Colleges: Nonnemacher sisters make mound of difference for St. Xavier
By Dennis Nelson For Sun-Times Media April 10, 2014 7:30PM
Katie Sears leads St. Xavier with 21 runs and 11 steals. Chris Gbur/For Sun-Times Media
Updated: May 12, 2014 6:35AM
Pitching sisters Nicole and Megan Nonnemacher have been nearly unhitable and the St. Xavier defense has been almost impenetrable as the Cougars rolled to a 21-3 record.
No. 11 St. Xavier, which also was 21-3 through 24 games a year ago, has been ranked as high as No. 4. The Cougars are 5-1 in the Chicagoland Catholic Athletic Conference and have played just two home games. Fourteen games have been postponed or canceled because of inclement weather.
“The biggest reason for our success is pitching and defense,” 14th-year St. Xavier coach Myra Minuskin said. “Our strong defense is at the core of our success.”
Nicole, a sophomore, is 9-2 and second in the nation with a 0.37 ERA. She has allowed a nation-leading four earned runs in 761/3 innings. Against her the opposition is hitting .134, which ranks third in the country, and she’s fourth in the NAIA with 10.91 strikeouts per nine innings. She’s struck out 119, walked just 10 and twice has been named NAIA Pitcher of the Week.
Megan, a senior, is 10-1 and seventh in the nation with a 0.69 ERA. She’s allowed seven earned runs in 711/3 innings. Opponents are hitting .173 against Megan, who is 72-19 with a 1.67 ERA during her career.
“We have not had anything close to the Nonnemacher sisters,” Minuskin said. “They are not only talented but incredibly competitive.”
Offensively, Kasey Kanaga’s .391 average, Amanda Hainlen’s 15 RBI and Mother McAuley product Katie Sears’ 21 runs and 11 steals top the Cougars, who are hitting .290 as a team.
“We have a true team-oriented offense,” Minuskin said. “We don’t hit much for power. Our strength is our speed and base running.”
South Suburban stays hot
Despite a roster that features just one sophomore, South Suburban is 23-7 overall and has won 12 of its last 14 games.
Kelsie Brezinski is batting .444 with 19 steals, while Courtney Holm is hitting .412 with 19 RBI. As a team, the Bulldogs sport a .354 average.
Katie Crandol leads the team with 25 RBI and is hitting .397. On the mound, Crandol is 10-4 with a 1.61 ERA. Andrew grad Adriana Aguirre is 10-1 with a 2.08 ERA. All four are freshmen.
Kistner perfect at the plate
Prairie State’s Julie Kistner went 7-for-7 with five runs and an RBI during the Pioneers’ sweep of Oakton earlier this week in Chicago Heights.
The Marian Catholic graduate went 3-for-3 with a run in the opener and 4-for-4 with four runs, an RBI and two stolen bases in Game 2. She leads the Pioneers (4-7, 2-0 Skyway Conference) with a .579 batting average.
Lewis’ Lanstiak, McLain
Lewis tennis player Zsofia Lanstiak and track and field athlete Andrew McLain were honored as The Great Lakes Valley Conference Players of the Week in their respective sports.
Five Saints earn weekly honor
For the second week in a row, five St. Francis athletes earned CCAC Athlete of the Week awards.
Honored were tennis player Alex Haizel (Marist), golfer Mary Jackson, track and field athlete Chelsea Rimington and men’s track and field athletes Trevor Howard and Ryan Njegovan.