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Softball defies odds; headed to ninth consecutive SLIAC Tournament

Softball defies odds; headed to ninth consecutive SLIAC Tournament

The cards fell just right today as Fontbonne University softball ended a 10-game losing streak and with the help of a loss from Spalding University, the Griffins are headed to the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference for the ninth straight year.

Fontbonne needed to sweep Iowa Wesleyan and the Griffins needed Spalding to lose one of their last three games. The Griffins got their wish as Blackburn took down the Golden Eagles in game two this afternoon 12-11 in walk-off fashion. Fontbonne and Spalding finished 11-7 in SLIAC play but Fontbonne swept Westminster, the No. 1-seed in the tournament, and Spalding lost both games, giving Fontbonne tie-breaker rights and the fourth seed.

Fontbonne had lost 10 straight games before they defeated Iowa Wesleyan 12-3 to open the night. Fourteen walks were distributed in the game, nine by Fontbonne sophomore Maddy Strickland. The Griffins rattled off 13 hits with two triples (Brown, Thomas), two doubles (Cooksey, Strickland) and a home run by Maddie Cooksey. Cooksey (3-5) recorded five runs batted in and scored twice in the first game as she, Strickland and Thomas all had a great showing at the plate. Strickland helped herself out going 3-3 with a walk while Thomas went 3-4.

In game two, instead of tripling, Brown and Thomas decided to both double while Cooksey hit another home run, this time a solo shot to left field. Fontbonne scored two runs in the third and one in the fifth and seventh innings as they recorded a 4-0 shutout to end the regular season and earn their ninth consecutive trip to the SLIAC Tournament.

Fontbonne earned the No.4-seed in the conference tournament and will take on No. 1-seeded Westminster College in the opening round scheduled for Thursday at 5 p.m. Fontbonne is hosting the tournament at ABC Ball Park in St. Ann, Mo., barring weather conflicts. Greenville earned the No. 2-seed and Webster the third seed. Fontbonne handed Westminster their only conference losses this year. With more rain on the way, stay updated on game and location changes via our tournament website.