Des Moines, Iowa – Behind a nice offensive performance by senior shortstop Ashley Sullivan (Lemont, Ill./UW-Parkside/Lemont) and another stellar pitching start from junior right-hander Megan Nonnemacher (Bloomington, Ill./Normal Community), the Saint Xavier University softball team took two games from Grand View University (Iowa) Saturday in Des Moines, Iowa. Sullivan went a combined 4-for-8 with two doubles, three runs scored and a RBI. Nonnemacher threw all seven innings of Saturday's opener and improved to 22-1 on the year allowing just five hits, one run (earned) and two walks with 11 strikeouts. Her sister, freshman right-hander Nicole Nonnemacher (Bloomington, Ill./Normal Community), got the victory in game two to move to 20-3 this season. It is the first time since 2002 that SXU has boasted two pitchers with 20 wins apiece in a season.
Nicole Nonnemacher got the scoring started for the Cougars in game one hitting a RBI single up the middle in the top of the second to put her team ahead, 1-0. Megan Nonnemacher gave up just two hits over the next four frames to keep the Vikings off the scoreboard through five innings. In the top of the sixth, sophomore catcher Megan James (Oak Forest, Ill./Marist) hit a two-run double to right field and senior third baseman Kate Mollohan (Tinley Park, Ill./Andrew) followed that with a RBI single to make the score, 4-0. Grand View hit a solo homer in the bottom of the sixth, but that would mark the end of the game's scoring. Megan Nonnemacher gave up a walk to open the bottom of the seventh, but got the next three batters out to secure the victory. Sullivan had three hits (two doubles) and two runs scored in the game, while Nicole Nonnemacher went 2-for-2 with a run scored and a RBI.
In the second game, Saint Xavier had trouble getting into an offensive rhythm posting just three hits, but took advantage of eight walks and a pair of hit batters to help generate its six runs. Junior designated hitter Ariel Hinton (Crawfordsville, Ind./Crawfordsville) walked in the game's first run in the top of the first with a bases-loaded walk. It was the first of three runs in the frame with sophomore left fielder Holly Hilden (Belvidere, Ill./Belvidere North) also getting a walk on the next at-bat and then Sullivan driving in a run on a fielder's choice. The Vikings answered with a solo homer in the bottom of the first to make it 3-1 after an inning of play. A two-run home run by Grand View in the bottom of the second highlighted a three-run frame for the hosts putting them ahead, 4-3. A key two-out, fielding error by the Vikings in the top of the third plated two runs for SXU giving the Cougars back the lead, 5-4. A sacrifice fly by Nicole Nonnemacher in the top of the fifth extended the lead to 6-4. She got out of a jam in the bottom of the fifth with runners at second and third thanks to a line drive catch by Sullivan at short for the third out. Nicole Nonnemacher then struck out the side in the seventh to notch the win. She gave up eight hits, four runs (all earned) and two walks with a career-best 16 strikeouts.
Saint Xavier (42-4 overall/19-1 CCAC) completes its regular season slate on Sunday, April 28, with a non-conference doubleheader against William Penn University (Iowa). The first game starts at 10 a.m.