CHICAGO – Freshman right-hander Nicole Nonnemacher (Bloomington, Ill./Normal Community) recorded nine strikeouts in a 13-4 six-inning, game two victory during the No. 13 ranked Saint Xavier University softball team's sweep of NCAA Division II University of Wisconsin-Parkside and set a new single season school mark for strikeouts with her 175th of the year. Her older sister, junior right-hander Megan Nonnemacher (Bloomington, Ill./Normal Community), was also impressive on the mound as the game one starter leading SXU to a 9-1 win in five innings. The previous record for strikeouts in a season was held by Saint Xavier 2009 Hall of Fame inductee Kris Dugan, who totaled 173 strikeouts during the 2000 campaign. With Tuesday's sweep, the Cougars are now 33-3 overall this season and currently riding a 14-game win streak.
Sophomore first baseman Amanda Hainlen (Bloomington, Ill./Heartland CC/Bloomington) and freshman second baseman Kasey Kanaga (Metamora, Ill./Metamora) led the offensive charge in the first game Tuesday against the Rangers. Hainlen went 2-for-3 with a homer and two RBI, while Kanaga was 2-for-2 with a double and two runs scored. Megan Nonnemacher was nearly untouchable allowing just two hits, a run (earned) and a walk with five strikeouts. With the win, she improved her season record this to a stellar 17-1. Hainlen's two-run shot to left field in the bottom of the first inning gave Saint Xavier an early 2-0 advantage. The Cougars added another run in the third when senior third baseman Kate Mollohan (Tinley Park, Ill./Andrew) drove in a run off an infield groundout. SXU put the game out of reach in the fourth plating six runs in the frame sparked by a RBI triple by sophomore left fielder Holly Hilden (Belvidere, Ill./Belvidere North).
There was no shortage of offense for the Cougars in the day's second game led by a huge performance at the plate by sophomore catcher Alexandra Bahner (Rochester Hills, Ill./Adams). Bahner went 2-for-3 with a homer and five RBI. Sophomore centerfielder Shannon Lauret (Beach Park, Ill./Zion-Benton) was also impressive with the bat in game two racking up four hits, including a double, to go along with three runs scored and two RBI. Nicole Nonnemacher threw all six innings and gave up eight hits, four runs (all earned) and three walks with the nine strikeouts that helped her achieve her record-breaking season total. After the Rangers struck first with a run in the top of the third, the Cougar bats really heated up with at least two runs in each of the next four innings, including a six-run, sixth inning, to pull away for good.
Saint Xavier (33-3 overall/12-0 CCAC) gets back to Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) action on Wednesday, April 17, with a road doubleheader against Trinity Christian College (Ill.). The first game is scheduled for a 2:30 p.m. start in Palos Heights, Ill.