Oskaloosa, Iowa – Despite managing just four total hits on the day, the No. 11 ranked Saint Xavier University softball team rode a couple of stellar pitching performances to a doubleheader split with William Penn University (Iowa) in its regular season finale Sunday afternoon in Oskaloosa, Iowa. The Cougars (43-5 overall) dropped a 1-0 heartbreaker in the first game Sunday with junior right-hander Megan Nonnemacher (Bloomington, Ill./Normal Community) suffering the tough loss (22-2) after allowing just five hits, one run (earned) and two walks with three strikeouts over her six innings of work. Freshman right-hander Nicole Nonnemacher (Bloomington, Ill./Normal Community) got some run support in the late game and kept the Statesmen off the scoreboard en route to a 3-0 victory, her 21st win (21-3) and fourth shutout of the year. She gave up five hits and two walks, while striking out nine batters in the second game.
SXU was held to just one hit in Sunday's opener with the lone hit coming off the bat of sophomore left fielder Holly Hilden (Belvidere, Ill./Belvidere North), a single to left field in the top of the fourth inning. WPU junior Holly Whitehead kept the Cougar offense in check allowing just one walk and the one hit over seven frames to go along with five strikeouts. Saint Xavier had its best chance to score in the top of the fourth with a walk and Hilden's single putting runners at second and third base following a fielding error by the left fielder. Unfortunately for the Cougars, there were already two outs in the frame and an infield groundout left the runners stranded. A Hilden homer to right centerfield in the top of the second inning of game two ended SXU's run drought and gave the visitors an early 1-0 lead. In the top of the fourth, the Cougars took advantage of a fielding error by William Penn in the outfield and then got a RBI single from freshman second baseman Kasey Kanaga (Metamora, Ill./Metamora) to plate a pair of runs and build a 3-0 advantage. It was enough as Nicole Nonnemacher allowed just three hits over the final four innings.
Saint Xavier (43-5 overall/19-1 CCAC) takes the No. 1 seed into the 2013 Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) Softball Tournament, which begins on Thursday, May 2, in Bourbonnais, Ill. The bracket for the upcoming tournament has yet to be released by the conference office.