Special to the Herald
The Clinton Herald
---- — CLINTON – The Ashford University softball team returned home to River Queen Field on Sunday afternoon, dropping two games to fourth-ranked Saint Xavier University (Ill.).
The Saints’ offense struggled against the team with the second-lowest earned-run average in the nation (0.67), dropping the opener 2-0 before falling 9-0 in five innings in Game 2, managing only five hits on the day.
Sophomores Allie Klasen and Brianna De La Rosa each had two hits and senior Kendra Roth tossed a complete game in the opening contest, but the Saints (16-15) couldn’t break through against the Cougars’ pitching staff.
The opening game was a duel from the first pitch between Roth and the Cougars’ Megan Nonnemacher. The two hurlers allowed only four baserunners through three innings, combining for eight strikeouts.
St. Xavier grabbed the lead in the top of the fourth, thanks to Savannah Kinsella’s RBI single, and Katie Sears added a two-out home run in the seventh.
That proved to be more than enough for Nonnemacher, who allowed only one hit over the final four innings. Roth (7-9) allowed five hits and struck out seven batters.
The Cougars wasted no time scoring in the second game. They took the lead in their first at-bat on a single from starting pitcher Nicole Nonnemacher. St. Xavier tacked on two runs in the third and fourth innings before adding four more in the fifth off Ashford starter Nicole Schmidt (9-6).
Nonnemacher allowed only three hits and struck out 10 to earn her eighth win of the year.
After six games in three days, the Saints will have five days off to prepare for the third annual Ashford University Spring Jamboree on Friday and Saturday at Morrison (Ill.) Sports Complex.