CHICAGO – Senior catcher Ashley Hunter (Metamora, Ill./Metamora) and sophomore first baseman Ariel Hinton (Crawfordsville, Ind./Crawfordsville) combined for nine of the 13 hits recorded on the day by No. 25 ranked Saint Xavier University in a doubleheader sweep of Cardinal Stritch University (Wis.) in Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) softball action Saturday at SXU Softball Field in Chicago. The Cougars (26-9 overall/11-3 CCAC) won the first game by a score of 3-0 and were forced to rally with two runs in the bottom of the seventh to get a 4-3 victory in game two. Sophomore right-hander Megan Nonnemacher (Bloomington, Ill./Normal Community) was extremely efficient for SXU in Saturday‘s opener throwing all seven innings and allowing just two hits, no runs and four walks with six strikeouts. She improves to 14-4 on the year with the win.
Freshman centerfielder Shannon Lauret (Beach Park, Ill./Zion-Benton) led off the bottom of the first with a single and later scored the game's first run on a RBI single to left field by Hunter. After four scoreless innings, the Cougars would take advantage of two fielding errors by the Wolves to help plate two more runs. Nonnemacher would put Cardinal Stritch down in order in the top of the seventh to secure the victory. Laurent finished the game 2-for-3 with a run scored, while Hunter went 1-for-3 with a run scored and a RBI.
The Wolves would open the day's late game with four straight singles and plated two runs in the top of the first inning. Hunter made it a 2-1 game with a RBI single in the bottom of the third, but the Wolves answered right back with a solo homer in the top of the fourth to go back ahead by two runs, 3-1. Lauret hit a single in the bottom of the sixth to bring home a run to make it, 3-2. A single by Hunter in the bottom of the seventh sparked the two-run rally with two errors by Cardinal Stritch aiding the cause. The Cougars scored the game-tying run on a wild pitch and the game-winning run on an infield throwing error. Senior right-hander Amie Brown (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic) moved to 10-3 on the season going all seven innings and giving up eight hits, three runs (all earned) and two walks with five strikeouts. Hunter was a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate, while Hinton went 3-for-4.
Saint Xavier (26-9 overall/11-3 CCAC) hosts another conference doubleheader on Tuesday, April 17, against Purdue University-North Central (Ind.). The first game is scheduled for a 3 p.m. start at SXU Softball Field.