Elsah, Ill. - Fontbonne softball advances to the NCAA Division III Tournament for the sixth consecutive year and ninth time in school history. The Griffins knocked off Greenville 5-0 for their 22nd straight win. Madi Leonard started off rocky on the mound, but earned her 24th win of the season. Leonard was ranked No. 1 in victories among Div. III pitchers upon recording her 23rd win.
The NCAA hosts the Softball Selection Show Monday morning at 9 a.m. Fans can find out where and who the Griffins will take on in the opening Regionals round here. The Griffins will host a watch party on campus in the DSAC Caf with bagels and drinks available at 8:30 a.m.
Championship Game: In unusual fashion, Leonard walked six Panthers, three of which were leadoff batters, but the junior made up for it, striking out nine and getting in a double-play. She got out of a first-inning bases loaded jam with her second strikeout. Her teammates backed her up though in the bottom half of the inning, scoring Fontbonne's first run of the game. After walking the first batter of the second inning and striking out the second, Leonard surprised all fans when she caught the lineout and threw back to first for the double play to end the inning.
Fontbonne catcher Emily Smith drilled out Samsoe as the Panthers tried to steal second base for the final out of the top of the third. Senior Cassi Glixman hit a solo home run deep over the left center fence (225 yards) in the bottom half of the inning, her ninth of the season. The Griffins went down in order in the fourth when Cassi almost hit her second homer in as many at-bats. Fans thought it was going to be back-to-back homers when it hit off the wall for a double. Danni Glixman then doubled to send in Cassi for the third run of the game. A sac bunt by Emily Smith sent Danni to third base when Schaefer hit a hard grounder to third, reaching on the error and scoring Danni.
Sam Brown doubled to open Fontbonne's sixth inning and was sent to third on a sac bunt by Lauren Faulstich. Caitlin Nappier singled to score Brown, the Griffins' final run.
Leonard pitched her second complete-game shutout during the tournament. Cassi Glixman went three-for-four in the championship game, hitting a single, a double and a home run. Nappier went two-for-three with two stolen bases. Fontbonne slammed 10 hits against their final SLIAC opponent of the year.