Late hits eliminate Spalding sweep

Sam Brown's two-run homer kept the Griffins alive and tied the game in the fifth inning
Sam Brown's two-run homer kept the Griffins alive and tied the game in the fifth inning

St. Louis, Mo. - Fontbonne University softball may have endured their first conference loss of the season in game one against Spalding University (3-0), but the Griffins lit up the sixth inning off two home runs to tie the game. Fontbonne junior shortstop Courtney Kedroski once again pulled through as she singled up the middle for the game-winning RBI as Emily McNiff raced home for the walk-off victory in regulation. 

Game One

Light rain started to come down as soon as Diamond Thomas went to the circle for the Griffins to start the game. When Spalding took to the field, the rain grew stronger, forcing the players to retreat to the dugout for 15 seconds before the rain immediately stopped and the sun came through the clouds for a humid bottom half of the first. At the top of the 2nd, the clouds came back out with a light breeze and remained for much of the game. 
Thomas walked each leadoff batter in the top two innings and got into trouble after walking three of the first four batters of the second inning. Kedroski got her out of the jam by catching a blooper right in front of her and pitching it to Sarah Kitchen at third for the double play. 
Kitchen finally earned the first hit of the ball game in the third.
Thomas pitched a no-hitter through four innings until Spalding walked, advanced to second on a wild pitch and then Heavner's single up the middle gave the Golden Eagles a 1-0 lead. After Thomas walked her seventh opponent, Fontbonne brought in Maddy Strickland to pitch who is nursing a lower leg injury after being hit against Westminster Wednesday evening.​ Spalding scored two more runs in the inning to take a 3-0 lead from a double hit off the bottom pipe of the center field fence and then a sacrifice fly to right. 
Strickland ended the seventh with two strikeouts. Spalding's Schoen left the Griffins hanging with two strikeouts to end the Fontbonne's undefeated SLIAC record.


Game Two
Spalding plated their first run in the third inning. On the defensive side, Fontbonne's Alleigh Kruse dropped Kedroski's throw to get the forceout at second on Henderson who later crossed the plate. Strickland wanted to go to third on Hubbard's grounder, but Fields wasn't at the bag, expecting a sac bunt, so Strickland went to first, allowing Spalding to get on the scoreboard first later in the inning. 
Spalding opened the fourth with a triple to right that had Thomas tracking over her shoulder. The Golden Eagles would plate four runs after a total of two triples, one double and two singles to take a 5-0 lead. Durant took over for Strickland in the circle to earn the final out of the inning. 
After Modglin was hit by pitch, Sam Brown got a good piece of the ball, but unfortunately lined directly at Spalding's shortstop who then caught Modglin halfway to second for the double play to end the fourth.
Durant caught the final two Golden Eagle batters looking to end the fifth.
 
With two runners on and no outs in the sixth inning, Kedroski homered to left to cut the deficit to two runs. Kruse hit a hard grounder through the left side and scored when designated player Sam Brown re-entered the game and hit the second bomb of the inning to tie the game 5-5 and bring life to the Griffins dugout. Spalding sent Schoen back into the circle to try and salvage the win. She got out of the inning without allowing another run.
Durant held Spalding scoreless in the top half of the seventh. McNiff led off with a walk as the Griffins tried to keep the game from going into extra innings. Cooksey moved the left fielder to second on a sacrifice bunt for the go-ahead run. Kedroski drilled a single up the middle as coach Glixman sent the speedy McNiff home for the walk-off victory. 
Durant earned her second win of the season. Kedroski recorded four RBI and Brown two RBI with a walk.
Fontbonne is now 9-11 on the season and 7-1 in SLIAC play. The Griffins host their final regular season home game tomorrow. Principia comes to town for a 1 p.m. doubleheader on Saturday, April 15th. The Griffins are hoping for another SLIAC Tournament appearance, which they will be hosting the first weekend of May.