Story by Chad Waller, Director of Communications & Sports Information
Pictures courtesy of Rick Dominowski, Click HERE to order
SIOUX CITY, Iowa – (Box Score) Pitcher Nicole Nonnemacher proved why she is the NAIA’s leading strikeout artist as the Saint Xavier (Ill.) senior whiffed 13 batters and sent the fourth-seeded Cougars to a 1-0 win over No. 5 Simpson (Calif.) at the 36th Annual NAIA Softball World Series, presented by Security National Bank and Morningside College. Nonnemacher entered the contest with a NAIA-best 410 strikeouts in 231 1/3 innings for a 12.4 average per 7 innings.
Advancing into the winner’s bracket, St. Xavier will rest until 4 p.m. CDT on Monday to take on the winner of No. 1 Oklahoma City and No. 8 Marian (Ind.).
On the other side of the ledger, Simpson starting pitcher Paris Hallums was up the challenge. She went 5.0 innings and allowed one run on three hits. But her struggles came with seven walks and two hits batsmen. She gave way to Caryle Avey, who tossed the final 2.0 innings and allowed just one hit.
The one offensive highlight occurred in the top of the third inning. St. Xavier’s Franchesca Graffeo, who pinch ran, came around to score on a RBI-single off the bat of Callie Brown. The run was made possible by one of Hallums free passes with one out in the inning.
Nonnemacher allowed one hit in the complete-game victory – a sharp single to left by Courtney Thomas. She moved to 29-4 on the year, which is four wins away from the NAIA season leader. She needed 108 pitches to record her 15th shutout of the 2016 season.
Nonnemacher’s strikeout total was the most in the World Series since 2015 MVP Cassie Jones posted 14 on May 25, 2015.
With the victory, St. Xavier head coach Myra Minuskin became the winningest coach in program history with 621.
Four Cougars each rapped a single in the winning effort.
Hallums dropped to 17-3 on the year for Simpson.
Simpson falls to the loser’s bracket and will play No. 10 Webber International (Fla.) Saturday at 10 a.m.
Stretch Internet, the NAIA’s official video-streaming company of NAIA national championship events, will be broadcasting all 19 games of the 2016 NAIA Softball World Series on the NAIA Network. The All-World Series package can be purchased for $29.95 or the day package for $9.95. For more information, including how to register for an account, click here.
The double-elimination event is being played out at the Elizabeth & Irving Jensen Softball Complex. The City of Sioux City and Morningside College serve as official hosts for the second-straight time. For more information on the 2016 NAIA Softball World Series, click here.