Softball - Mon, Apr. 27, 2009
CHICAGO - Behind a solid pitching outing by 2009 Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) Pitcher of the Year Jalyn Shearer (Beecher, Ill./Beecher), the top-seeded Saint Xavier University softball team won its opening game, 3-0, over No. 5 seed Judson University (Ill.) Monday in the first day of action of the CCAC Softball Tournament Monday at SXU Softball Field in Chicago. Shearer threw all seven innings and allowed six hits and a walk with seven strikeouts en route to her sixth shutout and 14th victory (14-7 overall) of the 2009 season. Sophomore centerfielder Megan Paradzinski (Munster, Ind./Munster) was tough for SXU offensively scoring all three of the game's runs behind a 2-for-3 showing at the plate.

The Cougars took advantage of some early miscues by the Judson defense with Paradzinski walking in the top of the first inning and then advancing all the way to third base on a wild pitch followed by a passed ball. Freshman shortstop Ashley Hunter (Metamora, Ill./Metamora) would get the game's only RBI later in the inning bringing Parazinski home from third on an infield groundout. Paradzinski would use her speed yet again to score on a wild pitch in the third inning giving SXU a 2-0 advantage after three innings of play. Three scoreless innings would follow before the Cougars added an insurance run in the top of the seventh when Paradzinski scored from second base following a fielding error at first base. Paradzinski combined with sophomore left fielder Lisa Gryczewski (Mokena, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) to make up all four of SXU's hits on the day. Gryczewski finished 2-for-3 from the plate as well.

In other CCAC Tournament action Monday, Judson defeated No. 4 seed University of St. Francis (Ill.), 10-1, in five innings behind a big day at the plate by sophomore shortstop Nicole Dimiceli. She finished a perfect 3-for-3 with a homer, three runs scored and five RBI. The Judson pitching staff combined to allow just four hits and a walk to go along with a pair of strikeouts over five innings of work. The No. 2 seeded Olivet Nazarene Tigers rallied late to claim a thrilling 2-1 decision over No. 6 seed Purdue University-North Central (Ind.). Trailing 1-0 heading into the seventh, freshman catcher Molly Anderson led off the inning with a solo homer to tie the game and a fielding error in left field with two outs brought home the eventual game-winning run. The Panthers went down in order in the bottom of the inning to secure ONU's 2-1 victory.

Later in the day, Olivet Nazarene would fall to No. 2 seed Robert Morris College, 6-1, thanks to solid performances by Eagles' senior shortstop Jessica Razim and junior pitcher Ashley Havertine. Razim went 3-for-3 with a double and four RBI, while Havertine threw all seven innings and gave up five hits, an unearned run and a walk with two strikeouts. The final game Monday between St. Francis (Ill.) and Purdue University-North Central (Ind.) was suspended in the bottom of the third inning due to rain with the Panthers leading the Fighting Saints by a score of 3-1. The game will resume on Tuesday, April 28, at 10 a.m. at SXU Softball Field, weather permitting.

Saint Xavier (27-17 overall/14-4 CCAC) will now take on No. 2 seed Robert Morris Tuesday, at 3 p.m. to determine which team will advance to Wednesday's championship without a loss in the double-elimination tourney. Following the make-up game from Monday at 10 a.m., the remaining tournament games will take place at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. Tuesday.