CHICAGO – Extending its current win streak to 16 straight in the process, the No. 18 ranked Saint Xavier University softball team had to rally late in the second game to complete a non-conference doubleheader sweep of Marian University (Ind.) Thursday afternoon at SXU Softball Field in Chicago. Junior right-hander Megan Nonnemacher (Bloomington, Ill./Normal Community) threw a three-hit shutout to lead the Cougars to a 2-0 victory in the first game and also came in to pitch the final inning of game two recording her first save of the year. The current streak is the longest for the program since the team won 18 straight games during the 2005 campaign. Senior third baseman Kate Mollohan (Tinley Park, Ill./Andrew) and sophomore centerfielder Shannon Lauret (Beach Park, Ill./Zion-Benton) led the offense for Saint Xavier. Mollohan had four hits on the day, while Lauret had a pair of RBI.
In Thursday's opener, Megan Nonnemacher was impressive on the mound earned her ninth win of the year (9-1) going all seven frames and allowing just the three hits and two walks with seven strikeouts. With two outs in the bottom of the third, Lauret came up with a huge two-run single to left field with two outs that provided the Cougars with all their run production for the game. In the late game, Saint Xavier went ahead 2-0 in the bottom of the third when freshman Nicole Nonnemacher (Bloomington, Ill./Normal Community) and Mollohan each hit RBI singles. However, a three-run blast to centerfield by Marian gave the visiting Knights a 3-2 lead in the top of the sixth. SXU responded in the bottom of the frame tying the game on a RBI double by sophomore first baseman Amanda Hainlen (Bloomington, Ill./Heartland CC/Bloomington) down the right field line. The Cougars added two more runs in the inning off a suicide squeeze by Lauret and a RBI single from sophomore third baseman Sarah Saunders (Burbank, Ill./Reavis) to go back ahead, 5-3. A solo homer by the Knights in the top of the seventh cut the lead to a run, 5-4, but Megan Nonnemacher came in to close out the game for her sister, Nicole, getting three straight outs, including a pair of strikeouts. Nicole Nonnemacher got the victory (9-1) pitching the first six innings and allowing six hits, four runs (all earned) and a walk with five strikeouts.
Saint Xavier (18-2 overall/2-0 CCAC) continues its home stand on Friday, March 29, with a non-conference doubleheader against Bethel University (Ind.). The first game is scheduled for a noon start at SXU Softball Field.