Anderson Fights Back to Drop Griffins in Opening Round of Regional Play
Bloomington, Ill.- As the game's leadoff batter, Shannon Fitzpatrick shoots the ball over the right center fence to cross the plate first in the first round of regional play in Bloomington, Ill. The home run was Fitzpatrick's first of her college career.
Griffin bats came alive in the second inning, scoring four more runs for a Griffin 5-0 lead.
With momentum swinging Fontbonne's way, it quickly changed in Anderson's favor in the third inning. After a 1-2-3 start to the inning for Fontbonne, and what was thought to be a first out popup for AU, the umpires called an illegal pitch on Griffin pitcher Madi Leonard. Anderson would score two runs before the inning was over.
A diving foul catch by the Ravens continued to amp up the Anderson crowd and players in the fifth inning before scoring two more runs cutting the Fontbonne lead to 5-4. A scoreless sixth and top of the seventh gave Anderson a chance for a comeback after a leadoff triple. The tying run was scored on a Raven double. The following two batters were intentionally walked which load the bases. With Nicole Frazier at the plate, who struck out three times in the game, the Griffins were looking for an out. Instead Frazier hit a walk-off grand slam for a 9-5 Anderson win.
On the day, Fontbonne only achieved one hit after the second inning. Cara Hargate had two beautiful sacrifice bunts but the Griffins couldn't capitalize. Leonard was called for five illegal pitches. Before today's game, Leonard had zero calls for an illegal pitch in her previous 118 innings on the season.
Fitzpatrick was two for three on the day with a walk, double and homerun. Five different Griffins recorded an RBI each. Marissa Simon and Emily Smith each doubled once. Leonard struck out six batters (three in the second) and gave up seven hits.
Fontbonne will play at 1:30pm Saturday Lake Forest College. A win keeps regional play alive with a 4pm game to follow.