CHICAGO - Despite a double and a RBI by senior catcher Amy Kennedy (Pontiac, Ill./Pontiac), the No. 17 ranked and No. 1 seeded Saint Xavier University softball team ended its season in the championship game of the 2011 Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) Softball Tournament Saturday afternoon with a 6-1 loss to No. 23 ranked and No. 2 seed Olivet Nazarene University (Ill.) at SXU Softball Field in Chicago. The Cougars (34-16 overall) managed just seven hits in the ballgame with no players in the line-up logging more than a hit apiece. The Tigers sealed the win with four runs in the top of the seventh led by a three-run homer to left field by freshman second baseman Hannah Gardner. Following the game, SXU had Kennedy, senior second baseman Brittany Hannigan (Palos Hills, Ill./Stagg), senior center fielder Megan Paradzinski (Munster, Ind./Munster) sophomore third baseman Kate Mollohan (Tinley Park, Ill./Andrew) and freshman Megan Nonnemacher (Bloomington, Ill./Normal Community) all named to the 2011 CCAC All-Tournament Team.
A RBI single by Gardner followed shortly by a RBI double by senior catcher Nora Duffy put Olivet Nazarene ahead, 2-0, in the top of the first inning. The Cougars answered with a run of their own in the bottom of the frame when Kennedy hit a two-out double to left-center field to score Hannigan from second base. Both teams had chances to score over the next five innings, but the two defenses would prevail and the Tigers carried their 2-1 advantage into the seventh inning. With runners at first and second base and no outs in the top of the seventh, Gardner hit her three-run blast to put ONU up, 5-1. Three errors by SXU would extend the frame and lead to another run to make the score, 6-1. Freshman Ariel Hinton (Crawfordsville, Ind./Crawfordsville) would record a pinch-hit double in the bottom of the seventh, but it would be the only hit for the Cougars the rest of the way. Nonnemacher took the loss (18-6) for SXU throwing all seven innings and allowing seven hits, six runs (four earned) and three walks with six strikeouts.
Saint Xavier ends its 2011 season with a 34-16 overall record. The Cougars won a share of the CCAC regular season crown by finishing the conference slate with a 14-4 mark.