAIA Nationals. The meet was hosted by Marian University.

“We had an awesome weekend with school records falling and numerous season and personal bests. I’m very proud of how the ladies competed. The guys had a great weekend and even exceeded my expectations in some areas,” said Grace head coach Jeff Raymond. “Lance [Taylor] qualifying for NAIA in the 400 was a huge accomplishment, and Donovan just missed the qualifying mark in the 800. He will hopefully get it next week.”

Lance Taylor made his mark in the 400-meter race, placing second in a school-record time of 48.21 seconds. His finish met the NAIA national qualifying standard.

The men’s team had three other All-League finishers (top-three finishes are All-League). Donovan Graham had a personal-best finish in the 800 at 1:54.32 for second place, and Drew Perrin was third in the triple jump at 42-feet-4.

The men’s 4×400 relay team of Taylor, Graham, KeJuan Leek and Matt Lee took third place in the CL meet at 4:21.93.

Micah Pollard had a part in two school records. She tied the 100-meter school mark in a time of 12.45 during the preliminary race, going on to finish third in the 100. Pollard broke Grace’s record in the 200, crossing the finish line in 25.52 for third place. Both marks earned All-League recognition.

Sabrina Whitaker earned All-CL honors in the high jump, clearing 5-feet-2.5 for second place.

Jo Boren placed fourth in the 400 with a new school-record time of 59.23. She also placed fifth in the 200 with a personal-record time of 25.89.

The 4×800 relay squad of Allison Zylstra, Jenna McClellan, Katelyn McCullough and Rachel Fehring set Grace’s fifth school record of the meet in 9:49.51.

McCullough had a busy weekend, also placing fifth in 100 hurdles (16.35), seventh in the 400 hurdles (1:08.29) and ran on the fifth-place 4×100 relay and fourth-place 4×400 relay. Others in 4×100 were Boren, Erin Jones and Pollard. The 4×400 included Jones, Alicia Hertzler and Boren.

Other strong finishes for the Lancers included Brandon Smith’s fifth place in the 3000 steeplechase, Heather House’s sixth place in the 100 hurdles, and Jesse Feitz’s seventh place in the javelin. Erin McPherson finished fifth for the shot put and eighth in the hammer throw. The men’s 4×800 (Jonathan Rex, Taylor, Smith, Graham) and the 4×100 (Evan Kilgore, Leek, Niko Read, Ben Hutton) squads each placed sixth.

The Lancers’ next meet is the NCCAA National Championships. Grace will have 17 athletes competing in the meet in Rome, Ga.

Walk-off Thriller Seals Sweep of IWU

April 28th, 2014

Pictured is Olivia Winget being congratulated after a home run on Saturday against Indiana Wesleyan

Senior Olivia Winget starred on Senior Day for Grace’s softball team on Saturday, and freshman Samantha Johnson’s walk-off single in the ninth inning secured the Lady Lancers a sweep of Indiana Wesleyan.

Winget homered twice to propel the Lady Lancers (23-25; 19-13 CL) to 8-7 and 3-2 victories over IWU at Miller Field.

The Wildcats (28-22; 16-16 CL), sparked by a first-inning home run, jumped ahead 3-0 early in the opening game. Grace had the answer in the bottom of the third, however. After Brooke Shell and Tiffany Featherston led off the inning with singles, Winget parked a game-tying, three-run home run over the center field fence.

Grace added three more runs in the fourth. Clarissa Knight provided a clutch two-out, two-run single, and Winget had another RBI single.

Indiana Wesleyan made a late rally, scoring three runs in the top of the seventh to trail by one. Allison Franklin ended the Wildcats’ threat on the mound, however, coming in to record the final three outs of the game.

Winget finished 2-for-4 with four RBIs, Brittany Melzoni and Knight notched three hits apiece, and Shell and Featherston each scored twice.

In the second game, superb pitching from Hannah Adams and timely hitting by Winget and Johnson lifted Grace to a 3-2 extra-innings win.

Shell opened the scoring in the third inning with a sacrifice fly ball to plate Paige Petrone. The Wildcats countered with runs in the fourth and fifth inning to claim a 2-1 advantage.

In the bottom of the sixth, Winget blasted her second home run of the day to tie the game. In the top of the seventh, Featherston and Johnson made a pair of fantastic defensive plays in the outfield to keep the score tied.

The game was not decided until the bottom of the ninth as the daylight was in its final minutes. Melzoni doubled down the left field line, and Johnson drove her in with a game-winning, walk-off single to right field.

Adams tossed all nine innings from the mound, allowing four scattered hits and two runs. She struck out 10 batters.

Johnson had three hits in the win, and Winget notched two hits.

The Lady Lancers’ next games will take place in the Crossroads League Tournament, starting April 30.

Lancers Sweep Rival Bethel

April 25th, 2014

Pictured are Lancers CJ Swartz (9) and Brook Vosler (2) congratulating Logan Grigsby (13) during Grace's first-game win over Bethel

Grace’s baseball team all but assured itself a place in the Crossroads League Tournament with a 7-5, 8-5 sweep of Bethel at Miller Field on Thursday.

The Lancers (12-25; 11-18 CL) moved 2.5 games clear of the Pilots (11-32; 9-21 CL) for the eighth spot in the CL standings with just four games remaining in the regular season. The top eight teams in the league advance to the postseason tourney.

The Lancers got on the scoreboard quickly in the opening game, loading the bases and scoring two runs. CJ Swartz singled in Aaron Christenberry, and Brook Vosler’s sacrifice fly allowed Jacob Bloom to slide across home plate.

Grace added two more runs in the second off a solo home run by Frank Rocchio and an RBI double by Bloom.

After both teams scored a run in the third, Grace had a 5-1 lead entering the fifth. The Pilots battled back to tie the game at 5-5 with a four-run spurt.

Grace won the game in the bottom of the sixth with a two-out rally. After the Lancers’ first two batters were retired, Tyler Weber and Christenberry hit back-to-back singles. Bloom was walked to load the bases, and Joey Hickerson delivered a two-run single to put Grace ahead for good.

Dellos Schabel took care of the rest on the mound, picking up his third save of the season.

Bloom finished 2-for-2 from the plate, and Christenberry was 2-for-3. Hickerson and Swartz were 2-for-4.

In the second game, Bethel scored three runs over the first two innings to take an early lead. But Grace countered with four runs in the third to move ahead. Christenberry hit an RBI single, and Hickerson followed up two batters later with a three-run home run over the centerfield fence.

Grace’s defense came up big in the top of the fifth, eliminating a bases-loaded threat with a double play from Paul Blankley, Vosler and Steven Hovermale. In the bottom of the fifth, Christenberry singled in Blankley to increase the Lancers’ lead to 5-3.

The Pilots knotted the game in the sixth inning, scoring two runs with two outs against them. The Lancers had the answer, however, with three runs on five hits. With a runner on third, head coach Bill Barr called for a squeeze bunt. Blankley laid down the bunt to plate Logan Grigsby for the go-ahead run. Vosler and Christenberry then provided insurance runs with RBI singles.

Jason Stevens completed the game from the mound for Grace, picking up the save. Christenberry finished 3-for-4 with three runs driven in, and Vosler was 2-for-2. Bloom notched two hits and had a career-high three stolen bases.

The Lancers conclude the regular season with a series against Huntington. Grace hosts Huntington on Saturday 1 p.m. for Senior Day and will travel to the Foresters on Tuesday.

Grace Sweeps Knights to Reach 20 Wins

April 23rd, 2014

Pictured is Alex Shipley (right) being congratulated by Brooke Shell earlier in the season

Grace’s softball team reached 20 wins for the first time in nearly two decades with a sweep of Marian University on Tuesday.

The Lady Lancers (20-24; 16-12 Crossroads League) defeated Marian 13-8 and 8-5 to secure the season sweep of the Knights (21-19; 15-15 CL). With two series remaining in the regular season, Grace sits in sole possession of fourth place in the CL standings, one game out of second place.

The last time Grace won 20 games in a season was in 1997. The Lady Lancers came close last spring with 19 wins.

Clarissa Knight and Hannah Adams powered Grace’s offense in the opener. Knight was 3-for-4 with three runs and three RBIs, and Adams was 3-for-4 with two runs and four RBIs.

Grace jumped ahead 6-0 after three innings. Knight drove in two runs in the opening inning with a single, and Alex Shipley repeated Knight’s effort in the third inning.

The Lady Lancers increased their cushion to 11-3 with a five-run outburst in the sixth. Knight, Jordan McKinley and Adams each drove in a run during the inning, and Chelsea Whitesell brought in two more runs with a double. Both teams scored in the seventh inning, but Grace had already done its damage to win by five.

Brooke Shell stole three bases and scored twice from the leadoff position, and Tiffany Featherston scored three times. Amanda Bowman was Grace’s most effective pitcher with two scoreless innings on the mound.

Grace’s offense continued its scorching pace with eight runs on 12 hits in the second game. Knight’s bat continued to stay hot with a 3-for-3 performance.

The Lady Lancers scored half of their runs in the third inning. Olivia Winget, Adams and Shipley drove in runs during Grace’s four-run spree. Grace continued to tack on runs, eventually taking an 8-1 lead into the bottom of the sixth.

Marian made its charge in the bottom of the sixth, plating four runs to cut Grace’s cushion to three. But Shipley kept Marian off the scoreboard from the mound in the seventh to preserve the 8-5 victory.

Winget finished 2-for-2 in the game with two runs and two RBIs, Shell scored two runs, and Brittany Melzoni was 2-for-4 with a solo home run. Adams started on the mound, surrendering one run on three hits over five innings.

The Lady Lancers conclude the regular season at home on Friday against Spring Arbor and on Saturday against Indiana Wesleyan.

Golfers Take Fourth at Tourney

April 22nd, 2014

Grace’s golf team had one of its strongest tournaments of the spring on Monday at the Steven Tyler Invitational. The Lancers finished fourth out of 13 teams.

Trey Stoll placed second for the second time this spring with a round of 76, one stroke behind the overall medalist Collin Breit (75) of Hope College. Caleb Rovenstine was just behind Stoll, firing a 77 for third place.

Taylor Fanning produced an 81, and Taylor Breeden and Kyle Condon rounded out the scoring with identical rounds of 86. The tournament was hosted by Kalamazoo College at The Moors Golf Club.

Zachary Allyn, playing as an individual in the tournament, had Grace’s third-best round at 80. Hope College won the team title with a 315, five strokes better than Grace’s 320.

Monday’s tournament was Grace’s final tune-up before the Crossroads League Championships on April 28-29 held at Harbour Trees Golf Club in Noblesville.

Grace Erupts for 15 Runs Against Bethel

April 22nd, 2014

Pictured is senior Olivia Winget at the plate against Bethel

Grace’s softball team split a doubleheader with second-place Bethel College at Miller Field on Monday thanks to a 15-run outburst in the second game.

The Lady Lancers (18-24; 14-12 Crossroads League) lost 6-1 in the opener before rallying in a convincing 15-3 victory in the second half of the twin bill. Grace is now tied for fifth place in the CL standings, two games out of second behind the Pilots (19-15; 15-9 CL).

The Pilots blitzed the Lady Lancers early in the first game. Bethel ripped off five runs on six hits in the opening inning, benefitting from a two-out error to score three unearned runs.

Bethel added another run in the second to claim a commanding 6-0 lead. Grace, meanwhile, did not get on the scoreboard until the fourth inning. Clarissa Knight reached base with a single through the left side of the infield, and Olivia Winget doubled Knight in the score.

Outside of the fourth inning, Grace struggled to put together any offensive rhythm. The Lady Lancers struck out 14 times against Bethel pitcher Natalie Newell, mustering just five hits overall.

Allison Franklin did not allow a run to score in five innings of relief from the mound. She scattered three hits with no walks and two strikeouts.

The second game was a different story for Grace. The Lady Lancers plated four runs in the opening inning, highlighted by a two-run double from Alex Shipley. The offensive barrage continued in the second inning as Grace scored seven more runs. Clarissa Knight and Brooke Shell each recorded two-run doubles, and Chelsea Whitesell cleared the bases with a double to add three more runs. Shell notched two hits in the inning.

Grace increased its lead to 15-2 in the bottom of the third with four more runs. Hannah Adams, Morgan Cody, Brittney Melzoni and Samantha Johnson had RBIs during the inning. The Lady Lancers went on to end the game early due to the run-rule after Bethel’s half of the fifth.

Shell finished 3-for-4 with 2 runs, 2 RBIs and 1 stolen base, and Knight was 2-for-3 with three RBIs and a steal. Winget and Adams scored three times apiece, and Morgan Hutcheson plated twice.

Adams took the win with a complete-game effort from the mound. She allowed seven hits and three runs in five innings pitched.

The Lady Lancers continue league play on the road Tuesday at Marian. Grace returns to Miller Field on Friday (against Spring Arbor) and Saturday (Indiana Wesleyan) to wrap up the regular season.

Grace Track Wins Three CL Weekly Awards

April 21st, 2014

Drew Perrin, Erin McPherson and Jo Boren made it a banner week for Grace’s track and field teams as all three Lancers won Crossroads League Athlete of the Week awards.

The Lancers nearly swept the CL’s weekly awards for track and field, winning three of the four awards.

Sophomore Jo Boren was the CL’s Female Track Athlete of the Week after winning an event and setting a school record in another. She took the 200-meter title at the Spartan Classic over 20 competitors at 26.72 seconds before joining forces on the 4x100m relay team for a school-record finish of 49.34. Other members of the 4×100 squad included Katelyn McCullough, Erin Jones and Micah Pollard.

Senior Erin McPherson was the CL’s Female Field Athlete of the Week after taking first place in the shot put and second in the hammer. She launched the shot put 11.24 meters to win the event and placed second in the hammer at 39.46m.

Sophomore Drew Perrin was the CL’s Male Field Athlete of the Week. He won the triple jump over nine competitors with an NCCAA-qualifying mark of 41-feet-7.

The Lancers climax the season at the Crossroads League Championships on Friday and Saturday at Marian University.