Rattlers Look to Defend Home Turf: With wins in 14 of their last 16 games, the Rattlers are red-hot entering the 2007 Heartland Conference Tournament. The Rattlers lead the HC in pitching with a 1.41 ERA and in fielding with a .965 percentage. They also rank second in hitting with a .292 average. Malissa Magee is the odds-on favorite to win her third straight HC Pitcher of the Year award. She is 24-8 with a 0.68 ERA, 239 strikeouts and 14 shutouts this season. At the plate Kelcy Walker is second in the HC with a .394 average, 13 doubles, 10 homeruns, 45 RBI and 48 runs scored.
St. Mary’s vs. Ranked Opponents: The Rattlers have gone 7-6 against nationally ranked opponents this season. They won their first four games of the season against ranked teams, defeating (#19) Abilene Christian twice and (#7) Incarnate Word twice. They fell to #6 Emporia State and dropped three of four against #21 St. Edward’s, but all five of their six losses to ranked teams have come by two runs or less with three one-run decisions. They swept a doubleheader against #11 Texas A&M-Kingsville in San Antonio on March, 4-0, 2-0.
Regional Rankings: The third NCAA South Central Region rankings were announced last week with the Rattlers moving up two spots to fourth. Angelo State remains on top, with Midwestern State second. St. Edward’s is third, just ahead of the Rattlers.
NCAA Statistical Leaders: St. Mary’s continues to rank as one of the top teams in statistical categories in NCAA Division II. Malissa Magee is ranked fifth in the division in wins with 23 and seventh in ERA with a 0.59. Lindsay Barnes is 42nd in homeruns, while Brittany Kettinger is 56th in ERA (16.8). As a team the Rattlers are 10th in ERA with a 1.36 and 17th in fielding with a .968.
St. Mary’s vs. St. Edward’s: Since the 1995 season St. Mary’s leads the all-time series between the teams, 39-27. They are also 25-7 against the Hilltoppers since 2001. St. Mary’s holds an 18-11 lead at Rattler Field and lead 15-14 in Austin. The Rattlers lead 6-2 in games at neutral sites as well. SEU won three of four games against the Rattlers earlier this season, both in Austin and one of two in San Antonio. That season series win was the first for SEU since the 2001 season.
St. Mary’s vs. Incarnate Word: Since the 1995 season the Rattlers own a commanding 46-18 edge in the series between the teams. St. Mary’s is 25-6 at home and 18-10 at UIW. In neutral sites games the series is 3-2. St. Mary’s won all six games against the Cardinals this season, including a 4-2, 6-1, sweep at UIW last week. The Rattlers won both games played at Rattler Field in 2006, but UIW won the season series 4-2. Only twice since 1995 has a team swept the season series, with the Rattlers doing it both times, by a 4-0 count in 1998 and 2002.
St. Mary’s vs. Lincoln: St. Mary’s leads the all-time series between the teams 8-1, including a four-game sweep earlier this season in San Antonio. The Rattlers are 5-0 against LU in San Antonio and 3-1 in Jefferson City. Last season the team’s met in Jefferson City, Mo., for a four-game series with the Rattlers winning three of four games.
St. Mary’s vs. Oklahoma Panhandle State: The Rattlers lead the all-time series between the teams, 17-1. St. Mary’s is 9-1 in San Antonio against the Aggies, 3-0 in Goodwell, Okla., and 5-0 in games at neutral sites. The Rattlers have won the last eight games in the series since a 3-1 win by OPSU in San Antonio during the 2004 season. St. Mary’s swept a four-game series against the Aggies last season in San Antonio by a combined score of 71-4. They also won all three games in Goodwell during the 2005 season by a combined 23-4.
St. Mary’s vs. About Montana State-Billings: The teams met on the softball field for the first time last season, with the Rattlers winning five of the six meetings. This will be the first time that the teams have met in Billings, Mont. The Rattlers won three of four games against MSUB during the regular season, then won two meetings in the conference tournament.