CHICAGO – Getting it done on the mound and at the plate, sophomore Nicole Nonnemacher (Bloomington, Ill./Normal Community) was instrumental in a Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) softball sweep for No. 11 ranked Saint Xavier University over Cardinal Stritch University (Wis.) Saturday at SXU Softball Field in Chicago. The Cougars (27-3 overall/11-1 CCAC) used Nonnemacher's 13 strikeouts and 10th shutout of the season to capture a 4-0 victory in Saturday's opener and then held off a late charge by the Wolves to pick up a 7-4 win in game two. She also went a combined 3-for-7 at the plate with a double, a run scored and three RBI on the day. SXU extends its current win streak to 11 games with Saturday's sweep and have now won 17 of the last 18 games played.
Back-to-back RBI singles with two outs by sophomore second baseman Kasey Kanaga (Metamora, Ill./Metamora) and Nonnemacher in the bottom of the third inning gave Saint Xavier a 2-0 advantage in the opener. Junior first baseman Amanda Hainlen (Bloomington, Ill./Heartland CC/Bloomington) drove in a run on a sacrifice bunt in the fifth inning to extend SXU's lead to 3-0. Freshman shortstop Savannah Kinsella (Munster, Ind./Andrean) capped the game's scoring in the bottom of the sixth when she opened the frame with a home run over the right field wall. It was the first collegiate homer of her young career. Nonnemacher threw all seven innings en route to the five-hit shutout to improve her win-loss record to 11-2 this season.
Nicole Nonnemacher got the scoring started in the late game with a RBI double in the bottom of the first inning. Freshman third baseman Franchesca Graffeo (Crestwood, Ill./Shepard) and senior right fielder Katie Houlihan (Tinley Park, Ill./Lincoln-Way North) each recorded RBI in the second inning to give the Cougars an early 3-0 lead. After a scoreless third inning, SXU continued to extend its edge by scoring four more runs in the fourth off a RBI single by Nicole Nonnemacher and a three-run homer to centerfield by Hainlen. The Wolves started a rally in the top of the fifth scoring four runs off five hits, but that was as close as it would get the rest of the way. Senior Megan Nonnemacher (Bloomington, Ill./Normal Community) got the win on the mound in the second game throwing all seven innings and giving up seven hits, four runs (all earned) and a walk with four strikeouts. She moves to 13-1 on the season with the victory.
Saint Xavier (27-3 overall/11-1 CCAC) hosts its third straight conference doubleheader on Sunday, April 13, when rival University of St. Francis (Ill.) heads to Chicago. The first game is scheduled for a noon start at SXU Softball Field. The doubleheader is being made up from its original date of March 18.