CHICAGO – A two-run homer down the right field line by junior catcher Megan James (Oak Forest, Ill./Marist) in the bottom of the fourth inning was one of the key highlights as the No. 8 ranked and No. 2 seeded Saint Xavier University softball team pulled away for a 7-1 victory over No. 6 seed Calumet College of St. Joseph (Ind.) Friday afternoon at the 2014 Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) Softball Tournament at SXU Softball Field in Chicago. The Cougars (43-5-1 overall) advance to the winner's bracket Saturday with the victory and face the winner of Friday's match-up between No. 1 seed Olivet Nazarene University (Ill.) and No. 5 seed Trinity Christian College (Ill.).
SXU sophomore pitcher Nicole Nonnemacher (Bloomington, Ill./Normal Community) got the win (19-3) in relief of senior starter Megan Nonnemacher (Bloomington, Ill./Normal Community). Nicole threw the final 3.1 innings Friday and allowed no hits, runs or walks with nine strikeouts. Megan went the first 3.2 frames and gave up two hits, one run (earned) and three walks with four strikeouts. After two scoreless innings to open the game, SXU scored four runs in the bottom of the third with junior left fielder Katie Sears (Chicago, Ill./Evansville/Mother McAuley) driving in the first run on an infield groundout with the bases loaded. Sophomore second baseman Kasey Kanaga (Metamora, Ill./Metamora) hit a RBI single that ended up scoring an extra run on a throwing error by the Crimson Wave. Nicole Nonnemacher brought home the fourth run of the frame on an RBI single to right field.
CCSJ scored its lone run in the top of the fourth inning when sophomore second baseman Patty Monarez was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. James provided the offense for the Cougars in the fourth inning with her four-bagger to right field, her first of the season. An RBI double to the gap in left centerfield by Kanaga gave SXU an added insurance run in the bottom of the sixth inning. Senior Abigail Nelsen suffered the loss (5-11) for Calumet College Friday. She went 2.1 innings and allowed five hits, four runs (all earned) and no walks with a strikeout.
Saint Xavier (43-5-1 overall/17-2-1 CCAC) advances to the winner's bracket to play the winner of Friday's game between No. 1 seed Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) and No. 5 seed Trinity Christian College (Ill.). That game is scheduled to take place at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 3, at SXU Softball Field in Chicago.