Softball - Sat, Apr. 10, 2010
Cedarburg, Wis. - Junior centerfielder Megan Paradzinski (Munster, Ind./Munster) combined for four hits and four runs scored to help lead No. 23 Saint Xavier University to a doubleheader sweep of Cardinal Stritch University (Wis.) in Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) softball action Saturday afternoon at Behling Field in Cedarburg, Wis. With the pair of wins, the Cougars improve to 23-7 overall and stay perfect in the conference at 12-0 with just six CCAC games remaining on their regular season slate. SXU also got two impressive pitching performances out of senior right-hander Jalyn Shearer (Beecher, Ill./Beecher), who earned the victory in game one and then came in to close out and pick up the save in the second game.

In the day's first game, the Cougars broke into the scoring column in the top of the third inning when Paradzinski led off with a walk. She moved over to second on a bunt and then scored when sophomore shortstop Ashley Hunter (Metamora, Ill./Metamora) drove her home on a double to left-centerfield. Junior first baseman Courtney Murphy (Oak Forest, Ill./Oak Forest) brought Hunter home on a RBI single to put the Cougars ahead, 2-0. Leading 3-0 after three innings, Saint Xavier added two more runs in the top of the fourth when senior right fielder Rebekah Ruettiger (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles East) hit a RBI single to left field and Paradzinski later scored from third base on a wild pitch. A RBI single by Paradzinski made the score, 6-0, in the top of the fifth frame before the Wolves finally broke into the score column off a solo homer by freshman third baseman Hillary Trebiatowski. Trailing 6-1, Stritch cut into the lead again in the bottom of the sixth when sophomore centerfielder Katie Giuffre singled to left and later scored on an infield error by SXU. Saint Xavier added two more runs in the top of the seventh off RBI hits by Paradzinski and Ruettiger, respectively. Shearer improved to 11-1 overall with Saturday's win throwing all seven innings and allowing just two hits, two runs (one earned) and no walks with five strikeouts.

Game two started the same as game one with Saint Xavier opening the scoring in the top of the second inning when a walk by junior left fielder Lisa Gryczewski (Mokena, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) turned into a run after junior second baseman Brittany Hannigan (Palos Hills, Ill./Stagg) drove her home from first on a double to centerfield. In the bottom of the fourth, the Wolves' bats came to life after being retired in order the first three innings. After two walks to start the fourth, Stritch pulled a double steal to put runners at second and third base and then got back-to-back RBI singles to go ahead, 2-1. The Cougars battled back in the top of the seventh putting the first two batters aboard after a hit by pitch and a walk. CSU changed pitchers, but the strategy did not work as the next batter reached on an error to load the bases. After back-to-back strikeouts, Murphy tied the game on a walk and junior catcher Amy Kennedy (Pontiac, Ill./Pontiac) came up with a clutch, two-out single to score two runs and put SXU ahead, 4-2. Shearer came in to put the Wolves down in order in the bottom of the seventh. Sophomore right-hander Amie Brown (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic) threw a perfect sixth inning to earn the win (6-2) in relief of freshman starter Jackie Dugan (New Lenox, Ill./Lincoln-Way Central). Saint Xavier (23-7 overall/12-0 CCAC) plays a make-up doubleheader against CCAC foe Robert Morris University (Ill.) on Tuesday, April 13. The first game is scheduled for a 4 p.m. start in Bensenville, Ill.