Softball - Fri, May 5, 2006
Bourbonnais, Ill. - Junior right fielder Nicole Barker (Chicago Heights, Ill./Marian Catholic) hit her school record-breaking 65th single of the season to help lift the No. 16 ranked Saint Xavier University softball team to the 2006 Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) championship game with a 5-2 win over host Olivet Nazarene University (Ill.) Thursday in Bourbonnais, Ill. The Cougars (35-12 overall/16-2 CCAC) will play for the CCAC Tournament title at 2 p.m. on Friday, May 5, against the winner of Thursday night's game between Olivet Nazarene and Trinity International University (Ill.).

Barker went 1-for-3 at the plate with a RBI in Thursday's victory. Chris Michel, who finished the 1997 season with 64 singles, held the previous SXU mark. In addition, Saint Xavier also got solid offensive performances from senior second baseman Colleen Kilduff (Hickory Hills, Ill./Stagg) and junior centerfielder Marie Barker (Chicago Heights, Ill./Marian Catholic), who both went 2-for-3 with a run scored. Senior righthander Jessica Wilson (Munster, Ind./Munster) earned the victory (18-6) on the mound for the Cougars throwing all seven innings and allowing eight hits, two runs (one earned), and two walks with five strikeouts.

Nicole Barker kicked off the scoring for Saint Xavier with a RBI single in the bottom of the third to put her team ahead, 1-0. Later in the same inning, senior third baseman Michelle Abraham (Midlothian, Ill./Bremen) scored from third on a wild pitch and Kilduff brought home Marie Barker on a RBI single to give SXU a 3-0 lead heading into the fourth inning. ONU recorded a RBI triple in the top of the fourth, but a two-RBI single to right-centerfield by freshman designated hitter Megen Friscia (Homer Glen, Ill./Lockport) in the bottom of the inning put the Cougars ahead, 5-1. The Tigers managed another run in the sixth off a Saint Xavier fielding error, but it was as close as the game would get the rest of the way.

The Cougars (35-12 overall/16-2 CCAC) play for the CCAC title on Friday, May 5, against the winner of Thursday's Olivet Nazarene/Trinity International match-up. Game time for the championship is scheduled for 2 p.m. in Bourbonnais, Ill. Since the tournament is formatted for double elimination, another game would be played if SXU failed to win at 2 p.m.