Somers, Wis. – Led by big days at the plate from senior catcher Ashley Hunter (Metamora, Ill./Metamora) and sophomore first baseman Ariel Hinton (Crawfordsville, Ind./Crawfordsville), the No. 25 ranked Saint Xavier University softball team took a doubleheader from NCAA Division II University of Wisconsin-Parkside Tuesday afternoon at Case Softball Complex in Somers, Wis. The Cougars (33-14 overall) secured the first game, 3-1, behind two hits and two RBI by Hunter and a stellar pitching effort from sophomore right-hander Megan Nonnemacher (Bloomington, Ill./Normal Community). Hinton racked up three hits and three RBI in the late game and senior righty Amie Brown (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic) limited the Rangers offensive production in a 10-2 victory over five innings.
Saint Xavier took control of the first game early scoring two runs in the top of the first inning highlighted by a RBI single from Hunter. Hunter got another RBI single in the top of the third to extend the lead to 3-0. UW-Parkside answered with a run in the bottom of the fifth off a RBI double, but Nonnemacher allowed just one hit the rest of the way. Nonnemacher allowed four hits, one run (earned) and three walks with three strikeouts over the seven-inning game. With the win, she improves her record to 16-7 overall. Freshman second baseman Megan James (Oak Forest, Ill./Marist) also had two hits and a run scored for the Cougars in the opening game Tuesday.
Hinton and freshman centerfielder Shannon Lauret (Beach Park, Ill./Zion-Benton) each posted three hits in the day's second game. Hinton put Saint Xavier ahead, 1-0, in the first inning off a RBI single that scored Lauret, her first of three runs scored in the game. A pair of infield fielding errors helped the Rangers score a pair of unearned runs and take a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the frame. However, SXU responded in a big way taking advantage of five hits and four Ranger errors to plate eight runs and take back the lead for good, 9-2. Lauret and Hinton both recorded RBI singles in the big inning. A RBI double by Hinton in the top of the third capped the game's scoring and helped end the game early per the eight-run lead. Brown threw another gem to improve to 14-4 on the year. She gave up just three hits, two runs (both unearned) and a walk with three strikeouts.
Saint Xavier (33-14 overall/14-4 CCAC) hosts Cornerstone University (Mich.) for a non-conference doubleheader on Friday, April 27. The first game is scheduled for a 3 p.m. start at SXU Softball Field in Chicago.