Story by Chad Waller, Director of Communications & Sports Information
Pictures courtesy of Rick Dominowski, Click HERE to order
SIOUX CITY, Iowa – (Box Score) No. 4 Saint Xavier (Ill.) pitcher Nicole Nonnemacher was one strike away from a no-hitter, but shut the door on a 1-0 victory over No. 1 seed Oklahoma City this afternoon in the winner’s bracket of the 36th Annual NAIA Softball World Series, presented by Security National Bank and Morningside College. In what would have been the World Series’ first complete-game no-no since 2011, Nonnemacher instead settled for her school-record 52nd career shutout.
St. Xavier plays Tuesday at 7 p.m. CDT and awaits the winner of No. 2 Auburn Montgomery (Ala.) and No. 6 Southeastern (Fla.).
The 2015 NAIA National Pitcher of the Year had a perfect game in the fourth inning. Nonnemacher bobbled a grounder with one out to allow the first Oklahoma City runner to reach base.
Then in the seventh, Nonnemacher hit Leslie Miller with a pitch with two outs. The next batter, Madison Ellis survived an eight-pitch at-bat and laced a sharp single to left through the deep hole by shortstop. Ellis’ play snapped Nonnemacher’s bid for a no-hitter. But, Nonnemacher got Joyner to line out to left for the game’s final out.
“I was aware of the no-hitter, but she (Ellis) hit a shot, kept her hands high and she took care of the rise ball,” said Nonnemacher about losing the no-hitter.
“I just take every player like they are the best on their team. And I try to do my best to get them to hit pop-ups and grounders and let my defense work behind me,” continued Nonnemacher.
St. Xavier’s lone run occurred in the bottom of the first. With one out, Kasey Kanaga single to third base. After a single and error, Kanaga scored on a Savannah Kinsella RBI ground-out.
Nonnemacher continued her torrid World Series pitching as she now stands with zero runs allowed and two hits given up in 14.0 innings. She has posted 22 strikeouts during that streak.
She improves to 30-4 on the year and she fanned nine today.
Oklahoma City’s Georgia Wall was superb in the circle. She allowed just one run on four hits – three of them singles. She struck out two and walked three to drop to 23-1 on the year.
This was the first shutout against Oklahoma City since April 18, 2015 in the 3-0 loss versus Science & Arts (Okla.). In World Series history for the Stars, this marks the first time they scored zero runs since a 7-0 setback against William Carey (Miss.) in the 2014 event.
The Stars now drop into the elimination bracket and face No. 9 Williams Baptist (Ark.) Tuesday at 1 p.m. These two teams last met in World Series action in 2012 – a 5-0 Star victory.
St. Xavier has now won back-to-back 1-0 games in the World Series, which is the first program to do so since 2003 when Oklahoma Christian did the same thing.
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.