Softball - Mon, Apr. 20, 2009
Springfield, Ill. - Despite not being able to get on the field for three games Sunday due to rainy conditions, the Saint Xavier University softball team was able to win its first two games Saturday at the UIS Softball Invitational hosted by University of Illinois-Springfield in Springfield, Ill. The Cougars (23-16 overall/12-4 CCAC) rode a stellar pitching outing by junior Jalyn Shearer (Beecher, Ill./Beecher) to a 3-0 victory over Central Methodist University (Mo.) in Saturday's first game and then got a big showing at the plate by freshman shortstop Ashley Hunter (Metamora, Ill./Metamora) en route to an 8-4 win over McKendree University (Ill.).

SXU did all its offensive damage in the bottom of the first inning of Saturday's opening game against Central Methodist. Senior third baseman Megen Friscia (Homer Glen, Ill./Lockport) hit a two-out, three-RBI double to centerfield to plate all three runs in the game for the Cougars. Shearer took complete advantage of the early cushion allowing nine hits and a walk with five strikeouts over all seven innings. She also left 11 CMU runners stranded on the base paths in the game. With the win, Shearer improves to 12-6 overall this season. Saint Xavier finished the game with just three hits compared to nine by Central Methodist.

The Cougar offense turned it up in Saturday's second game against McKendree University posting 12 hits toward the 8-4 victory. Hunter led the way with three hits, three runs scored and three RBI. The Bearcats struck first scoring two runs in the bottom of the first inning off a two-run homer by freshman catcher Lindsay McGuire. A bases-loaded walk by junior right fielder Rebekah Ruettiger (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles East) in the second inning cut the lead in half, 2-1. Hunter then gave her team the lead with a two-run homer in the third inning. The Bearcats tied the game, 3-3, in the bottom of the third on a RBI single by freshman second baseman Casey White. Hunter gave SXU back the lead in the top of the fifth with a RBI single to centerfield and then freshman designated hitter Morgan Eskra (Beatrice, Neb./Beatrice) cushioned the lead with another RBI single later in the inning. Leading 5-3, Saint Xavier put things away in the top of the seventh with three runs off RBI singles by Hunter, Ruettiger and Eskra. Freshman Nicole Derezinski (St. John, Ind./Andrean) got the win (3-3 overall) on the mound for SXU throwing all seven innings and giving up 10 hits, four runs (two earned) and two walks with two strikeouts.

Saint Xavier (23-16 overall/12-4 CCAC) will host NCAA Division II foe Lewis University (Ill.) on Tuesday, April 21, at SXU Softball Field in Chicago. The first game is scheduled for a 3 p.m. start.