SAN ANGELO – Malissa Magee tossed her third straight complete game, while Sade Moore and Lindsay Barnes each drove in two games, helping 18th-ranked St. Mary’s University to a 4-1 win over St. Edward’s University in the winner’s bracket championship game of the South Central Region Tournament Saturday at the Angelo State University Softball Complex.

Magee (Jr., Houston) allowed just one unearned run on five hits and two walks, while striking out eight to improve to 30-8 overall this season. She has now won her last eight starts and has been the winning pitcher in all three games of the South Central Region Tournament.

The Rattlers took the early lead in the third inning. Sarah Cooper (Jr., Houston) walked to lead off and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Mary K Pederson (Jr., Houston). Moore (So., Angleton) reached on an error by Jennifer Bishop and Lindsay Barnes (Jr., San Antonio) gave the Rattlers a 2-0 lead when she drilled a two-run double to the gap in right-center.

One inning later the Rattlers increased their lead.  Nikki Flores (So., Friendswood) led off with a double and Lindsay Magaro (Sr., Elmendorf) followed with an infield single. St. Edward’s looked to be out of the jam when Jenna Saucedo (So., Elmendorf) lined a fly ball to Kristin Lozano, who threw out Flores trying to score from third. However Cooper singled to left and Pederson walked to load the bases. That brought up Moore, who smacked a single up the middle to score both Magaro and Cooper, giving the Rattlers a 4-0 lead.

But St. Edward’s responded in the bottom of the inning. Jennifer Hollas walked to lead off and Rebecca Ray lined a double off the wall in left, allowing Hollas to score. Lozano then reached on an error by Pederson, putting runners at second and third with no outs. But Magee settled down and struck out both Danielle Mangrum and Melissa McSheffery, then coaxed a ground out by Kaleigh Courville to end the threat.

The Hilltoppers had at least one runner reach in each of the next three innings, but were not able to put one across.

“It seemed really long,” Coach Donna Fields said after the game. “They just kept fighting. We’ve played three days and had three hard-fought games. When you play someone as much as we’ve played St. Edward’s in the last month it’s tough. We came up with some timely hitting and came out on top. It’s a great win for this team.”

“I knew that I had been lagging behind all weekend,” Barnes said. “I knew that if I kept watching, seeing and hitting that it would come and it did for me today.”

With the win the Rattlers improved to 45-16 overall and have won 20 of their last 22 games. St. Edward’s fell to 45-17. St. Mary’s will return to action on Sunday at 4 p.m. when they face the winner of the loser’s bracket championship game. That will be between St. Edward’s and the winner of the Angelo State University-Tarleton State University game, which was not completed at press time Saturday night.

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