CHICAGO – With pitcher Megan Nonnemacher (Bloomington, Ill./Normal Community), catcher Ariel Hinton (Crawfordsville, Ind./Crawfordsville) and outfielder Katie Houlihan (Tinley Park, Ill./Lincoln-Way North) being honored in a "Senior Day" ceremony between games, the No. 10 ranked Saint Xavier University softball team had plenty of motivation in a Saturday sweep of Grand View University (Iowa) at SXU Softball Field in Chicago. The Cougars (35-3 overall) won both games by scores of 2-0 and extended their current win streak to 19 games, tying the program's best streak set during last year's impressive campaign. With the two shutouts Saturday, the SXU pitching staff also improved its season total to 26 shutouts over 38 games.
In the first game Saturday, the Cougars did all of their offensive damage in the bottom of the fourth inning when freshman shortstop Franchesca Graffeo (Crestwood, Ill./Shepard) and junior left fielder Katie Sears (Chicago, Ill./Evansville/Mother McAuley) each hit RBI singles to build the 2-0 lead. Megan Nonnemacher did her job on the mound limiting the visiting Vikings to just three hits and no walks in the game for her 11th shutout of the season. She improves to 17-1 on the year with the victory. Sophomores Nicole Nonnemacher (Bloomington, Ill./Normal Community) and Kasey Kanaga (Metamora, Ill./Metamora) each went 2-for-3 at the plate to lead the offense.
Junior first baseman Amanda Hainlen (Bloomington, Ill./Heartland CC/Bloomington) got the scoring started for Saint Xavier in the second game with an RBI on an infield single in the bottom of the first. Houlihan added an RBI double to left field in the bottom of the second to push the lead to 2-0. That was more than enough run support for Nicole Nonnemacher, who held Grand View to just three hits and a walk. She also fanned 14 batters in the game to pick up her team-best 15th shutout of the season and improve her win-loss record to 15-2.
Saint Xavier (35-3 overall/15-1 CCAC) gets back to Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) play on Tuesday, April 22, with a home doubleheader against Judson University (Ill.). The first game is scheduled for a 3 p.m. start at SXU Softball Field.