Softball - Thu, Apr. 2, 2009
CHICAGO - Sophomore first baseman Courtney Murphy (Oak Forest, Ill./Oak Forest) finished a combined 6-for-14 at the plate with three runs scored and six RBI to lead the Saint Xavier University softball team to three Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) victories over a four-game stretch this week against Olivet Nazarene University (Ill.) and Trinity International University (Ill.), respectively. The Cougars (17-12 overall/8-2 CCAC) split a doubleheader with ONU Wednesday in Bourbonnais, Ill., winning the first game, 6-4, and dropping the second, 4-1. SXU bounced back on Thursday by sweeping a home doubleheader against the Trojans, 9-0 and 6-1, at SXU Softball Field in Chicago.

In Wednesday's first game against the Tigers, a three-run homer by freshman shortstop Ashley Hunter (Metamora, Ill./Metamora) in the top of the seventh inning capped a four-run inning for the Cougars giving them a 6-1 lead going into the bottom of the frame. Olivet Nazarene put up three runs in its rally attempt in the seventh, but fell short to drop the game, 6-4. Hunter finished 2-for-4 in the game with two runs scored and three RBI. In the day's second game, the SXU offense had trouble clicking and managed just two hits and a run. A RBI single and a two-run homer in the first inning gave the Tigers an early 3-0 lead. ONU added a fourth run in the third inning off another RBI single. Sophomore left fielder Lisa Gryczewski (Mokena, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) provided Saint Xavier's lone run in the top of the fifth inning when she scored on a throwing error by the Tigers.

SXU had little trouble getting both the offense and defense to click in Thursday's first game against Trinity International University. Freshman Amie Brown (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic) pitched well for the Cougars throwing all seven innings and allowing just four hits and a walk with eight strikeouts to earn the shutout victory and improve to 6-5 on the year. Hunter, Murphy, sophomore catcher Amy Kennedy (Pontiac, Ill./Pontiac) and senior third baseman Megen Friscia (Homer Glen, Ill./Lockport) each had big games at the plate recording at least a hit and two RBI apiece. In the second game, a pair of two-RBI singles by Murphy and freshman designated player Morgan Eskra (Beatrice, Neb./Beatrice) in the top of the sixth inning allowed SXU to score four runs and pull away for the 6-1 win. Freshman Nicole Derezinski (St. John, Ind./Andrean) got the victory (2-3) pitching all seven innings and giving up just five hits, an unearned run and no walks with two strikeouts.

Saint Xavier (17-12 overall/8-2 CCAC) continues its conference slate on Saturday, April 4, with a home doubleheader against Cardinal Stritch University (Wis.). The twinbill is scheduled for a 12 p.m. start at the SXU Softball Field in Chicago.