Softball - Sun, May 17, 2009
Decatur, Ala. - Freshman shortstop Ashley Hunter (Metamora, Ill./Metamora) finished 1-for-3 with a homer, a run scored and four RBI as No. 24 ranked Saint Xavier University used a big first inning to defeat unranked Savannah College of Art & Design (Ga.), 5-1, Sunday in the final day of pool play at the 2009 NAIA Softball National Championships at the Wilson Morgan Complex in Decatur, Ala. Despite the victory, the Cougars (32-19 overall) end their season after finishing second place in their four-team pool with a 2-1 mark. Saint Gregory's (Okla.), the NAIA's No. 7 ranked team, advances to the next round of games out of SXU's pool with a perfect 3-0 record this week.
After back-to-back singles and a walk to open up the bottom of the first inning, Hunter sent her first pitch of the game towering over the wall in left field for her first career grand slam. Leading 4-0 after three full innings of play, SXU gave up a double to open the fourth and a RBI single later in the inning cut the lead to three runs, 4-1. The Cougars added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth when sophomore catcher Amy Kennedy (Pontiac, Ill./Pontiac) hit a solo homer to left field. Freshman starter Amie Brown (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic) threw the first five innings and was solid allowing just four hits, an earned run and two walks with two strikeouts. Junior Jalyn Shearer (Beecher, Ill./Beecher) threw the final two innings and got her first save of the season giving up no hits or runs with a walk and two strikeouts. Brown improves to 10-7 on the season with the victory.
Saint Xavier finishes its 2009 campaign with a 32-19 overall record and won the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) regular season crown with a 14-4 mark. The Cougars also rallied to win the CCAC Tournament this year by winning three straight games on the final day.