Softball - Thu, May. 11, 2006
CHICAGO - Five consecutive singles in the bottom of the sixth inning allowed the No. 23 ranked and No. 2 seeded Saint Xavier University (Ill.) softball team to plate two runs, which proved to be the difference as the Cougars picked up a 2-0 victory over No. 3 seed Olivet Nazarene University (Ill.) Wednesday in the second round of the NAIA Region VII Softball Tournament at the SXU Softball Field in Chicago. With the win, Saint Xavier advances to the next round to face No. 4 seed William Penn University (Iowa) Thursday at 3 p.m.

Senior first baseman Christina Jesse (Varna, Ill./Illinois Valley CC) led off the bottom of the sixth inning with an infield single to start the hitting spurt. Sophomore third baseman Samantha Lovato (Blue Island, Ill./Eisenhower) led the Cougars at the plate in the game with a 2-for-3 outing and a run scored. Jesse scored SXU's other run in the game. Junior righthander Jessica Wilson (Munster, Ind./Munster) was able to keep the Olivet batters in check for most of the game allowing just three hits and two walks over the entire seven-inning game. She also recorded two strikeouts in the winning effort, her 21st victory of the season (21-6).

Other scores from the tournament Wednesday included: No. 4 seed William Penn University (Iowa) defeating No. 5 seed University of St. Francis (Ill.), 9-1, in six innings in game one, No. 3 Olivet Nazarene University (Ill.) picking up a 2-0 first-round win over No. 6 seed Grand View College (Ill.) in game two, and No. 4 William Penn upsetting No. 1 seed Waldorf College (Iowa), 3-0, in game three.

The NAIA Region VII Softball Tournament continues play on Thursday, May 12, at 9 a.m. at the SXU Softball Field with No. 5 St. Francis (Ill.) taking on No. 6 Grand View (Iowa) in game five.