Softball - Tue, Apr. 24, 2007
CHICAGO - Behind a two-hit and two RBI day at the plate for senior shortstop Samantha Lovato (Oak Forest, Ill./Eisenhower), the Saint Xavier University softball team split a big doubleheader with No. 8 ranked Lewis University (NCAA Division II) Tuesday at the SXU Softball Field in Chicago. The Cougars (23-11 overall) dropped the first game, 3-1, but bounced back in game two with a huge 3-1 victory capped by a towering solo homer to left field by Lovato.

Both teams got off to a quick start in game one with sophomore shortstop Kelly Dianis hitting a line drive shot over the wall in left field in the top of the first inning to put the Flyers ahead, 1-0. SXU answered in the bottom of the inning when Lovato brought home senior centerfielder Marie Barker (Chicago Heights, Ill./Marian Catholic) on a RBI single to tie the game, 1-1. However, sophomore pitcher Courtney Lyons kept the Saint Xavier bats in check for the rest of game one allowing just three hits and no runs over the remaining six innings. Lewis tacked on a run in the third and another in seventh inning to claim the 3-1 win. Freshman righthander Jalyn Shearer (Beecher, Ill./Beecher) got the starting nod for SXU in game one and pitched all seven innings allowing five hits, three runs (two earned), and three walks with two strikeouts. She falls to 8-4 on the year with the loss.

Senior first baseman Jory Bodi (Richmond, Ill./Richmond-Burton) led the Cougar offense in game two going 2-for-3 with a run scored. Saint Xavier started off quickly again scoring a run in the first inning thanks to a RBI single from sophomore third baseman Gianna Pavone (Orland Park, Ill./St. Joseph's College). Lewis tied the game, 1-1, in the top of the second with a solo shot to right-centerfield by sophomore right fielder Lisa Gartland. However this time, junior rightie Nicolle Bartels (Chicago, Ill./Marian Catholic) kept the Flyers' bats in check allowing just five hits, one run (earned), and two walks with four strikeouts. The win puts Bartels at 8-4 on the season. Senior left fielder Mary Kate Smith (Chicago, Ill./Maria) hit a RBI single in the bottom of the second to give SXU a 2-1 lead and Lovato added an insurance run in the fifth with a solo homer to left field to complete the scoring.

Saint Xavier (23-11 overall/12-2 CCAC) takes to the road to face Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) foe Trinity International University (Ill.) on Wednesday, April 25. The doubleheader is scheduled for a 3 p.m. start Wednesday in Deerfield, Ill.