CHICAGO – Huge two-out hits by senior third baseman Kate Mollohan (Tinley Park, Ill./Andrew) and freshman right fielder Nicole Nonnemacher (Bloomington, Ill./Normal Community) led to a thrilling 4-3 game-one victory in eight innings as No. 11 ranked Saint Xavier University softball team rallied from a 3-1 deficit to capture a key Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) victory over No. 16 ranked Olivet Nazarene University (Ill.) Wednesday at the SXU Softball Field in Chicago. Unfortunately, the Cougars could not complete the sweep falling 3-1 in the nightcap. With two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Mollohan hit a two-run double down the left field line to tie the game at 3-3, and then Nicole Nonnemacher had a walk-off RBI single to left field in the bottom of the eighth to complete the rally. The win gave SXU its 19th straight victory, the longest streak in program history.
Junior right-hander Megan Nonnemacher (Bloomington, Ill./Normal Community) earned the victory on the mound in Wednesday's opener marking her 20th straight win (20-1) after opening the season with a tough 2-1 loss. Megan Nonnemacher threw all eight frames and allowed eight hits, three runs (all earned) and three walks with 12 strikeouts. After the Tigers opened the game with a solo homer to right field, Mollohan tied things up in the bottom of the first on a sacrifice fly to right field. A RBI single by Olivet in the top of the third gave the visitors a 2-1 advantage and a sacrifice fly in the top of the seventh made it a 3-1 edge. However, the Cougars refused to give up and an infield throwing error kept the game alive in the bottom of the seventh setting the stage for Mollohan's late game heroics. Nicole Nonnemacher's RBI single in the eighth caused a play at the plate, but senior shortstop Ashley Sullivan (Lemont, Ill./UW-Parkside/Lemont) beat the tag to secure the 4-3 victory.
Offense was tough to come by for SXU in the second game as the hosts managed just five total hits. Nicole Nonnemacher suffered the setback (18-3) going all seven frames and giving up nine hits, three runs (two earned) and two walks with six strikeouts. The Tigers took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third off a RBI single to left field. Another RBI single in the fifth inning extended the ONU lead to 2-0. Sophomore catcher Megan James (Oak Forest, Ill./Marist) hit a RBI double to right field in the bottom of the fifth to make the score, 2-1. However, Olivet added some insurance in the top of the sixth with a RBI double down the left field line. SXU had its chances leaving five runners stranded on the base paths over the final two innings.
Saint Xavier (38-4 overall/17-1 CCAC) wraps up its CCAC slate on Thursday, April 25, with a road doubleheader against Judson University (Ill.). The first of the two games kicks off at 5 p.m. in Elgin, Ill. A sweep Thursday would give SXU the regular season conference title.