St. Mary’s Wins Heartland Softball Tournament
San Antonio – Malissa Magee tossed a two-hit shutout, while Lindsay Barnes added a three-run homerun to lead St. Mary’s University to a convincing 6-0 win over 17th-ranked St. Edward’s University, giving the Rattlers their seventh straight Heartland Conference Tournament Championship, Saturday afternoon at Rattler Field.
Magee (Jr., Houston) 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 (Jr., Houston) singled to left to lead off and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Sade Moore (So., Angleton). Kelcy Walker (Jr., San Antonio) singled to right, moving Pederson to second and one batter later Barnes (Jr., San Antonio) 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. Sarah Cooper (Jr., Houston) singled to right to lead off and Pederson followed with a single of her own. The runners advanced to second and third on another Moore sacrifice. Walker gave the Rattlers a 2-0 lead with a single to left, scoring 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 (So., San Antonio) smashed her first homerun of the season to give the Rattlers the final margin of victory.
Bishop took the loss, falling to 18-8 this season. She allowed one run on four hits in 1.2 innings of work. Francis was touched for five runs on six hits and one walk in 3.2 innings of work.
Mandy Phillips and Jennifer Hollas were the only Hilltoppers to reach base against Magee. For the Rattlers Pederson went 2-of-4 with two runs scored, while Walker was 2-of-3 with an RBI and a run. Barnes went 2-of-3 with four RBI and run. The homerun was her 15th of the season, a team high. She also leads the team in RBI with 56.
The Hilltoppers advanced to the title game after rolling past the University of the Incarnate Word 11-2 in the loser’s bracket final Saturday morning.
St. Mary’s dominated the All-Tournament team, putting four players on, including the co-MVP Magee. Pederson and Saucedo were named to team in the infield, while Brittany Kettinger (Jr., Azle) was a pick in the outfield.
With the win the Rattlers improved to 42-16 overall this season and have won 17 of their last 19 games. St. Edward’s fell to 41-16. Both teams will now wait for the NCAA Division II postseason selections. St. Mary’s clinched the Heartland Conference’s automatic berth into the South Central Region Tournament with the win, while St. Edward’s will have to wait for an at-large berth into the tournament. Selections are announced on Monday, May 7 at 8 a.m. The South Central Region Tournament will be played on May 10-14 at a site to be announced.
All-Heartland Conference Tournament Team
Co-MVPs: Malissa Magee, St. Mary’s; Patty Madera, Incarnate Word
C – Roxanna Palacios, Oklahoma Panhandle State
IF – Mary K Pederson, St. Mary’s
IF – Jenna Saucedo, St. Mary’s
IF – Antonia Ramirez, Oklahoma Panhandle State
IF – Jessica Frank, Montana State-Billings
OF – Jennifer Hollas, St. Edward’s
OF – Brittany Kettinger, St. Mary’s
OF – Trina Stacks, Montana State-Billings
OF – Stacey Segner, Incarnate Word
DP – Jennifer Haacke, Montana State-Billings
P – Jennier Bishop, St. Edward’s