Softball - Tue, Apr. 28, 2009
CHICAGO - Despite allowing just two hits and a walk over nine innings, Saint Xavier University junior pitcher Jalyn Shearer (Beecher, Ill./Beecher) suffered a tough loss as top-seeded Saint Xavier University fell 1-0 to No.2 seed Robert Morris College (Ill.) in nine innings Tuesday in the 2009 CCAC Softball Tournament at SXU Softball Field in Chicago. Shearer retired the first 20 batters she faced before giving up a two-out double to right field in the top of the seventh inning to break up her perfect game attempt. In the top of the ninth, a lead-off walk by RMC sophomore third baseman Sierra Rhodes came back to haunt Shearer as a sacrifice bunt moved her to second base and a one-out RBI single down the left field line by sophomore centerfielder Jessica Walsh brought home the eventual game-winning run. Shearer finished with six strikeouts and falls to 14-8 overall on the season.

SXU had its chances to score, especially in the early goings, leaving five runners stranded in the first three innings of play. In the game, the Cougars left 10 runners on the base paths. Sophomore second baseman Brittany Hannigan (Palos Hills, Ill./Stagg) was the only Saint Xavier batter to post multiple hits finishing 2-for-5, while freshman shortstop Ashley Hunter (Metamora, Ill./Metamora) went 1-for-4 with a double for the team's only extra-base hit of the game. Robert Morris sophomore starter Jennifer Burns threw all nine innings for the Eagles and gave up just six hits and a walk en route to the shutout victory. Burns also finished the game with 10 strikeouts.

In other CCAC Softball Tournament action Tuesday, No. 6 Purdue University-North Central (Ind.) eliminated No. 4 seed University of St. Francis (Ill.), 7-3, to start off the day in a make-up game carried over from Monday. The game was tied, 3-3, heading into the fifth inning before PUNC scored four runs off two fielding errors by the Fighting Saints to pull away for the victory. No. 5 seeded Judson University (Ill.) went on to knock off No. 3 seed Olivet Nazarene University (Ill.), 5-3, in the tourney's next game behind three hits and three runs scored by sophomore third baseman Carrie Sensor. Purdue-North Central then racked up nine runs in the next game to eliminate Judson, 9-1, in six innings thanks in part to three hits, two runs scored and a RBI by freshman shortstop Sam Michalski. The Panthers also got a solid pitching outing from freshman Brittany Bridges, who scattered just four hits and an unearned run over six innings on the mound.

Saint Xavier (27-18 overall/14-4 CCAC) will now take on Purdue-North Central (Ind.) at 12 p.m. on Wednesday, April 29, to determine which team will take on Robert Morris at 2 p.m. in the tournament championship. If the Eagles drop the 2 p.m. game, then a second championship game would be played immediately following at 4 p.m. Wednesday to determine the tournament winner.