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2015 SLIAC Softball Tournament Preview

2015 SLIAC Softball Tournament Preview

This weekend the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference will crown their 2015 softball champion. Fontbonne University will be seeking their sixth consecutive tournament title in a field that also includes Greenville College, MacMurray College, and Spalding University.

Tournament at a Glance
This year's tournament will be held on the campus of Principia College in Elsah, Illinois. The tournament is a three day, double elimination format with games running from Thursday, April 30 through Saturday, May 2.

Thursday, April 30
Game 1- #1 Fontbonne vs. #4 Spalding, 6 p.m.
Game 2- #2 Greenville vs. #3 MacMurray, 8 p.m.

Friday, May 1
Game 3- Loser of Game 1 vs. Loser of Game 2, 4 p.m.
Game 4- Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2, 6 p.m.
Game 5- Winner of Game 3 vs. Loser of Game 4, 8 p.m.

Saturday, May 2
Game 6- Winner of Game 4 vs. Winner of Game 5, 1 p.m.
Game 7- If Necessary, immediately following Game 6

Broadcast Information
The 2015 SLIAC Softball Championship game will be broadcast live courtesy of College Casts. You can listen to Saturday's championship HERE

Tournament Tidbits

  • Fontbonne has won a total of eight conference tournament titles.
  • Greenville is one tournament championship in program history, coming in 1997.
  • MacMurray is making their first tournament appearance since the 1999 season.
  • Spalding is making their third straight tournament appearance and have gone 2-4 all-time in tournament action.
  • Fontbonne has a 6-0 record against the tournament field this season.
  • Greenville went 3-3 in head to head games against the tournament teams this year.
  • MacMurray was 1-5 against the three other teams in the SLIAC Tournament this year.
  • Spalding finished 2-4 against the tournament field during the regular season.
  • Fontbonne's last conference loss came against Spalding on April 17, 2014.
  • The Griffins have won 15 straight tournament games, with their last loss coming in the 2009 tournament to Maryville. 
  • Greenville is making their 11th tournament appearance and have a 7-16 all-time record in tournament play.
  • MacMurray is making their 10th tournament appearance with a 4-9 all-time record.

Fontbone University "GRIFFINS"

This season Fontbonne became just the fourth team in conference history to go undefeated during conference play, finishing with a conference record 18 wins. The Griffins, coached by Bill Rosner, come into the tournament with a 27-9 overall record and are seeking their sixth consecutive SLIAC Tournament title. Fontbonne comes in red hot, having won 19 straight games, including a double header sweep of #12 ranked Wash U last week.

Fontbonne led the conference in runs scored this season with 252 while hitting .335 as a team, fourth best, and holding a conference low 1.25 team earned-run average. The Glixman twins provide the heavy lifting for the Griffin offense. Danielle Glixman is hitting .441 with three home runs and 33 runs batted in while Casandra Glixman is hitting .457 with eight home runs and a conference best 53 runs batted in. Fellow senior Shannon Fitzpatrick, an outfielder, is just as dangerous with a .396 batting average and a team high 44 runs scored with 13 stolen bases. The pitching staff is led by junior Madison Leonard, who has recorded 22 wins this season with a 1.09 earned-run average and 184 strikeouts; leading the conference in all three categories.

Greenville College "PANTHERS"

Greenville is currently 22-15 overall and went 13-5 in SLIAC play. This marks the second consecutive year the Panthers have finished second in the standings and they are under the direction of first year head coach Tracy Cromer. The Panthers secured the #2 seed in this year's tournament with a sweep of Eureka on Monday.

After leading the conference in runs last year Greenville finished second in the SLIAC in runs scored this season. The Panthers are hitting .342 as a team with a conference high 25 home runs. Their pitching staff meanwhile holds a 4.00 earned-run average, fourth in the league. Junior Bryn McKie sets the table for the Panthers, hitting .496 with a conference best 28 stolen bases. There to drive her in has been sophomore Tiffany Samsoe, hitting .479 with 12 home runs and 51 runs batted in. The Panthers explosive attack has a total of six players in the lineup with 18 or more runs batted in on the season and three with 10 or more stolen bases. Their pitching staff is led by senior Hannah Burger, who has 13 wins in 19 starts this season with a 3.30 earned-run average and 59 strikeouts.

MacMurray College "HIGHLANDERS"

MacMurray finished the regular season 18-15 overall and 12-6 in the SLIAC under second year head coach Lexy Determan. This marks the most wins by a Highlander team since 2004 and the first time they will finish with a winning record since 2003. They come into the tournament with an 11 game winning streak after sweeping Knox College in a double header last week.

It has been a completely new offense for the Highlanders this season, rising from 10th in the league in scoring to fourth. After hitting .258 last year MacMurray is hitting .337 as a team this season, second best in the league while their pitching staff has been just as effective with the third lowest earned-run average at 3.85. The offense is paced by junior catcher Stephanie Watkins, hitting .407 with 23 runs batted in. Junior Melinda Wilson is hitting .396 with 16 RBI and has shown an astute eye with 16 walks this year. Natalie Foster, a freshman, has made an immediate impact with her bat, hitting .350 with a team high 26 runs batted in. In the circle it has been junior Marissa Harris who has taken the ball for 19 of her team's 33 starts. Harris has a 3.21 earned-run average and set a program record with her 133 strikeouts this season.

Spalding University "GOLDEN EAGLES"

Spalding, coached by Art Williams, went 14-20 overall and 11-7 in conference play this season. They are coming off a sweep of Blackburn College on Sunday. The Golden Eagles got off to a slow start this year, going 1-7 to open the season, before winning four straight.

The Golden Eagles are hitting .293 as a team, sixth in the league, and have a team E.R.A. of 3.76, second best. Amanda Gilliland, the defending SLIAC Hitter of the Week, leads the team with a .394 batting average while adding two home runs and 20 runs batted. The junior catcher has shown patience at the plate this year with nine walks and just four strikeouts. Junior outfielder Becca Mouser is the team's top run producer with 28 runs batted in while hitting .324 with four triples. Junior Kelci Flener is dangerous both at the plate and on the rubber, hitting .329 with 15 RBI and compiling a 2.63 earned-run average with 122 strikeouts.

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