Portland, Ore. – Junior right-hander Megan Nonnemacher (Bloomington, Ill./Normal Community) struck out 12 batters en route to a convincing 12-1 victory for the No. 10 ranked and No. 1 seeded Saint Xavier University softball team over No. 4 seed MidAmerica Nazarene University (Kan.) Monday afternoon in first round action of the NAIA Softball Opening Round Tournament at Delta Park in Portland, Ore. The Cougars (47-6 overall) racked up 10 hits on the offensive side led by three RBI apiece from sophomore left fielder Holly Hilden (Belvidere, Ill./Belvidere North) and freshman right fielder Nicole Nonnemacher (Bloomington, Ill./Normal Community). SXU advances to take on No. 11 ranked and No. 2 seed Corban University (Ore.) on Tuesday, May 14, at 12 p.m. (central) at Delta Park.
Megan Nonnemacher seemed in cruise control from the circle striking out six of the first nine batters she faced. She finished her complete game allowing four hits, one run (earned) and a walk over her five innings of work. Saint Xavier wasted no time getting up on the scoreboard scoring three runs in the top of the first inning with seniors Kate Mollohan (Tinley Park, Ill./Andrew) and Ashley Sullivan (Lemont, Ill./UW-Parkside/Lemont) both recording RBI doubles in the frame. After Megan Nonnemacher struck out the side in the bottom of the first, the Cougars added three more runs to its total in the top of the second highlighted by a two-run single to right field by Hilden. SXU took advantage of some miscues, including two fielding errors and a passed ball, by the Pioneers in the top of the third plating four additional runs to go ahead, 10-0.
Nicole Nonnemacher hit a two-out, two-run single to right field in the top of the fourth to extend the lead, 12-0. MidAmerica Nazarene used an RBI double in the bottom of the fourth to make the score, 12-1. For the first time in the game, the Cougars failed to score a run in the top of the fifth, but it would not matter as Megan Nonnemacher closed out the game by retiring three of the final four batters she faced in the frame, including a pair of strikeouts.
Saint Xavier (47-6 overall/19-1 CCAC) continues NAIA Opening Round play on Tuesday, May 14, with a big match-up against No. 11 Corban University (Ore.). The winner of Tuesday's game advances to Wednesday's championship game with an untarnished tournament record in the double elimination event.