SAN ANGELO – Kari Galm tossed a three-hit shutout and St. Mary’s University committed three errors as fourth-ranked Angelo State University defeated the 18th-ranked Rattlers, 4-0, at the NCAA Division II South Central Region Softball Tournament, played Monday afternoon at the ASU Softball Complex.
The Rambelles used two early St. Mary’s errors and some clutch hitting to take a 3-0 lead in the first inning of the game. With one out Whitney Meeks singled through the right side and Brittney Cargill followed with a single to center. Kaycee Taylor brought home the first run of the game with a single to left, scoring Meeks. Macy Baker then grounded a ball back to pitcher Malissa Magee (Jr., Houston), but her throw to first was in the dirt and Cargill scored for a 2-0 ASU lead. Dionne Lopez then increased the lead to 3-0 with a sacrifice fly to left before Magee was able to get out of the jam.
Another Rattler error in the second inning led to the fourth run of the game. Leina Braxton hit a ground ball to shortstop Sade Moore (So., Angleton) that Moore was not able to field cleanly. One out later Meeks singled to put runners on first and third with one out. Cargill then hit a slow grounder down the third base line that Mary K Pederson (Jr., Houston) threw home to Kelcy Walker (Jr., San Antonio), but Braxton slid home under the tag to make the score 4-0.
After that inning Magee settled down and threw five strong innings, allowing just three hits and one walk over the remainder of the game, giving the Rattlers a chance to get back into the contest.
The Rattlers best opportunity to break through against Galm came in the third inning. Lindsay Magaro (Sr., Elmendorf) led off the inning with single through the right side of the infield and Jenna Saucedo (So., Elmendorf) followed with a single to center. Sarah Cooper (Jr., Houston) reached on a fielder’s choice for the first out of the inning. Pederson then came up and struck out for the second out. That brought up the Rattlers leading hitter, Walker, who also struck out, ending the threat.
“That’s where you win ball games,” Coach Donna Fields said afterwards. “The ball just didn’t bounce our way the last two days when we needed it to.”
From there Galm took over, allowing just one more hit the rest of the way and not allowing a runner past second base over the final four innings. Galm improved to 31-6 this season with the win.
Magee fell to 30-10, allowing two earned runs on six hits and one walk, while striking out five in the complete game performance.
Four Rattlers were named to the All-South Central Region Tournament team. Magee was named one of the two pitchers on the team, along with Kalm, who was the Most Valuable Pitcher. Magaro, Moore and Saucedo were also named to the team.
St. Mary’s finished the 2007 season with a 45-18 overall record, while Angelo State is 52-11. The Rambelles will advance to the NCAA Division II College World Series in Akron, Ohio, starting on Thursday.