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Softball Defeats Northeastern State, 3-1

SAN ANGELO – Malissa Magee won her 29th game of the season, while Kelcy Walker led the offensive charge with two hits as 18th-ranked St. Mary’s University defeated Northeastern State University, 3-1, in the second round of the NCAA Division II South Central Region Tournament, played Friday afternoon at the Angelo State University Softball Complex.

Magee (Jr., Houston) had her second straight dominating performance on the mound. She improved to 29-8 overall this season and has won her last seven starts. Magee allowed just one run, a solo homerun to Lauren Rome in the seventh inning, on four hits and did not walk a batter for the second straight game. She struck out five, giving her 275 for the season, establishing a new school record for a single season.

St. Mary’s wasted no time in taking the lead in the first inning. With one out Sade Moore (So., Angleton) singled through the middle of the infield. Walker (Jr., San Antonio) then came up and smacked a double down the leftfield line, scoring Moore with the first run of the game.

That was where the score would stay for the next four innings as Magee and Jessica Johnson dueled it out. Johnson retired the next 10 batters after Walker’s double. But Brittany Kettinger (Jr., Azle) led off with a single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Nikki Flores (So., Friendswood). Jenna Saucedo (So., Elmendorf) then extended the Rattler lead with a single to right, scoring Kettinger.

The following inning the Rattlers continued to extend the lead. Mary K Pederson (Jr., Houston) led off with a double down the leftfield line. Moore then laid down a sacrifice bunt, but Johnson’s throw to first went into right field, allowing Pederson to score, giving St. Mary’s a 3-0 lead.

“We were fortunate to put some hits together and score some runs,” said Coach Donna Fields.

Walker was the lone player in the game to pick up multiple hits, going 2-of-3 with a double and RBI. The multiple-hit game was her 19th of the season.

Johnson fell to 12-6 on the mound this season. She allowed three runs on five hits and no walks, while striking out one in five innings of work.

With the win the Rattlers improved to 44-16 overall and have won 19 of their last 21 games. Northeastern State fell to 33-13. St. Mary’s will return to action on Saturday when they face Heartland Conference foe St. Edward’s University in the winner’s bracket championship game. The winner of the game will advance to the tournament championship, which will be played on Sunday afternoon. Northeastern State will play Tarleton State University in an elimination game at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

“It’s exciting (to have two Heartland teams undefeated),” Fields said. “They’ll (SEU) be fired up to play us after losing in the Heartland Tournament. We’re both just such competitors when we play.”

In other action in the regional, Tarleton State University eliminated Texas A&M University-Kingsville, 4-2. Host Angelo State University defeated Western New Mexico University, 10-0, to eliminate the Mustangs. St. Edward’s advanced to the championship game by defeating top-seeded Midwestern State University, 2-0.