Rattlers Wrap Up Road Trip with Visit to Billings: St. Mary’s ends its eight-game road trip with a visit to the great white north in the form of Montana State University-Billings on Thursday and Friday. The Rattlers are coming off a three-game sweep of Oklahoma Panhandle State in a rain-shortened series in Goodwell, Okla., last weekend. Malissa Magee continued her strong play, allowing just one run in 15 innings, while Brittany Kettinger didn’t allow a run and picked up her eighth win. The sweep kept the Rattlers within shouting distance of first place St. Edward’s in the Heartland Conference standings. SEU is 11-1, while the Rattlers are 8-3, 2 1/2 games back. Billings is third at 6-5, and Incarnate Word is fourth at 6-6. After this weekend the Rattlers will return home to wrap up home regular season play against UIW and Texas-Permian Basin next week.

St. Mary’s vs. Ranked Opponents: The Rattlers have gone 7-4 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 four of their losses to ranked teams have come by two runs or less with two one-run decisions. They swept a doubleheader against #11 Texas A&M-Kingsville in San Antonio on March, 4-0, 2-0.

About Montana State-Billings: The Yellowjackets bring an 18-20 record overall and a 6-5 mark in Heartland play into this week’s action. They have played just three games at home this season entering this week. As a team MSUB is hitting .281 with 43 doubles and an average of 4.6 runs per game. Their leading hitter is Terina Stacks, who has a .375 average with 11 doubles, five homeruns, 26 RBI and 27 runs scored this season. On the mound the Yellowjackets have a 3.94 ERA with 28 complete games and one shutout. Their hurlers have struck out 134 batters, while walking 127 in 243.2 innings of work. Rebekah Tsatsa leads the staff with a 7-8 record, including a 3.85 ERA in 87.1 innings of work.

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.

St. Mary’s Finishes Sweep of Panhandle State: Malissa Magee picked up her 20th win of the season and St. Mary’s won its fifth and sixth straight games, with an 11-2, 3-1, sweep of Oklahoma Panhandle State. Magee allowed just one run two hits and two walks, while striking out eight in eight innings of work. She improved to 20-7 this season with the win and has won her last five starts, with the run she allowed in the fourth inning breaking a 32.2 innings scoreless streak. The run scored on an illegal pitch. It looked as through she would take the loss thanks to that one run as the Rattlers trailed 1-0 heading into the top of the seventh inning. Aggie pitcher Rachel Hughes had the Rattlers one out away from a loss, retiring the first two batters, but Mary K Pederson drew a walk and came home when Sarah Cooper smacked a game-tying double. The next inning the Rattlers put the game away with two runs. In the first game Brittany Kettinger picked up her eighth win of the season, allowing two runs on three hits in a run-rule 11-2 win for the Rattlers. Kettinger improved 8-6 win the win. The Rattlers broke the game open with four runs in the third inning, and then added three more in the fifth to complete the run-rule victory. Sade Moore, Pederson, Kelcy Walker and Kettinger all had two hits in the win.

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