Softball - Tue, Apr. 6, 2010
CHICAGO - Led by four RBI in game one by senior rightfielder Rebekah Ruettiger (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles East) and a walk-off, RBI single by sophomore shortstop Ashley Hunter (Metamora, Ill./Metamora), the No. 23 ranked Saint Xavier University softball team swept University of St. Francis (Ill.) in a Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) doubleheader Tuesday afternoon at SXU Softball Field in Chicago. SXU won the first game, 8-0, in six innings and then got a timely hit by Hunter in the eighth inning to capture a thrilling 1-0 victory in game two. The wins extend the Cougars' conference winning streak to 10 games and give the team an overall record of 21-7.

The first game started with a pair of scoreless frames before a single by junior catcher Amy Kennedy (Pontiac, Ill./Pontiac) scored junior centerfielder Megan Paradzinski (Munster, Ind./Munster) to give SXU a 1-0 lead. In the fourth, a single by junior left fielder Lisa Gryczewski (Mokena, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) and a double by freshman first baseman Jamie Reed (Lincoln, Neb./Pius X) put runners in scoring position. Junior second baseman Brittany Hannigan (Palos Hills, Ill./Stagg) delivered with a sacrifice fly scoring Gryczewski to put Saint Xavier ahead, 2-0. Junior outfielder Rachel Krabbe (Beecher, Ill./Beecher) continued the momentum with a single and then Ruettiger stepped up and hit one of her three doubles on the afternoon scoring both Reed and Krabbe to make it, 4-0, in Saint Xavier's favor. In the sixth inning, Reed led off with a double and Krabbe walked to put runners on first and second base. Paradzinski hit a double down the left field line scoring Reed to put her team ahead, 5-0. Ruettiger delivered again with her second two-run double of the game scoring both Krabbe and Paradzinski to give the Cougars a 7-0 advantage. Kennedy then singled with two outs to score Ruettiger and end the game early, 8-0. Senior right-hander Jalyn Shearer (Beecher, Ill./Beecher) pitched six innings allowing just three hits and no runs giving her the victory (10-1).

Game two was a great pitcher's duel as both teams were shut out after seven innings of play. In the extra frame, the Cougars led off with a bunt single by leadoff hitter Paradzinski. Ruettiger moved her over to second on a sacrifice bunt, then Hunter thrilled the crowd with a walk-off single down the third base line to score Paradzinski and send SXU off with a 1-0 victory. Sophomore right-hander Amie Brown (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic) pitched exceptional allowing no runs over eight innings and giving up just three hits, while striking out two. She got out of several tough jams as St. Francis was able to put its leadoff hitter on five of the eight innings. The win brings her record to 5-2 on the season.

Saint Xavier (21-7 overall/10-0 CCAC) will head to Bensenville, Ill., on Thursday, April 8, to play CCAC foe Robert Morris University (Ill.) in a twinbill. The first game is scheduled for a 4 p.m. start.