St. Louis, Mo. - Fontbonne University softball had a rough ride for the 2017 season, but the Griffins made it to their ninth consecutive St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament appearance. While falling in their first two games of the tournament wasn't ideal, the Griffins made several strides throughout the season.
As their first home game of the season kept getting pushed back due to the unusually wet spring, Fontbonne headed to Florida for 10 games over spring break with just two games under their belt. Over the break, the Griffins had their toughest schedule in the history of the program, facing Tufts twice, Bowdoin, Calvin, Hope, Luther, St. Olaf, St. Kate's, the University of Chicago and Wisconsin-Oshkosh. On Monday, March 20th, Fontbonne defeated both Calvin and Tufts. Their first win of the season was against Calvin and it was even a shortened game as the Griffins downed the Knights 10-2 in five innings. Over spring break the Griffins fell to St. Kate's and Hope by just one run. The two wins would be their only non-conference wins of the season.
Fontbonne held a 2-10 record as they began conference play. The Griffins won six games in a row as they swept MacMurray, Blackburn and Westminster, all at home. Their 54 home-game win streak was cut off by Spalding game one of an April 14th doubleheader. That streak began during the second game of a Webster doubleheader on April 18, 2012. Only one other team in NCAA Division III held a longer streak this year and that was Texas Lutheran who will open 2018 play with 55 consecutive home wins.
After their loss at Spalding, Fontbonne finished the doubleheader with a 6-5 walk-off victory before sweeping Principia the following day, going 9-1 over a span of nine days. The Griffins would then lose 10 games in a row before solidifying their place in postseason play with a sweep at Iowa Wesleyan. Fontbonne, hosting the SLIAC Tournament, bowed out on a walk-off hit in the eighth inning against Webster to conclude their season.
Five Griffins took home postseason accolades including first-team All-SLIAC were Emelia Modglin and Courtney Kedroski. Representing Fontbonne with second-team All-SLIAC honors was outfielder Maddie Cooksey and third-team All-SLIAC accolades went to utility player Diamond Thomas. Kayla Winkler represented the Griffins on the All-Sportsmanship Team. Pitcher Maddy Strickland was named to the SLIAC All-Tournament Team. The full all-conference release with conference-only statistics can be found here.
On the season, Modglin led the Griffins with a .404 batting average, the eighth highest single-season average in the program. Modglin and Kedroski both led the team with 44 hits, tying for the eighth most hits in a season. Kedroski led the Griffins with 26 runs scored and 23 runs batted in. Cooksey was a close second with 25 runs scored. Sam Brown edged both Cooksey and Kedroski (14) with 15 walks on the season while Thomas and Emily McNiff both stole eight bases. Strickland led Fontbonne in the circle with 118 innings pitched and 57 strikeouts. She recorded seven wins on the season and pitched 12 complete games as Fontbonne finished the year 13-23 overall and 11-7 in SLIAC play.
After head coach Danni Glixman's resignation, the University is currently undergoing a national search for a new head coach.