Softball - Fri, May. 7, 2010
Bourbonnais, Ill. - Junior centerfielder Megan Paradzinski (Munster, Ind./Munster) and junior catcher Amy Kennedy (Pontiac, Ill./Pontiac) each posted three RBI to help lead No. 2 seeded Saint Xavier University to a 10-6 victory over No. 1 seed and No. 19 ranked Olivet Nazarene University (Ill.) at the 2010 Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) Softball Tournament Friday afternoon in Bourbonnais, Ill. The Cougars (32-16 overall) broke up a 5-5 tie in the top of the fourth inning scoring five additional runs over the final three frames before the Tigers scored the game's final run in the bottom of the seventh. Paradzinski finished with a game-best four hits, including a pair of doubles, while Kennedy went 1-for-4 on the day with a two-run homer in the top of the fifth inning.
The game was back-and-forth in the early goings with junior designated hitter Rachel Krabbe (Beecher, Ill./Beecher) scoring in the top of the first inning on a wild pitch. Olivet answered right back in the bottom of the frame tying the game, 1-1, on a RBI single by senior first baseman Caitlin Gidcumb. In the top of the third, a two-run homer by sophomore shortstop Jordan Reynolds gave ONU a 3-1 advantage after three innings of play. The Cougars would build their own lead, 5-3, in the top of the fourth when senior right fielder Rebekah Ruettiger (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles East) and Paradzinski each recorded a two-RBI double to plate four runs in the inning. The Tigers would not back down, however, tying the game again, 5-5, on a two-run homer by senior left fielder Marisa Baker. The Saint Xavier offense would stay hot though with Kennedy's two-run shot to centerfield making the score, 7-5, and Kennedy also recording a RBI groundout in the sixth to push the lead to three runs, 8-5. A RBI double by Paradzinski in the top of the seventh highlighted two more runs for the Cougars before the Tigers took advantage of a pair of one-out walks and an error to score their final run off a sacrifice fly. Senior right-hander Jalyn Shearer (Beecher, Ill./Beecher) improved to 17-4 this season earning the win on the mound for SXU. She threw all seven innings and gave up seven hits, six runs (five earned) and three walks with five strikeouts. Reynolds took the loss (16-5) for ONU in relief of sophomore starter Katie Hannagan. Reynolds pitched the final three innings and allowed four hits, five runs (four earned) and five walks with two strikeouts. Saint Xavier (32-16 overall/15-3 CCAC) advances to Saturday's championship game, which starts at 2 p.m. in Bourbonnais. The Cougars will face off against the Tigers again, who fought their way out of the loser's bracket to advance to the championship game. SXU only needs to win a game to advance to the National Tournament. If the Cougars lose the 2 p.m. match-up, they will play a second game against the Tigers to determine the tournament champion.