Pella, Iowa - In their opening round of the NCAA Div. III Tournament and first-ever contest against Aurora University, the Griffins fell 1-0 in the bottom of the eighth in a pitcher's duel. The loss snaps Fontbonne's 22-game winning streak. Madi Leonard struck out nine batters, as the Griffins recorded four hits and two errors.
Fontbonne, considered the visiting team as the third seed, recorded two of their four hits in the first inning. Leonard struck out two of the first three retired batters to close out the inning. The Griffins then recorded a hit in the third as did Aurora. Fontbonne failed to capitalize on two walks and a stolen base in the fourth inning. The Griffins worked around pitcher Vanessa Hartzell with another walk in the fifth inning. Both pitchers struck out two of their opponents in the seventh, still in a scoreless game.
In the eighth, Aurora singled up the middle and Leonard allowed her only walk of the game to put the winning run on second base. She hit the next batter, loading the bases with one out. Logan Cahill came up to the plate, hitting a sharp ball to second, that the Griffins mishandled on a fielder's choice to second base that scored the game-winning run.
Leonard struck out nine with a walk and allowed four hits. Hartzell struck out eight batters with three walks and four hits. At the plate for Fontbonne, Danni Glixman went two-for-three. Lindsay Schaefer, Courtney Kedroski and Caitlin Nappier each drew one walk apiece. Kedroski stole the only base for Fontbonne.
The Griffins will play host Central College Saturday at 1:30pm. Fontbonne must win to avoid elimination.