Softball - Thu, Apr. 9, 2009
CHICAGO - Despite a heartbreaking 5-4 extra-innings loss in game one, the Saint Xavier University softball team bounced back with a 4-2 victory in the second affair against Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) foe Robert Morris College (Ill.) to stay atop the conference standings Thursday afternoon at SXU Softball Field in Chicago. The Eagles came in with a chance to pass the Cougars with a sweep, but SXU used the game two win to improve to 12-4 in the conference and 21-14 overall on the season. Freshman shortstop Ashley Hunter (Metamora, Ill./Metamora) led the Cougars at the plate Thursday going a combined 3-for-7 with two doubles, a run scored and four RBI.

Despite scoring a run in the first inning to take an early 1-0 lead, Saint Xavier gave up four unanswered runs over the next four innings to give Robert Morris a 4-1 advantage. However, in the sixth inning, the Cougars battled back with a pair of runs off a two-RBI single to left field by sophomore catcher Amy Kennedy (Pontiac, Ill./Pontiac) to cut the lead to a run, 4-3. SXU then tied the game, 4-4, in the bottom of the seventh and forced extra play when Hunter recorded a RBI single with two outs in the inning. The Eagles took back their lead, 5-4, in the top of the eighth on a RBI single and the Cougars left a runner stranded at second base in the bottom of the frame to get the game one loss. Junior Jalyn Shearer (Beecher, Ill./Beecher) recorded the loss (11-5 overall) allowing 11 hits, five runs (three earned) and three walks with three strikeouts over eight innings. Kennedy finished the game 2-for-4 at the plate with two RBI.

Sophomore left fielder Lisa Gryczewski (Mokena, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) got Saint Xavier on the scoreboard first, 1-0, in the nightcap with a RBI single to centerfield in the second inning. Hunter got the game's big hit in the fifth inning when she hit a double to the gap in left centerfield with the bases loaded to put her team ahead, 4-0. A two-run homer by RMC junior designated hitter Shayna Rinkus in the top of the sixth cut Saint Xavier's lead in half, 4-2. However, that was as close as it would get the rest of the way. Freshman Amie Brown (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic) picked up the win (8-6 overall) throwing all seven innings and giving up five hits, two runs (both earned) and three walks with a strikeout.

Saint Xavier (21-14 overall/12-4 CCAC) takes the weekend off for the Easter holiday and returns to action on Tuesday, April 14, with a home CCAC doubleheader against Trinity Christian College (Ill.). The first game is scheduled for a 3 p.m. start at SXU Softball Field in Chicago.