Softball - Wed, Apr. 30, 2008
Bourbonnais, Ill. - Going 4-for-7 on the day with two doubles and three RBI, junior third baseman Gianna Pavone (Orland Park, Ill./St. Joseph's College) helped lead No. 3 seed Saint Xavier University to a pair of big wins in the opening rounds of the 2008 Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) Softball Tournament Wednesday in Bourbonnais, Ill. The Cougars (25-17 overall) defeated No. 6 seeded Judson University (Ill.), 6-2, in its first round game late Wednesday morning and then followed that with a 2-1 victory over No. 2 seed University of St. Francis (Ill.) Wednesday afternoon. The two wins put SXU into the semi-finals of the six-team, double-elimination tournament to face No. 1 seed and No. 10 ranked Olivet Nazarene University (Ill.) on Thursday, May 1, at 2 p.m. at Tiger Field in Bourbonnais, Ill.

In Saint Xavier's first round victory over Judson, sophomore righthander Jalyn Shearer (Beecher, Ill./Beecher) was impressive on the mound throwing all seven innings and allowing just seven hits, two runs (both earned), and one walk. She also tallied a stellar nine strikeouts to post her team-best 14th win of the season (14-6 overall). The Cougars racked up 14 hits in the ballgame with freshman centerfielder Megan Paradzinski (Munster, Ind./Munster) leading the way with three hits to go along with her two runs scored. Freshman first baseman Courtney Murphy (Oak Forest, Ill./Oak Forest) also had a big opening game for SXU going 2-for-4 with a double, a run scored, and two RBI. Saint Xavier led 6-0 through the first six innings before the Eagles tacked on their two runs in the top of the seventh.

The second game of the day was a completely different story, but with the same result, a Cougar victory. Pavone had two of SXU's three hits in the game and drove home both runs for her team on a pair of RBI doubles. Trailing 1-0 after four innings, she notched a RBI double in the top of the fifth to tie the game, 1-1, and then came up with the game-winning RBI with two outs in the top of the seventh. Senior rightie Ashley Shearer (Beecher, Ill./Beecher) was sensational on the mound for the Cougars throwing all seven innings and giving up just seven hits, one run (unearned), and no walks with four strikeouts.

Saint Xavier (25-17 overall/12-6 CCAC) continues tournament play on Thursday, May 1, with a semi-finals match-up against No. 1 seed and No. 10 ranked Olivet Nazarene University. The game is scheduled for a 2 p.m. start and the winner of that game will advance to Friday's championship with no losses in the double-elimination event. The loser will play at 4 p.m. Thursday.