AUSTIN – Brittany Kettinger led the way for St. Mary’s University on the mound and at the plate as the 10th-ranked Rattlers defeated Washburn University and New Mexico Highlands University in softball action Saturday at the Hilltopper Classic Tournament, played at the Kreig Softball Complex.

Kettinger was the story in game one, allowing just five hits and no walks, while striking out three in a 3-0 win over Washburn. Only one runner advanced to second base in the game. With the win Kettinger broke a three-game losing streak and improved to 6-4 overall.

Offensively the Rattlers broke out of a 24 2/3-inning scoreless streak in the fourth inning. With two outs Lindsay Magaro (Sr., Elmendorf) walked and Nikki Flores (So., Friendswood) singled. Mary K Pederson (Jr., Houston) singled to score Magaro. Sarah Cooper (Jr., Houston) followed with a single to bring home Flores, making the score 2-0. The next inning Lindsay Barnes (Jr., San Antonio) added some insurance with a run-scoring single.

In game two the Rattlers fell behind early, but some timely hitting and a strong relief stint by Malissa Magee (Jr., Houston) lifted them to the win. Down 2-0 after the first inning Magee came on in relief and picked up her 11th win of the season, allowing just one unearned run on two hits and two walks, while striking out seven. She is now 11-5 on the season.

The Rattlers started their comeback in the second inning. Heather Monroe (Fr., New Braunfels) walked to lead off and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. One out later Magaro doubled to bring home Monroe, cutting the deficit to 2-1. In the third inning Flores walked to lead off and was moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. Cooper then brought Flores home with a single up the middle, tying the game at 2-2. Cooper advanced to second on the throw home, putting her in scoring position for Kettinger, who delivered with a single to give the Rattlers a 3-2 lead. Kelsey Walker (Jr., San Antonio) smashed her fifth homerun of the season in the fifth inning to expand the lead to three at 5-2.

With the wins St. Mary’s improved to 20-10 overall this season. The Rattlers will return home to face Lincoln University in a Heartland Conference doubleheader Monday afternoon at 4 p.m. at Rattler Field.

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