Softball - Thu, May 11, 2006
Des Moines, Iowa - Saint Xavier University senior second baseman Colleen Kilduff (Hickory Hills, Ill./Stagg) went 1-for-2 with a double Thursday in a 6-1 loss to No. 3 seed and host Grand View College (Iowa) in the 2006 NAIA Region VII Tournament in Des Moines, Iowa, to set a new national NAIA record for most total bases in a career (532). Immediately following the loss to Grand View, the Cougars (38-13 overall) went on to defeat No. 6 seed Iowa Wesleyan College (Iowa), 2-0, to advance to Friday's championship game against Grand View. SXU will have to defeat the Vikings twice Friday to claim the region crown and the automatic bid to the 2006 NAIA World Series.
Melissa Dowlen, who played at Athens State University from 1993-95, held the previous NAIA career total bases mark of 530. Last Friday, Kilduff also surpassed Dowlen (69) for the national career doubles record hitting the 70th double of her four-year career. Kilduff currently sits at 74 career doubles after Thursday's games.
In SXU's first game Thursday against Grand View, junior center fielder Marie Barker (Chicago Heights, Ill./Marian Catholic) produced half of the team's six hits going 3-for-4 with three singles. The Vikings took a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning on a RBI single by junior first baseman Kellie McFadden. In the bottom of the fifth, Grand View used five hits to post five more runs and took a 6-0 lead into the sixth inning.
Kilduff led off the sixth with a double and later scored from third on a RBI single from junior shortstop Samantha Lovato (Oak Forest, Ill./Eisenhower). However, that was all the scoring that the Cougars could muster in the first game. Senior righthander Jessica Wilson (Munster, Ind./Munster) took the game one loss (19-7) throwing the first four and one-third innings and giving up seven hits, six runs (five earned), and no walks with two strikeouts.
The Cougars bounced back against Iowa Wesleyan jumping out to an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first on a RBI double from Kilduff that scored junior right fielder Nicole Barker (Chicago Heights, Ill./Marian Catholic) from first base. After three scoreless innings, SXU added an insurance run in the fifth when sophomore catcher Aly Kelley (Aurora, Ill./Waubonsee Valley) sent a solo shot out of the park to put her team up, 2-0.
Wilson pitched all seven innings of Thursday's second game and allowed seven hits and three walks, while fanning four IWC batters. She improved her season win-loss record to 20-7 with the victory. Wilson got out of a big jam in the fifth inning with the bases loaded and just one out. She struck out Iowa Wesleyan's next batter and ended the side with a pop-up to the shortstop.
Saint Xavier (38-13 overall/16-2 CCAC) advances to the championship in the three-day 2006 NAIA Region VII Tournament hosted by Grand View College (Iowa) matching up against No. 3 seed Grand View College at 11 a.m. on Friday, May 12. If the Cougars win that game, a second game will immediately follow to determine the 2006 NAIA Region VII champion.