Clermont, Fla. – Wrapping up a week of play at the National Training Center (NTC) Spring Games with a pair of games Saturday against Marian University (Ind.) and St. Thomas University (Fla.), the No. 5 ranked Saint Xavier University softball team put an exclamation point on one of its best starts in team history with two more victories to close out the trip in Clermont, Fla. Senior Megan Nonnemacher (Bloomington, Ill./Normal Community) and sophomore sister Nicole Nonnemacher (Bloomington, Ill./Normal Community) continued their dominant play on the mound for the Cougars over the two Saturday games, while junior first baseman Amanda Hainlen (Bloomington, Ill./Heartland CC/Bloomington) was a force at the plate. SXU defeated Marian, 10-0, in seven innings in the morning game and then hung on for a 4-2 victory over St. Thomas in the afternoon game.
Junior centerfielder Shannon Lauret (Beach Park, Ill./Zion-Benton) and freshman shortstop Savannah Kinsella (Munster, Ind./Andrean) in addition to Hainlen powered the offense in Saint Xavier's big win over Marian. Lauret went 3-for-4 with a double, two runs scored and a RBI; while Kinsella racked a team-high three RBI. Hainlen posted two hits, including a double, to go along with two runs scored and a RBI. Nicole Nonnemacher helped her own cause as the starting pitcher by going 2-for-3 at the plate with a pair of runs scored. On the mound, she allowed just two hits and no walks with eight strikeouts en route to her fifth shutout and sixth win (6-1) of the young season. SXU scored three runs in the top of the first inning behind RBI from Hainlen and Kinsella and never looked back.
The offensive surge continued in the first inning of the afternoon game with St. Thomas as the Cougars scored three runs in the bottom of the frame. Hainlen hit a RBI double and Kinsella recorded a two-run single to propel the hot start. A throwing error proved costly for the Cougars in the top of the third as it extended the inning, which helped St. Thomas plate two runs on a single up the middle. Saint Xavier added an insurance run in the bottom of the fifth when sophomore second baseman Kasey Kanaga (Metamora, Ill./Metamora) scored from second base following a throwing error to first base by St. Thomas. Hainlen had two of SXU's four hits (both doubles) in the game and also tallied a run scored and a RBI. Megan Nonnemacher secured the victory on the mound (6-1) throwing all seven frames and giving up four hits, two runs (both unearned) and a walk with five strikeouts.
Saint Xavier (14-2 overall) is scheduled to kick off Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) play at home at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, March 18, against University of St. Francis (Ill.). However, due to the cold and wet conditions around Chicago, changes to the original schedule are likely. All schedule updates and changes will be posted online at www.sxucougars.com as soon as they are finalized by the coaching staff.