CHICAGO – A solo homer down the left field line by sophomore first baseman Amanda Hainlen (Bloomington, Ill./Heartland CC/Bloomington) to begin the bottom of the fifth inning of game one proved to be the difference maker as the No. 18 ranked Saint Xavier University softball team split a non-conference doubleheader with Bethel College (Ind.) Friday afternoon at SXU Softball Field in Chicago. After capturing a 2-1 victory in the first game, the Cougars could not keep the momentum going in game two falling by a 4-1 score. The loss ended a 17-game win streak for SXU with its last loss coming at the hands of Saint Anselm College (N..H.), 3-2, back on March 9 in Clermont, Fla. Junior right-hander Megan Nonnemacher (Bloomington, Ill./Normal Community) threw another gem for the Cougars Friday in the opener going seven innings and allowing six hits, a run (earned) and a walk with seven strikeouts. She also recorded her 400th career strikeout on her way to the win, her 10th of the season (10-1). The game one loss for Bethel was its first of the season (9-1 overall).
Senior third baseman Kate Mollohan (Tinley Park, Ill./Andrew) plated Saint Xavier's first run of the day when she hit a double to the gap in right centerfield in the bottom of the third inning. She later scored on a RBI single by Hainlen to put SXU ahead 1-0. A RBI single by the Pilots in the top of the fifth inning tied the game, 1-1, but Hainlen quickly put the Cougars back in the lead with her solo shot to open the bottom of the frame. Freshman second baseman Kasey Kanaga (Metamora, Ill./Metamora) led SXU with three hits in the first game. Freshman Nicole Nonnemacher (Bloomington, Ill./Normal Community) got the start on the mound in game two and was also just as effective with her bat in the late game. She provided Saint Xavier's lone run in the game scoring on a wild pitch in the bottom of the first inning to give SXU an early 1-0 advantage. However, back-to-back homers by Bethel in the top of the sixth as well as a RBI groundout in the seventh put Bethel ahead, 4-1, for good. Nicole Nonnemacher suffered the loss (9-2) throwing the entire game and giving up eight hits, four runs (three earned) and no walks with an impressive 15 strikeouts. She also went 2-for-4 at the plate.
Saint Xavier (19-3 overall/2-0 CCAC) takes the rest of the weekend off and returns to action on Tuesday, April 2, with a Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) road doubleheader with Robert Morris University (Ill.). The first game is scheduled for a 4 p.m. start in Chicago.