CHICAGO – An infield error by Robert Morris University in the bottom of the ninth inning allowed freshman designated hitter Sarah Saunders (Burbank, Ill./Reavis) to reach home plate giving the Saint Xavier University softball team a thrilling 2-1 victory in extra innings of game two in Tuesday's Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) doubleheader at SXU Softball Field in Chicago. The Cougars (18-7 overall/3-1 CCAC) lost the first game by a score of 6-5. Junior third baseman Kate Mollohan (Tinley Park, Ill./Andrew) was huge offensively for SXU racking up six hits over both games to go along with a run scored and two RBI. Sophomore right-hander Megan Nonnemacher (Bloomington, Ill./Normal Community) was equally impressive on the mound for Saint Xavier throwing a combined 10.0 innings over the doubleheader and allowing seven hits, one run (earned) and a walk with two strikeouts.
Things looked promising for the Cougars early in game one with the team scoring three runs in the bottom of the first inning off a two-RBI double by Mollohan followed immediately by a RBI double from junior shortstop Ashley Sullivan (Lemont, Ill./UW-Parkside/Lemont). Junior third baseman Andrea Falco hit a two-RBI triple in the top of the third to bring RMU within a run, 3-2. A solo homer by senior catcher Ashley Hunter (Metamora, Ill./Metamora) in the bottom of the fifth gave SXU a 4-2 advantage, but two SXU fielding errors and a two-RBI triple by junior centerfielder Kara Underwood helped plate three runs in the top of the sixth to give the Eagles their first lead, 5-4. Saint Xavier would tie the game, 5-5, in the bottom of the frame on a RBI single to right field by freshman left fielder Megan James (Oak Forest, Ill./Marist). However, a lead-off walk to start the seventh inning came back to haunt the Cougars as it proved to be the go-ahead run on a RBI single by freshman right fielder Jori Boren three batters later. SXU had runners at first and second with one out in the bottom of the seventh, but could not get the timely hit to put together a rally.
The second game proved to be a pitching duel between Nonnemacher and RMU junior Lauren Huber. The Eagles got on the scoreboard first in the top of the fourth inning on a RBI single up the middle by sophomore shortstop Angela Roeback. A RBI single by Sullivan in the bottom of the sixth tied the game, 1-1. With neither team scoring in the seventh, the game went to extra innings and was not settled until Saunders hit a one-out double to right-centerfield and advanced to third on a wild pitch. After another out, Saunders was able to score the game-winning run on an infield error. Hunter and Mollohan finished the game with two hits apiece, while Nonnemacher improved her win-loss record to 10-3 overall with the victory. She threw all nine frames and allowed just five hits, a run (earned) and a walk with two strikeouts.
Saint Xavier (18-7 overall/3-1 CCAC) continues conference play on Thursday, March 29, with a road doubleheader against Trinity Christian College (Ill.). The first game is scheduled for a 3 p.m. start in Palos Heights, Ill.