Softball - Tue, Apr. 17, 2007
CHICAGO - Sparked by a huge day at the plate by senior shortstop Samantha Lovato (Oak Forest, Ill./Eisenhower), the Saint Xavier University softball team swept a pair of Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) games from Trinity Christian College Tuesday at the SXU Softball Field in Chicago. The Cougars (16-8 overall/10-2 CCAC) won the first game, 8-0, in six innings and then went on to take the nightcap, 11-3, in five innings. Lovato went 4-for-7 on the day with a double, a grand slam, three runs scored, three stolen bases, and seven RBI.

Freshman right-hander Jalyn Shearer (Beecher, Ill./Beecher) threw all six innings en route to the game-one shutout and allowed just two hits, no runs, and a walk with five strikeouts. She also earned her sixth victory (6-2) of the season. Lovato was solid offensively for SXU in the first game going 2-for-4 with a run scored, two RBI, and two stolen bases, while freshman designated player Nicole Fletcher (Lowell, Ind./Lowell) also went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI. The Cougars finished the first game with 10 total hits.

A walk-off grand slam by Lovato ended things early with one out in the bottom of the fifth. Junior rightie Nicolle Bartels (Chicago, Ill./Marian Catholic) threw well in game two going all five innings and giving up five hits, three runs (none earned), and a walk with two strikeouts. Bartels earned her fourth win of the season (4-3) in the five-hit effort. TCC led 3-2 after three innings of play thanks to a three-run homer in the top of the third by junior left fielder Sarah Lerner. However, SXU posted nine unanswered runs over the next two innings capped by Lovato's one-out grand slam in the bottom of the fifth to secure the win. Lovato went 2-for-3 with a homer, two runs scored, and five RBI, while junior catcher Aly Kelley (Aurora, Ill./Waubonsie Valley) was 1-for-1 with a double, two runs scored, and two RBI in the nightcap.

Saint Xavier (16-8 overall/10-2 CCAC) hosts another conference doubleheader on Wednesday, April 18, against Judson College (Ill.). The twinbill is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m., weather permitting, at the SXU Softball Field.