Senior Megan Paradzinski brought home the game-winning RBI in the opener against Olivet
Senior Megan Paradzinski brought home the game-winning RBI in the opener against Olivet
Game 1
Game 2
Olivet Nazarene University (Ill.)
Saint Xavier
Softball - Thu, Apr. 14, 2011

CHICAGO - Senior center fielder Megan Paradzinski (Munster, Ind./Munster) hit a RBI single to centerfield with one out in the bottom of the seventh to give Saint Xavier University a thrilling 3-2 victory over No. 13 ranked and league-leading Olivet Nazarene University (Ill.) in the first game of a Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) softball doubleheader Thursday at SXU Softball Field in Chicago. The Cougars (24-10 overall/11-3 CCAC) carried the momentum over into game two riding an early lead to a 7-4 win. SXU got two nice pitching performances from junior Amie Brown (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic) and freshman Megan Nonnemacher (Bloomington, Ill./Normal Community). Brown set the tone in the opener throwing all seven frames and allowing just two hits, two runs (one earned) and three walks with nine strikeouts. She is now 11-4 on the season.

The Cougars came out swinging in Thursday's opener and went ahead, 1-0, in the bottom of the first inning on a RBI groundout by senior catcher Amy Kennedy (Pontiac, Ill./Pontiac) that scored senior second baseman Brittany Hannigan (Palos Hills, Ill./Stagg) from third. In the bottom of the second, sophomore designated hitter Jamie Reed (Lincoln, Neb./Saint Pius X) crushed a solo shot to center field to give SXU a 2-0 advantage. A two-out, RBI single by ONU junior shortstop Jordan Reynolds cut the lead in half, 2-1, in the top of the third. A passed ball with the bases loaded in the top of the fifth tied the game, 2-2, before Brown got the final out of the frame on a fly-out to left field. Brown gave the Tigers no further chances putting them down in order, including three strikeouts, in the sixth and seventh innings. That set the stage for Paradzinski's late-game heroics created by a one-out single by freshman right fielder Katie Houlihan (Tinley Park, Ill./Lincoln-Way North) and a key walk by freshman pinch-hitter Ariel Hinton (Crawfordsville, Ind./Crawfordsville).

In the bottom of the second inning of the nightcap, Reed blasted a three-run homer over the wall in left-center field to give SXU an early 3-0 advantage. A bases-loaded double by ONU junior third baseman Molly Anderson tied the game, 3-3, in the top of the fourth before Saint Xavier took back the lead, 4-3, in the bottom of the inning on a sacrifice fly by Hinton. Back-to-back RBI doubles by senior first baseman Courtney Murphy (Oak Forest, Ill./Oak Forest) and sophomore third baseman Kate Mollohan (Tinley Park, Ill./Andrew) followed by a RBI single by Reed extended the lead to 7-3 in the bottom of the fifth. The Tigers got a run back and loaded the bases in the seventh before Brown came in to strike out the final batter and earn her first save of the year. Nonnemacher pitched 6.2 innings for the Cougars and gave up six hits, four runs (all earned) and four walks with eight strikeouts.

Saint Xavier (24-10 overall/11-3 CCAC) takes part in the two-day Bethel College Invitational this weekend in Mishawaka, Ind. The Cougars open their first of four games in the tournament with a 10 a.m. (central) game against the host Pilots on Friday, April 15.