Clermont, Fla. – A no-hitter for sophomore Nicole Nonnemacher (Bloomington, Ill./Normal Community) in a 7-0 victory over Lourdes University (Ohio) Thursday highlighted a split of No. 5 ranked Saint Xavier University's last four games in collegiate softball action Wednesday and Thursday at the National Training Center (NTC) Spring Games in Clermont, Fla. The Cougars (10-2 overall) dropped their first game to Ave Maria University (Fla.) Wednesday by a score of 1-0, but then bounced back with an 8-0 win over Bloomfield College (N.J.) in six innings. On Thursday, Nonnemacher opened the day with a dominating performance on the mound en route to the 7-0 victory, but SXU gave up a run in the bottom of the seventh of the late game to fall, 4-3, to Marian University (Ind.).
In the loss to Ave Maria, Saint Xavier mustered just four hits in the game. Ave Maria got the game's lone run on a wild pitch in the bottom of the fourth inning. SXU had a chance to answer in the top of the fifth leaving the bases loaded. The Cougars had another chance to tie the game in the top of the seventh with a runner at second base and one out, but an infield pop-up and a strikeout ended the game. Nonnemacher took the loss (3-1), her first of the season, after a solid outing. She threw all six frames and allowed just four hits, one unearned run and two walks with six strikeouts.
The second game was better offensively with SXU racking up seven hits and eight runs. After three scoreless innings, the Cougars exploded for six runs in the bottom of the fourth propelled by a three-run triple by sophomore right fielder Denise Anderson (Arvada, Colo./Ralston Valley). Junior left fielder Katie Sears (Chicago, Ill./Evansville/Mother McAuley) and junior catcher Megan James (Oak Forest, Ill./Marist) both finished with two hits and at least a run scored and RBI apiece. Freshman Callie Brown (West Des Moines, Iowa/Valley) earned the win on the mound (2-0) for Saint Xavier throwing all six frames and giving up just three hits, no runs and three walks with five strikeouts.
Nonnemacher tallied an impressive 13 strikeouts in her no-hitter against Lourdes Thursday afternoon. James led the offensive effort with three hits, while sophomore second baseman Kasey Kanaga (Metamora, Ill./Metamora) posted two hits and two runs scored. Junior first baseman Amanda Hainlen (Bloomington, Ill./Heartland CC/Bloomington) led SXU with two RBI in the game. The Cougars scored three runs in the top of the first aided by a RBI single by Nonnemacher and a trio of errors by the Gray Wolves. SXU scored its remaining four runs in the top of the seventh blasting five hits in the frame.
Senior Megan Nonnemacher (Bloomington, Ill./Normal Community) suffered a tough 4-3 loss in the late game Thursday after allowing eight hits, four runs (three earned) and seven walks with eight strikeouts. She falls to 4-1 on the year. Kanaga was a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate with a run scored. SXU scored two in the top of the first off a Marian throwing error and a sacrifice fly by Hainlen. However in the bottom of the second, MU took the 3-2 lead following a three-run triple to the gap in right centerfield with two outs. Senior right fielder Katie Houlihan (Tinley Park, Ill./Lincoln-Way North) tied the game in the top of the fifth scoring off an error, but the Knights scored the game-winning run on a throwing error by the Cougars in the bottom of the seventh.
Saint Xavier (10-2 overall) wraps up its trip to Florida with four more games over Friday and Saturday. The Cougars have a 5 p.m. (eastern) doubleheader with Spring Arbor University (Mich.) on Friday and then close out the trip with an 11 a.m. (eastern) game against Marian and a 3 p.m. (eastern) game against St. Thomas University (Fla.) Saturday.