Softball - Sat, Apr. 29, 2006
CHICAGO - A grand slam by senior second baseman Colleen Kilduff (Hickory Hills, Ill./Stagg) and a three-run homer by junior first baseman Jory Bodi (Richmond, Ill./Richmond-Burton) gave No. 16 Saint Xavier University all the offense it needed to defeat NCAA Division II Lewis University (Ill.), 7-5, Saturday in non-conference action at SXU Softball Field in Chicago. The Cougars (33-12 overall/16-2 CCAC) were unable to play the second game of the scheduled doubleheader due to weather conditions.
It was not just the offense that helped lead SXU to Saturday's victory. Strong pitching by sophomore righthander Ashley Shearer (Beecher, Ill./Beecher) kept the Flyers from having any big innings. Shearer threw all seven innings and allowed 14 hits, five runs, and no walks with five strikeouts. She came up with big outs when Saint Xavier needed them Saturday striking out three straight batters in the first inning with runners at second and third and no outs and then recording another big strikeout in the second inning with two outs and a runner on second.
Kilduff finished the game Saturday 1-for-2 at the plate with a grand slam, two runs scored, and four RBI, while Bodi went 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBI. Junior right fielder Nicole Barker (Chicago Heights, Ill./Marian Catholic) set a new school record scoring her 53rd run of the season surpassing SXU's single-season mark. The previous record was 52 set by Chris Michels during the 1998 season. Kilduff also drove in her 73rd RBI with home run No. 17 on the year, both new Saint Xavier single-season records.
After a scoreless first inning, a one-out single by sophomore catcher Aly Kelley (Aurora, Ill./Waubonsee Valley) helped spark a walk by junior centerfielder Marie Barker (Chicago Heights, Ill./Marian Catholic) and a single by Nicole Barker to load the bases. With two outs and the bases loaded, Kilduff stepped up and broke up the 0-0 tie with a grand slam to left field in the bottom of the second inning. Lewis scored a run in each of the next two innings to cut SXU's lead in half, 4-2, heading into the bottom of the fourth. However, a single by Marie Barker and an intentional walk to Kilduff helped set the stage for Bodi's three-run shot to left field in the fourth inning. The Flyers scored three more runs over the next two innings, but the lead proved too large for a rally.
The Cougars (33-12 overall/16-2 CCAC) have wrapped up their regular season and now prepare for the 2006 CCAC Tournament, which begins on Wednesday, May 3, at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Ill. SXU, the No. 1 seed in this year's tourney, will play at 1 p.m. Wednesday against a yet-to-be-determined opponent.