CHICAGO – The match-up between No. 16 Olivet Nazarene University and No. 11 Saint Xavier University on Wednesday, April 24 saw some streaks end and some continue, there were leads blown late in the game and leads held on to in tight situations. It was everything that a match-up between two top ranked teams should be. Both teams came away with a win, the Cougars came back to win game one 4-3 in eight innings, while the Tiger gave their host their first conference loss of the season taking game two 3-1.
Olivet (39-5, 14-2) took a 3-1 lead into the bottom of the seventh inning, but couldn't hold on. St. Xavier capitalized on two hits and a throwing error to score two runs on two hits in the bottom of the inning. The Tigers could not plate a run in the top of the eighth, and then allowed the Cougars to score the winning run on two hits.
Junior Caitlin Santefort (Frankfort, Ill.) suffered her first loss of the season, taking her record to 14-1 on the season. She allowed nine hits, four runs - two earned – while striking out six and walking two in 7.2 innings.
Junior Justine Phillips (Metamora, Ill.) led the game off with her first home run in as a Tiger. She accounted for all three of Olivet’s runs, while going 2-for-2 at the plate. Sophomore Erika Tatum (Bourbonnais, Ill.) added two hits, while junior Hannah Gardner (Frankfort, Ill.) extended her hitting streak to 22 games with a single.
Senior Bethany Holaway (Wheaton, Ill.), junior Cheryl Sendzik (Mokena, Ill.) and Tatum accounted for six of the Tigers nine hits in game two, each with two. Gardner connected for a single, putting her hit streak at 23 games and her games reached base streak at 48.
Sophomore Linsday Stotler (Bloomington, Ill.) improved to 13-1 on the season, throwing 4.2 innings to pick up the win. She allowed four hits and one run with three strike outs and two walks. Junior Virginia McAndrews earned her second save of the season, pitching 2.1 innings while allowing just one hit and striking out four.
The split keeps St. Xavier in first place in the CCAC, with the Tigers holding steady in second. St. Xavier’s last two conference games will be against third place Judson University. The Tigers have two series to finish up, one with Robert Morris University and one with Trinity International University. In both instances game one was suspended due to rain.
Olivet will return to action at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 25 as they resume a game with Robert Morris University that was suspended due to rain on May 17. The game was suspended in the bottom of the fourth inning with the bases loaded and the Tigers up 4-0.