Softball - Thu, May. 7, 2009
Joliet, Ill. - Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) Softball Tournament Most Valuable Player Jalyn Shearer (Beecher, Ill./Beecher) and all-conference tournament pick Amy Kennedy (Pontiac, Ill./Pontiac) added to their awards-filled week when the Saint Xavier University duo was named CCAC pitcher and player of the week, respectively, for the week ending May 3. Shearer, who was also recognized as the league's pitcher of the year last week, earned three of Saint Xavier's four victories in the tournament, including two on the last day to catapult the Cougars to the NAIA World Series.
Shearer, a junior, opened the tournament with a 3-0 shutout of Judson University (Ill.) on April 27 and added another win with three scoreless relief innings in a 1-0, eight-inning victory over Purdue University-North Central (Ind.) on April 29. One game later, Shearer outlasted Robert Morris College (Ill.), 9-8, to force a second title contest. Shearer's only loss during the week came in a tough 1-0 defeat to Robert Morris on April 28, where she allowed just two hits and the one run in nine innings of work. Overall for the week, Shearer went 3-1 with a 1.62 earned run average. She struck out 18 batters, while allowing only three walks in her 26 innings of work.
Like Shearer, Kennedy also came up big in the late going for Saint Xavier. Kennedy went 2-for-4 in both ends of the doubleheader with Robert Morris on title day with three runs batted in (RBI) in the 9-8 first game. For the tournament, Kennedy, a sophomore catcher, hit safely in four of her five games, batting .333.
With its tournament title, Saint Xavier (30-18 overall) advances to the NAIA World Series, which begins on Thursday, May 14, at the Wilson Morgan Softball Complex in Decatur, Ala. It marks the first time since the 2004 season that SXU has qualified for the national event.