Clinton, Iowa – Junior left fielder Katie Sears (Chicago, Ill./Evansville/Mother McAuley) and sophomore second baseman Kasey Kanaga (Metamora, Ill./Metamora) both had big games offensively in helping lead No. 4 ranked Saint Xavier University to a doubleheader sweep of Ashford University (Iowa) in NAIA softball action Sunday afternoon at River Queen Field in Clinton, Iowa. The Cougars (19-3 overall) won the first game, 2-0, and ended the second game early winning 9-0 in five innings. The SXU pitching duo of senior Megan Nonnemacher (Bloomington, Ill./Normal Community) and sophomore Nicole Nonnemacher (Bloomington, Ill./Normal Community) had two more sensational starts, both logging shutouts and combining for 18 strikeouts on the day.
The first game started as a pitching duel with only one hit and no runs over the first three frames. In the top of the fourth, freshman shortstop Savannah Kinsella
(Munster, Ind./Andrean) got the Cougars on the scoreboard with a RBI single down the left field line that scored Kanaga. Sears put the finishing touch on the game when she belted a solo homer over the wall in left centerfield to put SXU ahead, 2-0, in the top of the seventh. It was the first homer of her collegiate career and also the first four-bagger for the Cougars as a team this season. Megan Nonnemacher
logged the victory on the mound (9-1) throwing all seven frames and allowing just two hits and a walk with eight strikeouts. Kanaga led the offense going 3-for-4 at the plate with a run scored and a stolen base.
got the scoring started in game two with a RBI single in the top of the first to put Saint Xavier up, 1-0. The Cougars added two more runs in the top of the third when Kanaga scored on a wild pitch and senior catcher Ariel Hinton
(Crawfordsville, Ind./Crawfordsville) drew a bases-loaded walk. Sears scored on an Ashford error in the fourth inning and junior first baseman Amanda Hainlen
(Bloomington, Ill./Heartland CC/Bloomington) made it 5-0 with a sacrifice bunt later in the frame. SXU got four hits, a walk and two more errors from the Saints to help score four runs in the top of the fifth and end the game early. Nicole Nonnemacher
improved to 8-2 on the year with the win giving up just three hits and no walks with 10 strikeouts en route to her team-leading seventh shutout of the season.
Saint Xavier (19-3 overall/3-1 CCAC) gets back to Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) play on Tuesday, April 8, with a road doubleheader with Roosevelt University (Ill.). The first game is scheduled for a 3 p.m. start in Rosemont, Ill.