CHICAGO --- Ridiculous numbers authored by Olivet Nazarene University's Hannah Gardner (Frankfort, Ill.) and Saint Xavier University's Nicole Nonnemacher (Bloomington, Ill.) during the seven-day period from March 10-16 have earned the pair Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Player and Pitcher of the Week honors, respectively, it was announced by the conference office on Tuesday morning.
Gardner, a senior second baseman, batted .581 and averaged nearly both two hits and two RBIs per game. She finished the 14-game stretch with 25 hits and 24 runs batted in, while also scoring 21 runs.
Gardner also updated both the ONU and NAIA record books in the process with ONU records for career home runs and RBIs and the NAIA career record for RBIs. Her four home runs on the week, along with her four doubles, led to a .953 slugging percentage.
Gardner hit safely in 12 of 13 games – she did not have an official at bat in one contest – posting eight multi-hit games and seven multiple-RBI affairs topped by a 4-for-4, 4-RBI game against Jamestown (N.D.) on March 12. She also produced three three-hit games and four two-hit contests.
The No. 10-ranked team in the NAIA, Olivet Nazarene opened its season with 12 wins in 14 games.
Nonnemacher, just a sophomore, threw three no-hitters among her five starts during the week in going 4-1 with one save and an unblemished earned run average of 0.00. She gave up only one unearned run over her 35 innings pitched, while striking out 57 batters – 9.5 K's per game – against a mere two walks in six total appearances. She also allowed just seven hits all told.
Nonnemacher registered two of her no-hitters against Lourdes (Ohio) in 1-0 and 7-0 victories on March 10 and March 13. One day after the second no-hitter, she recorded her third such game in a 2-0 victory against Spring Arbor (Mich.). In each of the latter two games, she struck out 13 batters without yielding a walk. In the first no-hitter, she posted 15 strikeouts and no walks.
Nonnemacher's only loss came in a 1-0 setback against Ave Maria (Fla.) on March 12, where she allowed just the one unearned run.
Saint Xavier, ranked No. 5 in the latest NAIA poll, is off to a 14-2 start after going 8-2 this past week.