CHICAGO - Led by three home runs,
including a fourth-inning grand slam by senior first baseman Courtney Murphy
(Oak Forest, Ill./Oak Forest), the Saint Xavier University softball team got
Thursday's doubleheader with Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC)
foe Judson University (Ill.) off to a great start with an 11-0 victory in five
innings in the opening game. Unfortunately
for the Cougars (19-9 overall/6-2 CCAC), the Eagles joined the home run party
in game two sending five shots over the outfield wall to claim a 9-7 win in the
nightcap at the SXU Softball Field in Chicago.
In fact, the two teams combined for 10 home runs on the day despite the
chilly conditions at the field.
In addition to Murphy's grand slam, junior shortstop Ashley Hunter
(Metamora, Ill./Metamora) and sophomore designated hitter Jamie Reed (Lincoln,
Neb./Saint Pius X) also each blasted homers for Saint Xavier in the game one
victory. Junior Amie Brown (Joliet,
Ill./Joliet Catholic) posted her second straight shutout with another superb
outing on the mound. Brown improved to
9-2 on the season by allowing just three hits and a walk with five
strikeouts. After a scoreless first
inning, the Cougar offense came alive recording all 10 of its hits over the
next three frames to end the game early due to the 11-run lead. Senior catcher Amy Kennedy (Pontiac,
Ill./Pontiac) and sophomore third baseman Kate Mollohan (Tinley Park,
Ill./Andrew) each went 2-for-3 at the plate in game one. Kennedy posted two runs scored and two RBI,
while Mollohan scored three runs.
It appeared early on that Saint Xavier would roll to another easy win in
game two jumping out to a 6-0 lead after four innings of play paced by a
two-RBI double by senior left fielder Lisa Gryczewski (Mokena, Ill./Lincoln-Way
East) and a two-run shot by Reed.
However, Judson would plate five runs in the top of the fifth behind
three consecutive homers and then add four more scores in the top of the sixth
to take the lead for good. Hunter would
add another run for the Cougars in the bottom of the fifth on another solo shot
to left field. Errors also hurt SXU late
in game two with the final four runs of the game coming in unearned due to an
infield fielding error to start the frame.
Senior center fielder Megan Paradzinski (Munster, Ind./Munster) finished
the second game 4-for-4 with a RBI.
Saint Xavier (19-9 overall/6-2 CCAC) will host conference
foe Cardinal Stritch University (Wis.) at SXU Softball Field on Saturday, April
9. The doubleheader was originally
scheduled to be played in Milwaukee as a road date for the Cougars, but due to unplayable
field conditions up north the games were moved to Chicago.