Softball - Mon, Apr. 21, 2008
CHICAGO - Led by the hot bat of senior catcher Aly Kelley (Aurora, Ill./Waubonsie Valley), the Saint Xavier University softball team cruised through its four games at the University of Illinois-Springfield (UIS) Softball Tournament this weekend in Springfield, Ill. The Cougars (16-16 overall) beat host IU-Springfield, 7-4, and Hannibal-LaGrange (Mo.), 9-0, in its two games Saturday and then wrapped up Sunday with a 10-0 victory over Harris-Stowe State College (Mo.) and a 10-4 win over McKendree University (Ill.). Kelley went 9-for-14 at the plate and racked up three home runs, a double, and 11 RBI on the weekend.

In its first game Saturday against the host Prairie Stars, SXU overcame an early 2-0 deficit and scored in each of the final four innings to pick up the 7-4 victory. Freshman leftfielder Lisa Gryczewski (Mokena, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) went 3-for-4 with a double, a homer, and four RBI to lead the Cougar offense. Kelley was also tough offensively going 2-for-3 with a double, a run scored, and two RBI. Sophomore righthander Jalyn Shearer (Beecher, Ill./Beecher) picked up the win on the mound for Saint Xavier throwing all seven innings and allowing seven hits, four runs (all earned), and a walk with three strikeouts. She improves to 8-6 on the season with the victory.

The Cougars got two big scoring innings, the third and the sixth, to help rack up a 9-0 win in six innings over Hannibal-LaGrange in their second game Saturday. Freshman first baseman Courtney Murphy (Oak Forest, Ill./Oak Forest) was a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate with two doubles, a run scored, and four RBI and freshman shortstop Brittany Hannigan (Palos Hills, Ill./Stagg) had two doubles, a run scored, and three RBI. Senior rightie Ashley Shearer (Beecher, Ill./Beecher) allowed just two hits and no walks with four strikeouts for the shutout victory. It was her fourth win (4-7) on the year.

It took just five innings for SXU to defeat Harris-Stowe State, 10-0, in Sunday's first game with Jalyn Shearer giving up just one hit and two walks over five innings of work. She also had two strikeouts to improve her record to 9-6 this season. Kelley went 2-for-3 with a homer and three RBI, while Murphy also had two hits, a run scored and two RBI. In Sunday's second game, the Cougars used eight runs in the top of the sixth inning to break a 2-2 tie and pull out the 10-4 win over McKendree. Kelley went 4-for-4 in the game with a homer, two runs scored, and four RBI to pace the offensive surge. Ashley Shearer pitched all seven innings for SXU and allowed seven hits, four runs (three earned), and three walks with a strikeout to improve to 5-7 on the year.

Saint Xavier (16-16 overall/8-6 CCAC) heads to Romeoville, Ill., on Tuesday, April 22, to play a doubleheader against NCAA Division II Lewis University (Ill.). The first game of the twinbill is scheduled to start at 3 p.m. Tuesday.