Softball - Fri, Mar. 13, 2009
Springfield, Mo. - Behind some solid pitching performances by junior Jalyn Shearer (Beecher, Ill./Beecher) and freshman Amie Brown (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic), the Saint Xavier University softball team won the first two games of its three played Friday at the Show Me Games hosted by Evangel University (Mo.) in Springfield, Mo. The Cougars (8-7 overall) defeated William Jewell College (Mo.), 5-3, in its first game and then captured a 2-1 victory over Benedictine College (Kan.) before falling, 13-9, to host Evangel in the day's final game.

SXU jumped out to an early 3-0 lead after two innings of play in game one behind a big two-RBI single by sophomore centerfielder Megan Paradzinski (Munster, Ind./Munster) in the top of the second. Shearer allowed just one run over the game's first six innings to keep her team in position to get the win. She logged the victory (4-3 overall) throwing all seven innings and giving up seven hits, three runs (two earned) and no walks with four strikeouts. The Cougars added two more runs in the fifth inning behind a RBI double by junior outfielder Rebekah Ruettiger (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles East) and a sacrifice fly by freshman second baseman Morgan Eskra (Beatrice, Neb./Beatrice).

Brown was stellar on the mound for Saint Xavier in game two against Benedictine. She threw all seven innings and allowed just three hits, one unearned run and two walks with seven strikeouts to claim her third win of the year (3-2 overall). After three scoreless innings, SXU got a sacrifice fly from senior designated player Megen Friscia (Homer Glen, Ill./Lockport) to score a run in the bottom of the fourth. The Cougars added a needed insurance run in the fifth off a RBI double by sophomore first baseman Courtney Murphy (Oak Forest, Ill./Oak Forest) to take a 2-0 lead. An infield throwing error in the top of the seventh inning allowed Benedictine to plate a run in the top of the seventh, but it was as close as the score would get.

In the day's final game, the Cougars dug themselves a big hole by giving up nine runs to Evangel in the bottom of the first inning. Trailing 9-0, SXU mounted a comeback scoring eight runs in the fourth and fifth innings to cut the lead to one, 9-8, heading into the bottom of the fifth. However, four runs by Evangel in the bottom of the inning put a stop to any further attempt at a rally. Parazinski finished the game 2-for-5 with a run scored and a RBI, while freshman shortstop Ashley Hunter (Metamora, Ill./Metamora) went 2-for-4 with a run scored and a RBI. Errors haunted SXU in the game with four miscues leading to five unearned runs.

Saint Xavier (8-7 overall) continues play at the Show Me Games Saturday with a 10 a.m. game against Benedictine College (Mo.).