San Antonio – Katie Nichols grand slam keyed a seven-run rally by St. Mary’s University, leading the Rattlers to a split of a Heartland Conference softball doubleheader against the University of the Incarnate Word, 7-3, 12-14, Friday afternoon at St. Mary’s Softball Field.

The Rattlers fell behind in the first inning on a 2-run homerun by Alex Carrman. Cardinal pitcher Briana Sanchez held the Rattlers without a hit for the first four innings. The Rattlers finally broke through in the fifth inning. Chelsea Wenske (Jr., Shiner, Texas) led off with a single to left. Sarah Perez (Fr., San Marcos, Texas) laid down a sacrifice bunt that was bobbled by Monica Acuna, putting two runners on with no outs. Lia Provence singled to right, loading the bases. Katie Nichols (Fr., San Marcos, Texas) then launched her fourth homerun of the season – a grand slam – to give the Rattlers a 4-2 lead.

One inning later, Wenske and Perez both launched homeruns to put the game away for the Rattlers. Taryn Munoz (Sr., Bulverde, Texas) picked up her 17th win of the season, allowing 3 runs on 3 hits in a complete game effort.

In the second game, the Rattlers ran out to a 12-5 lead, but UIW rallied for a 14-12 win.

With the split, St. Mary’s is now 28-14 overall and 13-1 in Heartland Conference play. With Texas A&M International University sweeping a doubleheader at St. Edward’s University Friday, the Rattlers are now for first place in the league standings with TAMIU. UIW is now 21-18, 9-4. The teams will wrap up their three-game series with a single game on Saturday, starting at 1 p.m. at St. Mary’s University Softball Field.

St. Mary’s (Texas) 7, Incarnate Word 3 (Apr 09, 2010 at San Antonio, TX) (Game 1)
Incarnate Word…… 200 000 1 –  3  3  2      (20-18, 8-4)
St. Mary’s (Texas).. 000 043 X –  7  8  1      (28-13, 13-0)
Pitchers: Incarnate Word – Briana Sanchez; Athea Surface(6) and Kaylen Skinner. St. Mary’s (Texas) – Taryn Munoz and Kelly Baker.
Win-Taryn Munoz(17-6)  Loss-Briana Sanchez(16-6)  T-1:41  A-250
HR UIW – Alex Carraman; Lea Padilla.
HR StMU – Katie Nichols; Chelsea Wenske; Sarah Perez.

Incarnate Word 14, St. Mary’s (Texas) 12 (Apr 09, 2010 at San Antonio, TX) (Game 2)
Incarnate Word…… 230 006 3 – 14 13  0      (21-18, 9-4)
St. Mary’s (Texas).. 600 420 0 – 12 15  3      (28-14, 13-1)
Pitchers: Incarnate Word – Athea Surface; Lea Padilla(1); JudyAnn Gonzales(5); Briana Sanchez(6) and Sarah Holub; Kaylen Skinner. St. Mary’s (Texas) – Crystal Keller; Taryn Munoz(6); Arlynda Flores(7) and Christian Rodriguez.
Win-Briana Sanchez(17-6)  Loss-Taryn Munoz(17-8)  T-2:55  A-250
HR UIW – Alex Carraman; Lea Padilla 2; Melanie Padilla; Monica Acuna.
HR StMU – Sarah Perez.
C. Keller faced 5 batters in the 6th.

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