ST. ANN, Mo.—The Fontbonne University softball team had its home opener on Sunday, however, the Monmouth Scots played spoiler, winning game one 4-3 and game two, 2-0.
Monmouth 4 Fontbonne 3
In game one, the Griffins (0-14) totaled six hits and were led by Maddie Cooksey's 2-for-3 and two RBI performance. On the rubber, Maddy Strickland pitched well but took the loss after going 5.0 innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on six hits.
The Scots (9-5), meanwhile, got a solid outing out of starter Liz Hippen, who went the distance, allowing three runs (zero earned) on six hits and sat down eight. At the dish, Madyson Fox and Darcy Kepner contributed two hits each, while Gianna Drager added two RBI.
The game remained scoreless up until the fourth inning. The Scots eventually got the bases loaded with two outs. Then, consecutive walks to Liz Hippen and Drager, plated two runs to give Monmouth the lead.
It was a short-lived advantage as the Griffins answered in the fifth. Kayla Winkler led off with a single and moved up a base on Emily Cardwell's sacrifice bunt. After a Diamond Thomas bunt single and a strikeout, Alyssa Pisarek reached on a fielding error, allowing Winkler to score and make it 2-1.
Cooksey stepped in and ripped a single right up the middle, scoring Thomas and Pisarek and now Fontbonne was on top, 3-2.
However, in the sixth, the Scots got the lead back for good. Kirsti Barton's single and Kepner's double put the visitor's in business with nobody out.
Isabel Hotop came in in relief and got the first batter she faced to ground out. However, Drager grounded out to short but Barton scored on the play, tying the game up. On the ensuing at-bat, a passed ball allowed Kepner to score from third, giving Monmouth a 4-3 lead. That was enough for Hippen as she retired the Griffins in order to secure the victory for the Scots.
Monmouth 2 Fontbonne 0
In game two, the Griffins offense was held to just four hits against Scots starter, Cassidy Abbott. Thomas, Alleigh Kruse, Maddy Strickland and Emily Cardwell each had a hit. Strickland extended her hit streak out to five, while Kruse has reached base safely in the last five as well.
Inside the circle, Thomas went 5.0 innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on six hits and struck out three. Hotop, meanwhile, pitched two more strong innings out of the pen.
Abbott was the story for Monmouth. The right-hander tossed a complete game shutout and struck out five Griffins. At the plate, Becca Gallis was a tough out as she went 3-for-4 at the No. 3 spot in the order.
The scoring got started in the second for Monmouth. With two outs, Savannah Ball walked, and eventually got to third after a passed ball and wild pitch. Then, after another walk, Kaelan Bradley singled to right, giving them a 1-0 lead.
In the fifth, the Scots plated a run on a bases loaded walk, and despite Fontbonne bringing the tying run to the plate in the fifth and sixth innings, Abbott got out of the jam to give Monmouth the victory.
The Griffins are back at home on Wednesday, March 21st, against Iowa Wesleyan in its first SLIAC games. First-pitch will be thrown at 2 p.m.
Fans make sure to stay updated on fontbonnegriffins.com throughout the year for full updates and recaps on the softball team.