Softball - Sat, Mar. 17, 2007
Orlando, Fla. - Senior shortstop Samantha Lovato (Oak Forest, Ill./Eisenhower) went 3-for-7 on the day with three RBI to help No. 23 ranked Saint Xavier University secure two wins in its final two softball games of its annual Florida trip Saturday. The Cougars (6-6 overall) defeated East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania (Pa.), 2-1, and then went on to beat University of New Haven (Conn.), 5-2, in the finale.

Against East Stroudsburg, SXU took a 1-0 lead on a two-out, RBI double by Lovato in the top of the third inning. ESUP tied things up, 1-1, with a RBI single in the top of the fifth, but Saint Xavier immediately answered with a run of its own in the bottom of the fifth on a one-out, RBI groundout to second base by senior first baseman Jory Bodi (Richmond, Ill./Richmond-Burton). Junior Ashley Shearer (Beecher, Ill./Beecher) secured the win on the mound for SXU throwing all seven innings and allowing just four hits, one run (earned), and no walks. She also finished with five strikeouts in the winning effort.

In the second game of the day, Saint Xavier took an early 2-1 lead in the top of the second inning thanks to a fielding error by New Haven that allowed runners to score from second and third base. New Haven tied the game, 2-2, in the bottom of the third, but SXU would supply all the offense for the remainder of the game. Lovato gave the Cougars the lead, 3-2, on a RBI single in the top of the fifth inning. SXU added some insurance in the top of the seventh with RBI from both Lovato and Bodi to build the 5-2 advantage. Junior Nicolle Bartels (Chicago, Ill./Marian Catholic) notched the game-two win for the Cougars pitching all seven innings and giving up six hits, two runs (one earned), and a walk with three strikeouts.

Saint Xavier (6-6 overall) begins its conference and home slate next week with a doubleheader against Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) foe Judson College (Ill.) on Thursday, March 22. The twinbill will begin at 3 p.m. Thursday at the SXU Softball Field in Chicago.