Softball - Mon, Apr. 23, 2007
Springfield, Ill. - Behind big weekend performances from freshman second baseman Rebekah Ruettiger (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles East) and senior shortstop Samantha Lovato (Oak Forest, Ill./Eisenhower), the Saint Xavier University softball team went a perfect 4-0 at the University of Illinois-Springfield (UIS) Invitational this weekend in Springfield, Ill. The Cougars (22-10 overall) picked up a pair of 5-4 victories against Lindenwood University (Mo.) and host UIS, respectively, Saturday and then posted a pair of shutouts Sunday, 4-0, against St. Mary of the Woods (Ind.) and 8-0 versus Hannibal-LaGrange (Mo.).

In Saturday's first game, five errors in the field nearly cost SXU a victory, but the team was able to recover and got a two-out, RBI single from senior centerfielder Marie Barker (Chicago Heights, Ill./Marian Catholic) in the bottom of the seventh inning to earn a 5-4 win over Lindenwood. Freshman righthander Jalyn Shearer (Beecher, Ill./Beecher) got the win on the mound (8-3) throwing all seven innings and allowing five hits, four runs (none earned), and a walk with four strikeouts. Ruettiger finished the game 2-for-3 with a home run and three RBI, while Barker went 2-for-2 with a triple, two runs scored, and the game-winning RBI.

Trailing 4-2 heading into the bottom of the sixth in Saturday's game against UIS, Saint Xavier scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh to force extra innings. A RBI single from sophomore third baseman Gianna Pavone (Orland Park, Ill./St. Joseph's College) brought home the game-winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning. Senior right fielder Nicole Barker (Chicago Heights, Ill./Marian Catholic) was the only Cougar to record multiple hits in game two going 2-for-4 with a run scored. Junior rightie Ashley Shearer (Beecher, Ill./Beecher) got the start and threw the first five innings giving up just six hits, one run (earned), and a walk with seven strikeouts. Junior righthander Nicolle Bartels (Chicago, Ill./Marian Catholic) got the win (6-4) in relief throwing the final three innings and allowing four hits, three runs (two earned), and two walks.

The Cougars seemed to have little trouble in Sunday's games. Lovato went 1-for-3 with a run scored and two RBI to help lead SXU to a 4-0 win over St. Mary of the Wood. Ashley Shearer was solid on the mound pitching all seven innings and allowing just three hits and three walks with five strikeouts for her shutout win (5-2). The Cougars scored all four of their runs in the first inning led by a two-RBI single by Lovato. Sunday's second game was more of the same as SXU picked up an 8-0 win over Hannibal-LaGrange in five innings. Lovato went 2-for-3 with a double and three RBI, while Ruettiger was 1-for-3 with two runs scored and a RBI. Bartels notched the win (7-4) going all five innings and allowing just two hits with three strikeouts.

Saint Xavier (22-10 overall/12-2 CCAC) returns home to face off against NCAA Division II opponent Lewis University (Ill.) on Tuesday, April 24. The doubleheader is scheduled for a 3 p.m. start Tuesday at the SXU Softball Field.