Softball - Mon, Apr. 4, 2005
Lebanon, Ill. - The Saint Xavier University softball team improved its win streak to 15 straight games with a perfect 5-0 showing at the McKendree College Classic this weekend in Lebanon, Ill. The Cougars are currently 18-9 overall and have not posted a loss since falling, 10-2, to Truman State University (Mo.) on March 18.

In its first game Saturday against Culver Stockton College (Mo.), SXU rallied back from a 2-0 deficit to pick up the 5-2 victory. Down 2-0 heading into the bottom of the fifth inning, Saint Xavier scored two runs behind a two-RBI triple by sophomore centerfielder Marie Barker (Chicago Heights, Ill./Marian Catholic). In the bottom of the sixth, an error by the Culver Stockton shortstop with two outs allowed the Cougars to score three unearned runs and seal the win. Junior hurler Jessica Wilson (Munster, Ind./Munster) picked up the victory for Saint Xavier pitching all seven innings. She gave up five hits and an earned run, while striking out 10 batters.

In SXU's second game Saturday, Marie Barker stepped up again for the Cougars with another fifth inning triple for a RBI to help give Saint Xavier the 2-0 victory. Sophomore catcher Lindsey Hall (Elgin, Ill./Larkin) brought home SXU's other run in the game with a sacrifice fly to left field in the top of the second. Freshman rightie Ashley Shearer (Beecher, Ill./Beecher) earned the win allowing just four hits and a walk over seven innings with three strikeouts.

On Sunday morning, the Cougars jumped out to a 1-0 advantage in the top of the first inning and never looked back en route to a 6-0 win over William Baptist College (Mo.). Hall finished 3-for-4 with a RBI, while junior shortstop Colleen Kilduff (Hickory Hills, Ill./Stagg) went 2-for-3 with a homer and two RBI. Senior second baseman Maura Ryan (Kankakee, Ill./Bishop McNamara) and sophomore first baseman Jory Bodi (Richmond, Ill./Richmond-Burton) each finished with two hits as well in the victory. Freshman righthander Nicolle Bartels (Chicago, Ill./Marian Catholic) picked up the win pitching all seven innings giving up five hits and striking out three WBU hitters.

In SXU's fourth game of the Classic, the Cougars rallied for two runs in the top of the sixth inning to pull out the 4-3 victory over McKendree College (Ill.). An fielding error by McKendree's pitcher allowed junior first baseman Megan Stluka (Beecher, Ill./Beecher) to get on base and junior outfielder Rhea Minas (Midlothian, Ill./Bremen) later scored the first of Saint Xavier's two runs in the inning as a pitchrunner. Senior leftfielder Kacie Karasiak (Granger, Ind./Kalamazoo Valley CC) walked in the second run with one out and the bases loaded. Shearer picked up the win for the Cougars in relief pitching the last three innings and giving up just two hits and a run while facing 11 batters.

Saaint Xavier completed the Classic with a 2-0 win over No. 16 ranked Columbia College (Mo.) behind a stellar outing on the mound by Wilson, who gave up just two hits over seven innings with seven strikeouts. Junior third baseman Michelle Abraham (Midlothian, Ill./Bremen) walked in SXU's first run of the game in the top of the second inning. A two-out, RBI single by sophomore designated hitter Nikki Brown (Rochelle, Ill./Rochelle) brought home the Cougars' second and final run in the sixth inning.

SXU gets back into its Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) slate on Tuesday, April 5, with a 3 p.m. road doubleheader in Bourbonnais, Ill. The doubleheader will begin at 3 p.m. Tuesday.