CHICAGO – The red-hot pitching duo of senior Megan Nonnemacher (Bloomington, Ill./Normal Community) and sophomore Nicole Nonnemacher (Bloomington, Ill./Normal Community) continued to impress Thursday as No. 11 ranked Saint Xavier University swept a pair of Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) softball games from Trinity Christian College (Ill.) Thursday at SXU Softball Field in Chicago. The Cougars (23-3 overall/7-1 CCAC) won a tight one, 2-1, in the first game and then hung on to capture a 2-0 victory in the late contest. SXU has now won 13 of its last 14 games and also matched its impressive start from last season with a 23-3 record. In 2013, the Cougars opened the year with a 38-3 record, the best record to open a season in program history.
Both Megan Nonnemacher and Trinity Christian senior Mattie McGuire were tough on the mound to open the first game combining to allow just one total hit en route to three scoreless innings. In the bottom of the fourth, a throwing error by the Trolls proved costly as Nicole Nonnemacher scored from third base following the miscue to put the Cougars up, 1-0. SXU struck again in the sixth inning when junior first baseman Amanda Hainlen (Bloomington, Ill./Heartland CC/Bloomington) brought home Nicole Nonnemacher for the second time in the game on a sacrifice bunt. Trailing 2-0 heading into the top of the seventh, Trinity Christian made things interesting scoring a run off a RBI single and had runners at first and second with one out before the game ended on a double play off a fouled pop-up and putout at first base. Megan Nonnemacher moved her record to 11-1 throwing all seven frames and allowing just six hits, one run (earned) and no walks with six strikeouts.
Nicole Nonnemacher was lights out in the second game earning her team-leading ninth shutout of the season behind 12 strikeouts. She gave up only five hits and a walk over her seven innings of work to improve her record to 10-2 this year. The Cougars did all their offensive damage in the bottom of the first inning when freshman shortstop Savannah Kinsella (Munster, Ind./Andrean) kicked off the scoring with a RBI single to left field and then junior centerfielder Shannon Lauret (Beach Park, Ill./Zion-Benton) scored later in the frame on a wild pitch. The rest of the game proved to be a pitching duel between Nicole Nonnemacher and senior Brianna Brugioni. Brugioni limited SXU to just four hits in Thursday's nightcap.
Saint Xavier (23-3 overall/7-1 CCAC) hosts Trinity International University (Ill.) on Friday, April 11, for a conference doubleheader. The first game is scheduled for a 3 p.m. start at SXU Softball Field.