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AUSTIN, Texas — A clash of divisions had St. Mary’s softball scare the Division I Texas Longhorns Friday in a narrow 3-2 defeat on the University of Texas’ home field that gave the Rattlers an early look at their season ahead.
The Rattlers forced a three-Longhorn pitching rotation, holding a 2-1 lead off four hits until the sixth inning. A solo Longhorn home run in the bottom of the sixth brought it to a tie 2-2 game that would remain locked until the bottom of the seventh, until the last possible moments.
Looking to take the Division I team — which last year went 47-13 overall, nearly made the NCAA College World Series and housed two All-Americans — into extra innings, the Rattlers were cut just short of pulling off an upset across divisions. It took a walk-off single from freshman Longhorn Erin Shireman, who was ranked No. 15th nationally by ESPN’s Top 100 list ranking high school players, for the Longhorns to pull ahead of the Rattlers, 3-2, for the victory.
The Rattlers can take plenty of comfort from their near win against a high-profile school — such as the fact that their 3-2 loss sharply contrasted the game between UT and the Rattlers’ cross-town rival Incarnate Word Cardinals a week earlier, when the high-powered Longhorns hammered off a 13-2 rout.
St. Mary’s University, as a Catholic Marianist University, fosters the formation of people in faith and educates leaders for the common good through community service, integrated liberal arts and professional education, and academic excellence. The University has six athletic national titles: men’s basketball (1989–NAIA), baseball (2001–NCAA Div. II), softball (1986–NAIA and 2002–NCAA Div. II) and an individual national champion in men’s golf (2006–NCAA Div. II) and a national academic championship in men’s golf (2009–NCAA Div. II). St. Mary’s also had more than 40 percent of its athletes named to conference, regional and/or national honor rolls this past year. St. Mary’s student–athletes graduation rate is 65 percent, higher than the NCAA Division II average of 55 percent. To learn more about St. Mary's, visit www.stmarytx.edu/athletics.