Rattlers Return Home to Wrap up Home Slate: St. Mary’s returns from a two-week road trip to wrap up regular season home play this week against Incarnate Word and Texas-Permian Basin. The had their entire four-game series against Montana State-Billings snowed out, after losing a game the previous weekend to weather at Oklahoma Panhandle State. The Rattlers should be well-rested as they will have not played a game in nearly 10 days. St. Edward’s continues to lead the Heartland standings with a 13-1 record, while the Rattlers are second with an 8-3 mark. MSUB is third at 6-5 and UIW is fourth at 6-6. All six schools that sponsor softball will be in San Antonio for the Heartland Tournament on April 26-28.
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 Incarnate Word: After a horrendous 4-18 start to the season the Cardinals have started to right themselves, winning 12 of their last 16 games, including a four-game sweep of Lincoln last weekend at home. As a team they hit .276 with 27 doubles, 10 homeruns and an average of 3.84 runs scored per game. Melissa Perez is the leading hitter on the squad, batting .380 with nine doubles, three homeruns, 21 RBI and 12 runs scored. Ali Britt is hitting .353 with 22 stolen bases and 27 runs scored. On the mound the Cardinals have a 3.46 ERA with 24 complete games and four shutouts. However, opposing batters hit .289 against them. Perez is also the leader on the mound with a 6-13 record, a 2.64 ERA and 14 complete games.
St. Mary’s vs. Incarnate Word: Since the 1995 season the Rattlers own a commanding 42-18 edge in the series between the teams. St. Mary’s is 23-6 at home and 16-10 at UIW. In neutral sites games the series is 3-2. St. Mary’s swept a doubleheader between the teams earlier this season, 1-0, 4-0. 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.
About Texas-Permian Basin: The Falcons have an 11-20 record in their first season as a provisional NCAA Division II member. However, they are 1-10 away from home this season. Their strength has been their hitting as they bat .307 with 37 doubles, 21 doubles and nearly five runs per game in 31 games. However, they have just a 5.96 ERA on the mound. Opposing batters hit .335 against them. Cristan Hogan leads the team with an 8-10 overall record with a 5.01 ERA in 21 appearances. They have struggled in the field with a .911 fielding percentage, including 78 errors.
St. Mary’s vs. Texas-Permian Basin: This will be the first-ever meeting between the teams.
Rattlers Snowed Out in Montana: For the second straight day snow in western Montana forced the cancellation of the Heartland Conference softball doubleheader between St. Mary’s and Montana State-Billings. With the cancellation Friday the series between the teams has officially been postponed. No make up date has been set for the series, which will likely not be made up. MSUB has had nine of 10 scheduled home games cancelled so far this season.
Magee Named Heartland Pitcher of the Week for Fifth Time: St. Mary’s University pitcher Malissa Magee continued her assault on opponents this season and was rewarded for her play with her fifth Heartland Conference Pitcher of the Week award, it was announced by the conference office recently. Magee went 2-0 with a 0.47 ERA in 15.0 innings of work against Oklahoma Panhandle State University on March 30-31. She allowed just four hits and three walks, while striking out 19 OPSU batters. She tossed her third one-hitter of the season in the series opener, allowing just one hit and one walk, while striking out 11. She followed that up by allowing just one run, on an illegal pitch, in eight innings of work in the series finale. She allowed just three hits and two walks, while striking out eight in the win.