Hitting the Road: The Rattlers will play their next eight games on the road, starting with a four-game series against Heartland foe Oklahoma Panhandle State this weekend in Goodwell, Okla. The Rattlers are coming off an impressive two-game sweep of Texas A&M-Kingsville on Saturday in which the Rattler offense smacked three homeruns and pitcher Malissa Magee tossed 13 scoreless innings. The sweep came after a six-day layoff for the Rattlers, who had played 17 games in nine days prior to the layoff. St. Mary’s will play only six non-conference games over the final 18 regular season games. Sarah Cooper continues to lead the Rattlers offensively, hitting .363 for the season. Kelcy Walker is batting .345 with seven homeruns and 32 RBI, while Lindsay Barnes is hitting .342 with 11 homeruns and 42 RBI.
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 Oklahoma Panhandle State: The Aggies have struggled to a 4-22 record this season. They started the season by dropping their first 16 games, before taking a four-game series from Texas-Permian Basin. Since then they have lost their last six games. They are 0-10 at home this season and 0-4 in Heartland play, losing all four games against Montana State-Billings at home. As a team the Aggies hit .264 with 23 doubles, 11 homeruns and score an average of 3.2 runs per game. Roxanna Palacios leads the way for the Aggies with a .324 batting average with four doubles and 11 homeruns. On the mound the Aggies have a 7.84 ERA. Rachel Hughes and Teena Joos each have won two games for OPSU this season.
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.
Rattlers Sweep #11 Texas A&M-Kingsville: Malissa Magee tossed back-to-back shutouts, including her first no-hitter of the season, while Kelsey Walker and Lindsay Barnes each hit homeruns to lead the offense, as St. Mary’s rolled past #11 Texas A&M University-Kingsville, 4-0, 2-0. Magee completely dominated the Javs in the second game of the doubleheader. She retired the first 18 batters of the game, before issuing a leadoff walk to Joanna Dorado in the seventh inning. However, she struck out Megan Hall and Quesha Torres to end the threat and the game. The no-hitter was the third of Magee’s career and her first seven-inning no-hitter. Magee was nearly matched by Javelina pitcher Nora Aguilar, but she made one mistake and it cost her and the Javelinas the game. Kelcy Walker smashed a 1-2 offering from Aguilar over the wall in left for a two-run homerun in the first inning for the only runs Magee would need. In game one the Rattlers used the long ball and Magee’s strong pitching to take a 4-0 win. In the bottom of the first inning Walker took a 3-2 pitch from Natalie Jones and sent it 30 feet over the wall in dead centerfield to give the Rattlers an early 1-0 lead. Two innings later Barnes sent Natalie Jones’ offering well over the wall in left, giving the Rattlers a 4-0 lead. From there Magee took over, settling down after a slow start, to allow just five hits and one walk, while striking out six over six innings of work.