Whiting, Ind. – Sophomore right-hander Megan Nonnemacher (Bloomington, Ill./Normal Community) and senior righty Amie Brown (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic) both had impressive performances on the mound for No. 22 ranked Saint Xavier University in a doubleheader split with Calumet College of St. Joseph (Ind.) in Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) softball action Thursday afternoon at Standard Diamonds in Whiting, Ind. The Cougars (29-10 overall/14-4 CCAC) had a tough 2-1 loss in the opener when CCSJ senior first baseman Samantha Abrego ended the game on a solo shot to open the bottom of the ninth. SXU got its offense clicking a little better in the late game racking up eight hits en route to a 4-2 victory.
Nonnemacher threw a gem in the first game Thursday going all eight innings and allowing just seven hits, two runs (both earned) and a walk with seven strikeouts. She falls to 15-5 this season with the loss. Freshman designated hitter Sarah Saunders (Burbank, Ill./Reavis) hit a RBI single in the top of the second that scored senior catcher Ashley Hunter (Metamora, Ill./Metamora) from third base. The Crimson Wave tied the game in the bottom of the sixth on a RBI single by Abrego. The game went to extra frames, and although the Cougars had runners in scoring position in both the eighth and ninth innings, the homer by Abrego proved to be the difference maker.
Brown also had a nice game on the mound Thursday throwing all seven innings and giving up just five hits, two runs (both earned) and four walks with three strikeouts. She moves her season record to 12-3 overall with the victory. Saunders drove in SXU's first run on a RBI single in the top of the second to give the Cougars an early 1-0 advantage. CCSJ plated two runs in the bottom of the third highlighted by a RBI triple. However, a two-RBI triple by sophomore right fielder Katie Houlihan (Tinley Park, Ill./Lincoln-Way North) sparked three runs for SXU in the top of the fourth to give the visitors the lead for good. Freshman centerfielder Shannon Lauret (Beach Park, Ill./Zion-Benton) also had a RBI single in the big inning.
Saint Xavier (29-10 overall/14-4 CCAC) hosts a non-conference doubleheader on Friday, April 20, against Grand View University (Iowa). The first game is scheduled for a 3 p.m. start at SXU Softball Field in Chicago.