Softball - Mon, Apr. 11, 2005
Joliet, Ill. - The No. 22 ranked Saint Xavier University softball team continued its impressive play this weekend at the University of St. Francis (Ill.) Softball Tournament winning four of its five games and improving its overall record to 25-11. In three games on Friday, April 8, the Cougars defeated host St. Francis (Ill.), 15-0, in five innings and then beat Purdue-North Central, 12-3, in six innings before falling 5-1 to Indiana Wesleyan University. In Saturday's two games, SXU picked up an 8-5 win over Spring Arbor University (Mich.) and closed out the tourney with a 5-1 win over Iowa Wesleyan University.

Senior leftfielder Melissa Romano (Chicago Heights, Ill./Homewood-Flossmoor) and sophomore designated hitter Samantha Lovato (Blue Island, Ill./Eisenhower) each finished with three hits and five RBI in Friday's 15-0 win over St. Francis (Ill.). Senior second baseman Maura Ryan (Kankakee, Ill./Bishop McNamara) and sophomore centerfielder Marie Barker (Chicago Heights, Ill./Marian Catholic) also recorded three hits apiece in the game as SXU racked up 15 total hits. Freshman hurler Nicolle Bartels (Chicago, Ill./Marian Catholic) earned the win on the mound for Saint Xavier pitching all five innings and giving up just one hit, no walks and no runs with one strikeout.

The Cougars carried the hot hitting with them into game two against Purdue-North Central recording 15 more team hits and seven SXU hitters in the line-up finishing with two or more hits in the game. Sophomore rightfielder Nicole Barker (Chicago Heights, Ill./Marian Catholic) paced Saint Xavier at the plate going 3-for-4 with two runs scored, while Romano and junior shortstop Colleen Kilduff (Hickory Hills, Ill./Stagg) each picked up two hits and four RBI. Junior rightie Kim Garner (Oak Lawn, Ill./Mother McAuley) got the win pitching six innings and giving up three runs off eight hits with a walk and two strikeouts.

Clinging to a 1-0 lead heading into the seventh inning, SXU gave up five runs to Indiana Wesleyan University to drop its only game of the tourney. Nicole Barker recorded Saint Xavier's lone RBI in the game going 1-for-2 at the plate. Junior pitcher Jessica Wilson (Munster, Ind./Munster) took the loss for SXU pitching 6.1 innings and allowing five hits and five runs with six strikeouts.

In Saturday's first game, Marie and Nicole Barker each led SXU at the plate with three hits and two runs apiece to help the Cougars pick up the 8-5 victory over Spring Arbor College. Saint Xavier had a big, six-run fourth inning, which helped erase a 3-1 deficit. Freshman rightie Ashley Shearer (Beecher, Ill./Beecher) came in for four innings of relief to earn the win allowing seven hits and two runs with three strikeouts.

Behind two-hit performances by Nicole Barker and senior designated hitter Christina Jesse (Varna, Ill./Illinois Valley CC), the Cougars ended their tournament on a high note with a 5-1 win over Iowa Wesleyan University. Junior third baseman Michelle Abraham (Midlothian, Ill./Bremen) hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the fourth inning to put SXU ahead, 4-0. Wilson pitched all seven innings allowing seven hits and one run en route to the win. She also recorded five strikeouts in the ballgame.

SXU heads to Joliet, Ill., on Tuesday, April 12, for a 5 p.m. road doubleheader against Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference rival University of St. Francis (Ill.).