San Antonio – As if they needed to prove it again, the St. Mary’s softball team showed once more that it can beat anyone in the country Thursday night.
The Lady Rattlers thumped No. 6 West Texas A&M 5-1 in Game 1 of a doubleheader at St. Mary’s Softball Fields, handing the Lady Buffs just their second loss of the season.
West Texas A&M’s only other loss in an 18-2 season also came to St. Mary’s, which last week handed Angelo State, the nation’s top-ranked team, its lone defeat of the year.
The two schools are a combined 38-3, with all three losses coming to St. Mary’s (15-12).
“Of course we can (beat anyone),” third baseman Chelsea Wenske said. “I have so much faith in my teammates, and personally in myself, that we can walk out there and hand it to anybody that walks on our field.”
West Texas A&M did bounce back in Game 2 of Thursday’s doubleheader, escaping with 1-0 victory.
Emily Brittain went the distance in Game 1, improving to 11-5 after striking out five without any earned runs allowed.
A four-run fourth inning broke open a scoreless deadlock for St. Mary’s, as outfielder Lauren Miller (Sr., Baytown, Texas) hammered a three-run double to cap off the inning. Earlier, Shelly Lee (So., San Antonio) brought in a run on a single.
Lee finished with two RBIs, while Miller went 2 for 4 at the plate.
A pitcher’s duel broke out in Game 2, as Crystal Keller (So., Castroville, Texas) had her best outing of the year against a potent Lady Buffs lineup. Keller struck out five and allowed just four hits in a complete-game showing, but it wasn’t enough to counter the performance put forth by West Texas A&M’s Shelbey Cockrell. Cockrell struck out 16, preventing the Rattlers’ bats from putting any runs on the board to help their pitcher.
The Lady Buffs scored the one and only run in the top of the fifth inning.
Earlier, Chelsea Wenske (Sr., Victoria, Texas) turned three double plays on the day, including twice with bases loaded in Game 2.
The Lady Rattlers open up Heartland Conference play with a single game against Newman University at 4 p.m. Friday at St. Mary’s Softball Fields.