Getting in the last word about words

  (Reprinted from Nov. 11, 2012)

  Where would we be without words?
  Some of us would be out of work, but all of us would be inconvenienced and negatively affected in some manner. Everything from term papers to grocery lists to ransom notes would be impossible to compile, and orators would be rendered silent.
  Imagine if, during this election season, we weren’t subjected to a single political ad. Yes, go ahead and take several moments to imagine …
  Sorry, that was a dream from which I was in no hurry to awaken. Words are the cornerstone of our existence, and there is no shortage of them — except inside the sports world.
  As any veteran reporter will tell you, trying to coax certain athletes or coaches into opening up and offering insightful comments can be a very frustrating experience. They’ll either supply one-word answers or quickly develop a crusty attitude and treat the questioner with the same disdain normally reserved for a freeloading relative.

SXU sports summary

Nonnemacher named NAIA Pitcher of the Year

Her softball season is over, but Nicole Nonnemacher collected one more prize last week — the biggest one of all, in fact.
Not only was the St. Xavier University sophomore a pitching stalwart for her own school, she was also recognized as the NAIA’s best in 2014 by the organization’s All-America selection committee. One of just 20 first-team members nationwide, Nonnemacher was chosen as the national Pitcher of the Year.
That gave the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference a clean sweep of major awards. Olivet Nazarene University second baseman Hannah Gardner was tabbed as the NAIA Player of the Year.
Nonnemacher is the third SXU student-athlete to receive the NAIA’s top award in a sport. Jimmy Coy was the national football Player of the Year in 2012 and softball player Colleen Kilduff, now the head coach at Mother McAuley, was feted eight years before Nonnemacher.

Sports wrap

  • Written by Frank Gogola

Eagles’ relay team second at state

  Second-best isn’t so bad when contenders emerge from across an entire state.
  That’s the position Sandburg’s 3,200-meter relay team held after that race was run Saturday afternoon at the Class 3A boys’ state track meet in Charleston. Owners of the fastest time in Friday’s prelims at O’Brien Stadium, the Eagles couldn’t quite duplicate that feat when first-place medals were at stake.
  They actually bettered their Friday clocking by nearly six seconds, but Neuqua Valley completed the event .56 seconds ahead of Sandburg, which finished in 7 minutes, 40.77 seconds on Saturday. Matt Hetzler, Denis O’Callaghan, Chris Torpy and Sean Torpy comprised the Eagles’ relay quartet, which began its assault on possible gold with a 7:47.56 effort at the Romeoville Sectional.
  That time was second-best among 25 qualifiers, and then Sandburg lowered it to 7:46.53 in its state prelims heat.

Softball roundup

  • Written by Anthony Nasella and Frank Gogola

Four local teams still alive in playoffs

  When Oak Lawn loaded the bases in the first inning of Saturday’s Class 4A Mother McAuley Regional championship game, the casual onlooker might have concluded something unsettling was brewing for the host Mighty Macs.
  But a closer examination would have revealed that McAuley starting pitcher, freshman Holly Marousek, was in the circle for the first time in almost two weeks after recovering from a chest infection. And she was throwing to Emily Rux, who was filling in for an injured Alex Brown behind the plate.
  Marousek pitched out of that jam and shut down the Lady Spartans the rest of the way, giving up just five hits while striking out 11 batters. Meanwhile, the Macs’ own bats came alive just enough for them to capture a 3-0 victory in the title clash.
  Jennifer Crowley got McAuley (23-4) on the board with an RBI in the third inning and Rux added insurance runs in the fifth by clubbing a two-RBI double. That was plenty of support for Marousek, who was also aided by solid defense.

Community sports news

Mt. Assisi athletes honored

Four Mt. Assisi soccer players who earned All-Girls Catholic Athletic Conference honors for their sport were also recognized for their scholastic exploits.
Monica Tadros (Orland Park), Bridget Melody, Kathy Sojka and Madilyn Peters were among 27 Screeching Eagles student-athletes named to the Underclass GCAC All-Academic team. To be eligible, individuals must maintain a 3.0 grade-point average while their sport is in season.
Feted along with the above-mentioned quartet were Abby Maloy, Molly Murphy, Maddie Cahue, Taylor Coughlin, Samantha Pakula, Katie O'Leary (Oak Lawn), Alexandra Cipriani, Amber Andersen, Kelly Tomaskovic (Oak Lawn), Molly Williams (Orland Park), Tori White, Catherine Spencer, Sarah Spencer, Emma Gontarek, Miranda Donnelly, Addie McGuire, Shyann Koenig, Nicole Pratl (Chicago Ridge), Jorie Pudil, Jessica Moriarty, Kylie McGivney, Juliana Layman and Kylie Maloy.
Other tabbed for the All-GCAC soccer team were Danielle Mascorro and Mary Kate Wetzel (Palos Heights), the latter of whom was selected as the White Division Player of the Year.