Rattlers Waiting for Regional Tournament: After rolling to their seventh straight Heartland Conference Tournament Championship St. Mary’s will have to cool its heels for the next 10 days as they wait for the South Central Region Tournament to start. St. Mary’s had little trouble claiming the HC Tournament crown, winning three games by a combined 18-4 score. They defeated St. Edward’s 6-0 in the championship game. The NCAA Division II regional sites and competitors will be announced on Monday, May 7. The Rattlers are already assured of a berth with their HC Tournament title. Angelo State looks to be the host of the regional, as they are ranked fourth in the nation and tops in the region heading into the Lone Star Conference Tournament this week.
St. Mary’s vs. Ranked Opponents: The Rattlers have gone 9-6 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 five of their six losses to ranked teams have come by two runs or less with three one-run decisions. They swept a doubleheader against #11 Texas A&M-Kingsville in San Antonio on March, 4-0, 2-0. They also defeated #17 St. Edward’s twice at the Heartland Conference Tournament.
Regional Rankings: The third NCAA South Central Region rankings were announced last week with the Rattlers moving up two spots to fourth. Angelo State remains on top, with Midwestern State second. St. Edward’s is third, just ahead of the Rattlers.
NCAA Statistical Leaders: St. Mary’s continues to rank as one of the top teams in statistical categories in NCAA Division II. Malissa Magee is ranked ninth in the division in wins with 24, seventh in ERA with a 0.68 and 27th in strikeouts with 8.1 per seven innings. Lindsay Barnes is 38th in homeruns, while Brittany Kettinger is 64th in ERA (1.68). As a team the Rattlers are 10th in ERA with a 1.40 and 23rd in fielding with a .965.
St. Mary’s Wins Heartland Conference Tournament for Seventh Straight Year: Malissa Magee tossed a two-hit shutout, while Lindsay Barnes added a three-run homerun to lead St. Mary’s to a convincing 6-0 win over 17th-ranked St. Edward’s, giving the Rattlers their seventh straight Heartland Conference Tournament Championship. Magee was dominant throughout, allowing just five baserunners in the game. No Hilltopper batter advanced past second base in the game and only two reached second base. For the game, Magee allowed two hits and two walks, while striking out nine to improve to 27-8 this season. She won all three St. Mary’s games in the tournament, posting just a 0.70 ERA. For her efforts she was named tournament co-MVP. The Rattlers wasted no time in taking the early lead. Mary K Pederson singled to left to lead off and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Sade Moore. Kelcy Walker singled to right, moving Pederson to second and one batter later Barnes gave the Rattlers the lead with a single to center. From there Magee dueled with Hilltopper pitchers Jennifer Bishop and Courtney Francis for the next four innings. Finally in the fifth inning the Rattlers expanded their lead. Walker gave the Rattlers a 2-0 lead with a single to left, scoring Sarah Cooper. Then Barnes broke the game open with a towering three-run homerun to left-center field, giving St. Mary’s a 5-0 lead. The next inning Jenna Saucedo smashed her first homerun of the season to give the Rattlers the final margin of victory. The Rattlers previously defeated Montana State-Billings 5-3 and St. Edward’s 7-1 to advance to the tournament championship.
Nine Rattlers Earn All-Heartland Conference Honors: Malissa Magee was named Heartland Conference Pitcher of the Year for the third straight season and eight other St. Mary’s University softball players earned all-conference honors. Magee became the first player to earn HC Pitcher of the Year honors three times, edging out Jennifer Bishop of St. Edward’s University for this year’s award. This season Magee is 27-8 with a 0.68 ERA, 26 complete games and 15 shutouts. She has thrown 226.0 innings, allowing just 22 earned runs on 115 hits and 39 walks, while striking out 263. She was named Heartland Conference Tournament MVP and was HC Pitcher of the Week five times this season. Two other Rattlers earned first team All-Heartland honors. Kelcy Walker earned first team honors at catcher. Walker is the leading hitter on the team and second in the Heartland Conference with a .396 batting average. She has 13 doubles, three triples, 10 homeruns, 46 RBI, 49 runs scored, a .686 slugging percentage and a .472 on-base percentage. Her 49 runs scored lead the Heartland Conference. Also earning first team honors at designated player was Lindsay Barnes. She is the second leading hitter on the squad with a .353 batting average, four doubles, 15 homeruns (1st in the HC), 56 RBI, a .647 slugging percentage and a .410 on-base percentage. Barnes helped lead the Rattlers to the Heartland Conference Tournament title, with a three-run homerun in the championship game. Earning first team at-large honors was third baseman Mary K Pederson. Pederson is one of the top defensive third basemen in the region with .951 fielding percentage at the hot corner. She has been equally strong at the plate with a .299 batting average and .410 on-base percentage. Five Rattlers earned second team All-Heartland honors: Brittany Kettinger, Lindsay Magaro, Jenna Saucedo, Sarah Cooper and Sade Moore.
Magee Earns MVP Honors, Four Rattler on HC All-Tournament Team: Four Rattlers were honored as All-Tournament for their play at the Heartland Conference Championships. Malissa Magee was named co-MVP of the Tournament, while Mary K Pederson, Jenna Saucedo and Brittany Kettinger earned all-tournament honors. Magee went 3-0 with a 0.67 ERA and tossed a two-hit shutout in the championship game to earn the MVP. Pederson hit .545 in the tournament and had a perfect fielding percentage at third base. Saucedo hit .556, including her first homerun of the season. Kettinger went 4-of-10 with four runs scored in the tournament.