Softball - Mon, Mar. 2, 2009
Kissimmee, Fla. - Behind strong pitching performances by junior Jalyn Shearer (Beecher, Ill./Beecher) and freshman Amie Brown (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic), the Saint Xavier University softball team added two more wins to its record Monday with an 8-3 victory over Clarke College (Iowa) and a 4-0 shutout against Indiana Wesleyan University (Ind.) as part of the Rebel Spring Games in Kissimmee, Fla. It was Brown's collegiate debut (1-0) on the mound for the Cougars allowing just three hits over her seven-inning shutout performance with four strikeouts and no walks. Senior third baseman Gianna Pavone (Orland Park, Ill./St. Joseph's College/Sandburg) had the hot bat for SXU ringing up five hits and a run scored over the two-game stretch.

Saint Xavier had no shortage of run production in the early portion of Monday's first game against Clarke College, scoring all eight of its runs in the game's first three innings. In the bottom of the first, the Cougars scored two runs on a fielding error and a sacrifice fly by freshman shortstop Ashley Hunter (Metamora, Ill./Metamora). After Clarke tied the game in the top of the second on a two-RBI single, sophomore first baseman Courtney Murphy (Oak Forest, Ill./Oak Forest) answered with a two-RBI single in the bottom half of the inning to give SXU back the lead, 4-2. Saint Xavier pulled away in the third inning with four runs off a two-RBI single by sophomore leftfielder Lisa Gryczewski (Mokena, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) and RBI hits from freshman designated player Morgan Eskra (Beatrice, Neb./Beatrice) and sophomore centerfielder Megan Paradzinski (Munster, Ind./Munster). Shearer (2-0) was tough throughout pitching all seven innings and giving up six hits, three runs (two earned) and a walk with seven strikeouts.

The Cougars scored their runs late in Monday's second game, but logged another win behind Brown's first career shutout. In the top of the fifth inning, junior rightfielder Rebekah Ruettiger (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles East) took advantage of a fielding error by Indiana Wesleyan University and scored the game's first run. SXU padded its lead in the sixth with three more runs capped by a two-RBI single by Gryczewski. Pavone finished the game with three hits and a run scored for the Cougars to help lead the offensive surge. As a team, SXU played a tough game defensively as well recording no errors in the field.

Saint Xavier (3-1 overall) continues its Florida trip at the Rebel Spring Games on Tuesday, March 3, with a pair of games against Walsh University (Ohio) and Northwood University (Fla.), respectively. The first game Tuesday is at 11 a.m. followed by a 3 p.m. start for game two.