Softball - Tue, Apr. 27, 2010
Somers, Wis. - Sophomore shortstop Ashley Hunter (Metamora, Ill./Metamora) combined for five hits, including a double, as Saint Xavier University picked up a doubleheader split with NCAA Division II University of Wisconsin-Parkside in collegiate softball action Tuesday afternoon at the Case Fastpitch Complex in Somers, Wis. The Cougars (27-15 overall) lost a heartbreaker, 5-4, in nine innings in the day's first game despite rallying from a late three-run deficit to force extra frames. SXU would get the last laugh, however, cranking out 14 hits in game two to capture a 9-3 victory in the nightcap. The games also marked the second annual "Pink Games" for UW-Parkside with both teams wearing pink uniforms and fans having the opportunity to donate money toward the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

Hunter went a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate in game one to lead the Saint Xavier offense. The Rangers had a 4-1 lead heading into the top of the sixth inning when freshman first baseman Jamie Reed (Lincoln, Neb./Pius X) hit a two-RBI single up the middle with two outs to make it a one-run game, 4-3. Down to their last out, junior centerfielder Megan Paradzinski (Munster, Ind./Munster) reached on a single and used her amazing speed to score on a single by junior designated player Rachel Krabbe (Beecher, Ill./Beecher) in the next at-bat. In the bottom of the ninth, two big fielding errors by SXU helped the game-winning run cross home plate for UW-Parkside. Sophomore right-hander Amie Brown (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic) took the loss (7-4) pitching in relief of senior starter Jalyn Shearer (Beecher, Ill./Beecher). Shearer threw the first five innings and allowed seven hits, four runs (two earned) and two walks with four strikeouts. Brown pitched the final 3.1 innings and gave up just one hit, one run (unearned) and a walk with one strikeout.

The SXU offense clicked in Tuesday's second game taking a 4-3 lead after two innings of play and then scoring five unanswered runs the rest of the way. Paradzinski finished game two with three hits and two RBI, while senior left fielder Rebekah Ruettiger (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles East) had a monster game going 2-for-4 with a double, a homer, three runs scored and four RBI. Freshman right-hander Jackie Dugan (New Lenox, Ill./Lincoln-Way Central) got the complete-game victory to improve to 7-3 on the year. Dugan allowed nine hits, three runs (all earned) and three walks with four strikeouts. Saint Xavier (27-15 overall/13-3 CCAC) wraps up its Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) schedule on Thursday, April 29, with a pair of make-up games against Trinity Christian College (Ill.). The doubleheader was originally scheduled for Saturday, April 24, but rain forced the games to be played Thursday starting at 3 p.m. in Palos Heights, Ill. A sweep of the Trolls would guarantee the Cougars at least a second place finish in the conference and a first-round bye in next week's CCAC Softball Tournament in Bourbonnais, Ill.