Las Vegas – Heather Haas hit a grand slam to complete a rally from eight runs down, helping St. Mary’s University to an 11-10 win over New Mexico Highlands on the second day of the Desert Stinger Softball Classic, played at Majestic Park.

The first game of the day, against Western New Mexico University, went smoothly for the Rattlers, who ran out to a 9-0 lead in the second inning and then rode the strong pitching of Taryn Munoz (Sr., Bulverde, Texas) to a 10-3 win. Munoz made just one mistake in the game, allowing a 3-run homerun to Kortney Smith, but finished by allowing five hits and no walks, while striking out a career-high 12 batters. Munoz improved to 4-0 this season and has four complete games. Offensively, Christina Rodriguez (Fr., San Antonio) continued her hot hitting, going 3-for-4 with two RBI.

The second game of the day saw the Rattlers fall behind 10-2 after three-and-a-half innings. Haas (Fr., Shiner, Texas) took over in the fifth inning and shut down New Mexico Highlands University for the final four innings, giving the Rattlers a chance to rally. The rally started in the bottom of the fourth inning with four runs, thanks in part to four walks and two wild pitches by NMHU pitching. That cut the deficit to four at 10-6. The score remained that way until the bottom of the seventh inning.

Rodriguez walked to lead off the inning and one out later, Alyssa Alfaro (Jr., Eagle Pass, Texas) followed with a walk. Sarah Perez (Fr., San Marcos, Texas) loaded the bases with the third walk of the inning. That brought up Haas, who made her first collegiate homerun a memorable one, tying the game at 10-10. One inning later, the Rattlers wrapped up the win. Kelly Baker (Jr., Arlington, Texas) smacked a one-out single to right, scoring Lauren Miller (Jr., Baytown, Texas) with the winning run. Haas improved to 4-0 this season with the win, allowing just 1 hit and 1 walk in 4.0 innings of work.

With the wins, St. Mary’s is now 9-0 this season, the best start in school history. The 2001 team won its first eight games, the previous best start in school history. The Rattlers will finish play at the Desert Stinger Classic on Sunday, when they face the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs at noon.

St. Mary’s (Texas) 10, Western New Mexico 3 (Feb 13, 2010 at Las Vegas)

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