Whiting, Ind. - A two-RBI double to left-centerfield by sophomore first baseman Cheryl Sendzik in the top of the sixth proved to be the game-winning hit as No. 1 seed and No. 10 ranked Olivet Nazarene University won the 2012 Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) Softball Tournament with a 2-1 victory over No. 2 seeded and No. 24 ranked Saint Xavier University Saturday afternoon at the Whiting Sports Complex in Whiting, Ind. The win for ONU dampened an impressive complete game pitching performance by SXU senior right-hander Amie Brown (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic), who went seven innings and allowed seven hits, two runs (both earned) and a walk with five strikeouts. The Tigers earn the automatic bid to 2012 NAIA Softball Championships, which begin on Thursday, May 17, in Gulf Shores, Ala. SXU ends its season with a record of 37-16 overall.
The game started out as an impressive duel between Brown and ONU senior starter Kelly Blucker with just four hits and no runs allowed over the game's first three innings. In the bottom of the fourth, sophomore first baseman Ariel Hinton (Crawfordsville, Ind./Crawfordsville) hit a one-out double to right field and junior third baseman Kate Mollohan (Tinley Park, Ill./Andrew) brought her home two batters later on a sacrifice fly to centerfield to give SXU the 1-0 advantage. Brown put the Tigers down in order in the top of the fifth, but the Cougars left a runner stranded at third base in the bottom half of the frame.
A single by junior centerfield Bethany Holaway to open the sixth inning and a walk by freshman right fielder Erika Tatum put runners at first and second setting the stage for Sendzik's game-winning double. With one out in the bottom of the sixth, freshman Lindsay Stotler came in to pitch for Olivet Nazarene and closed out the game giving up no hits or walks with one strikeout over the final 1.2 frames. Blucker earned the win Saturday to improve her record to 17-1 this season, while Stotler picked up her sixth save.
Saint Xavier ends its 2012 season with an overall record of 37-16. The Cougars finished second in the final regular season standings of the CCAC with a 14-4 mark.