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Griffins Tie For Third In The 2019 SLIAC Preseason Poll

Griffins Tie For Third In The 2019 SLIAC Preseason Poll

ST. LOUIS, Mo.—The St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SLIAC) released the 2019 Softball Preseason Poll and the Griffins slide in a tie for third.

Westminster, the reigning SLIAC Tournament Champions, are picked to finish first with 78 total points and seven first-place votes. Greenville enters at No. 2 with 70 points and two first-place votes, while the Griffins are tied with Spalding.

Last year, the Griffins went 13-23 (13-5 SLIAC) in head coach Casey Cromwell's first season at the helm. The team collected the No. 3 seed at the SLIAC Tournament, but were eliminated by rival Webster to close out its season.

Maddy Strickland, Maddie Cooksey, and Courtney Kedroski were named to the First Team, while Emelia Modglin and Alleigh Kruse earned Second Team honors. Emily Cardwell and Kayla Winkler picked up spots on the Third Team.

This season, the Griffins look to replace the likes of Cooksey, Kedroski, Kruse, Winkler, and Isabel Hotop.

Inside the circle, the team brings back its entire staff in seniors Maddy Strickland and Diamond Thomas, along with junior Brianna Durant.

Strickland tied her career-high with seven wins last year and set a new career-high with 66 strikeouts. At the dish, she found plenty of success with a .340 clip, 34 hits, 23 runs scored, eight doubles, seven homers, and 37 RBI, all of which are new career-highs.

Thomas, a Waynesville, Mo., native, had a career-high five wins on the rubber and concluded with a 3.91 ERA. At the plate, meanwhile, she finished with a .300 average and 11 runs scored. Durant ended with one win and seven strikeouts in 23.0 innings of work.

Also returning for her senior season is Modglin. The Waterloo, Ill., native, owned a .318 clip in 2018, totaling 34 hits, 17 runs scored, three homers and 22 RBI. Behind the plate, she tied her career-high with nine runners caught stealing.

Cardwell made an impact in her first season with the Griffins finishing with a .326 average, 30 hits, six doubles, one homer, 10 RBI, and 17 runs scored. Melanie Russo, meanwhile, another senior on the Griffins this year, tied her career-high with a .255 average in 2018. She also set career-high marks in hits (24), doubles (10), RBI (16), and runs scored (13).

Coach Cromwell is also excited about the newcomers in Lexi Becker, Courtney Dingley, Hannah Evans, Grace Harlin, Gracie Morris, Abby Richmond, and Daisy Watkins to see what kind of impact they'll display on the diamond for the Griffins in 2019.

To view the entire poll visit HERE

The Griffins get its 2019 season underway on February 23rd when they'll travel to Memphis, Tenn., for a weekend series against Wittenberg and Rhodes.

Fans make sure to stay updated on throughout the year for full updates and recaps on the softball team.

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