CHICAGO – Getting it done both offensively and defensively, the No. 4 ranked Saint Xavier University softball team got the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) portion of its 2014 schedule off to a great start with a pair of shutout victories over Robert Morris University (Ill.) Tuesday afternoon in the home opener at SXU Softball Field in Chicago. The Cougars (16-2 overall/2-0 CCAC) won the first game, 6-0, and then took the second game, 8-0, in five innings. SXU did not commit an error in either game Tuesday and the offensive surge was paced by junior left fielder Katie Sears (Chicago, Ill./Evansville/Mother McAuley). Sears totaled four hits, including a double, with three runs scored and three RBI.
Sophomore pitcher Nicole Nonnemacher
(Bloomington, Ill./Normal Community) controlled the game on the mound throwing all seven frames and giving up just three hits and two walks with nine strikeouts en route to the shutout, her sixth of the season. She improved her record to 7-1 on the year. Sears scored the game's first run in the bottom of the first inning on a passed ball. The rest of the offense came in the bottom of the fourth when five Saint Xavier hits combined with two RMU errors led to five runs in the frame. Sears had the big hit in the inning with a two-run double down the left field line. Sears posted three hits in the game, while Nicole Nonnemacher
and sophomore second baseman Kasey Kanaga
(Metamora, Ill./Metamora) each had two.
Senior right-hander Megan Nonnemacher
(Bloomington, Ill./Normal Community) secured the victory (7-1) in game two going all five frames and allowing just one hit and a walk with three strikeouts. It was her fourth shutout of the season. The Cougars scored two runs in the bottom of the second inning after a RBI groundout by senior right fielder Katie Houlihan
(Tinley Park, Ill./Lincoln-Way North) scoring freshman shortstop Savannah Kinsella
(Munster, Ind./Andrean) from third base. A throwing error by the Eagles plated the other run in the frame. Houlihan, Sears and Nicole Nonnemacher
each posted RBI singles in the bottom of the fourth inning to extend SXU's lead to 5-0. Freshman third baseman Franchesca Graffeo
(Crestwood, Ill./Shepard) recorded a RBI double and senior Ariel Hinton
(Crawfordsville, Ind./Crawfordsville) got a two-run double to right centerfield to end the game in the bottom of the fifth with a score of 8-0.
Saint Xavier (16-2 overall/2-0 CCAC) hosts a doubleheader against conference foe Trinity International University (Ill.) on Thursday, April 3. The first game of the pair is scheduled for a 3 p.m. start at the SXU Softball Field in Chicago.