Softball - Thu, Apr. 6, 2006
CHICAGO - Despite hitting 7-for-8 on the day and scoring two runs, Saint Xavier University junior centerfielder Marie Barker (Chicago Heights, Ill./Marian Catholic) could not help her team pick up two more conference wins as SXU dropped a pair of Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) games to Trinity International University (Ill.) Thursday at SXU Softball Field in Chicago. The Cougars (19-9 overall/10-2 CCAC) fell behind early in game one en route to a 10-4 loss and then lost a tough one in the second game, 6-5, in five innings. Game two was called early due to darkness.

SXU got on the scoreboard first, 1-0, after Marie Barker led off the bottom of the first inning with a double and junior right fielder Nicole Barker (Chicago Heights, Ill./Marian Catholic) brought her home on a RBI single. However, a wild pitch and a sacrifice fly to centerfield allowed Trinity International to take a 2-1 lead into the third inning. The Trojans posted five more runs and took a 7-1 lead in the top of the third led by a two-run homer from freshman first baseman Arielle Ogorek. Both teams scored three runs in the final inning, but Saint Xavier could get no closer. Senior rightie Jessica Wilson (Munster, Ind./Munster) took the loss going two and one-third innings and giving up six hits, six runs (four earned), and no walks with four strikeouts.

In game two, the Cougar offense got back on track scoring three runs in the first inning off a RBI single from senior second baseman Colleen Kilduff (Hickory Hills, Ill./Stagg) and a two-RBI single from junior shortstop Samantha Lovato (Oak Forest, Ill./ Eisenhower), respectively. Unfortunately for Saint Xavier, TIU answered with four runs in the top of the second and scored another run in the top of the third inning to take a 5-4 lead after SXU tied the game, 4-4, in the bottom of the second on a Kilduff RBI double.

The Trojans tacked on an insurance run in the top of the fifth and it would prove to be useful as Saint Xavier scored a run in the bottom of the fifth on a RBI single by senior left fielder Rhea Minas (Midlothian, Ill./Bremen). Sophomore righthander Nicolle Bartels (Chicago, Ill./Marian Catholic) got the game two loss throwing five innings and allowing eight hits, six runs, and two walks with five strikeouts.

The Cougars (19-9 overall/10-2 CCAC) take a break from their conference slate and head to Joliet, Ill., to participate in the University of St. Francis (Ill.) Softball Tournament this weekend. SXU opens play with a 1 p.m. game on Friday, April 7, against Spring Arbor University (Mich.).