San Antonio – Malissa Magee tossed a four-hitter to tie the school record for wins in a single season and Lindsay Barnes broke the scoreless tie with a two-run single in the sixth as 15th-ranked St. Mary’s University defeated the University of the Incarnate Word, 3-1, and advanced to the Heartland Conference Softball Tournament Championship game in action Friday afternoon at Rattler Field.
Magee (Sr., Katy) was at the top of her game for the second straight day, limiting the Cardinals to just three hits over the first six innings. She had a shutout heading into the bottom of the seventh inning, before running into trouble. Allison Britt smacked a ball through the right side of the infield that got past outfielders, allowing Britt to reach third and Michelle Luna to score, breaking up the shutout. Magee improved to 35-6 on the mound this season, tying the school record for wins with former Rattler Kym Kling.
For five innings the Cardinals Melissa Perez matched Magee, allowing the Rattlers to pick up just one base hit. But the Rattlers finally broke through in the sixth inning. Sarah Cooper (Sr., Houston) reached on an infield single to lead off and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Sade Moore (Jr., Angleton). Mary K Pederson (Sr., Houston) followed with a walk and Barnes (Sr., San Antonio) gave the Rattlers the lead with a single to center, scoring Cooper. The throw home was wild and Pederson also came around to score, giving the Rattlers a 2-0 lead.
One inning later the Rattlers added an insurance run. Lia Provence (Fr., Bastrop) singled to lead off and moved to second on a sacrifice by Kelly Baker (Fr., Arlington). Provence stole third and came home when Nikki Flores hit a sacrifice fly to short right field.
In other action at the tournament on Friday St. Edward’s University eliminated Lincoln University on a one-hit shutout by Robin Becker in a 3-0 lead. The Hilltoppers followed that up with a 6-1 win over Incarnate Word behind the pitching of Diana Cezeaux.
With the win the Rattlers are 52-10 overall this season and have won 16 of their last 17 games. Incarnate Word fell to 31-25. With the results of Friday’s games, St. Mary’s will face St. Edward’s in the Heartland Conference Tournament Championship game, set for 2 p.m. Saturday afternoon at Rattler Field. If the Rattlers lose the game at 2 p.m., the teams will take the field again at 4:30 p.m. to determine the conference champion.
2008 Heartland Conference Tournament
Game 5 – St. Mary’s 3, Incarnate Word 1
Game 6 – St. Edward’s 3, Lincoln 0
Game 7 – St. Edward’s 6, Incarnate Word 1
Game 8 – St. Mary’s vs. St. Edward’s, 2 p.m.
Game 9 (if necessary) – St. Mary’s vs. St. Edward’s, 4:30 p.m.