LAREDO, Texas – Look who’s leading the Heartland Conference.

And look who is one victory short of career win No. 600.

Storming past the previously league-leading Texas A&M International Dustdevils for 4-0 and 8-2 victories on Friday, the Lady Rattlers moved atop the conference with a near-perfect 10-1 record.

The victories put coach Donna Fields’ career mark at 599-247 in 14 seasons at the helm.

Catcher Kelly Baker (Sr., Arlington Texas) led the Rattlers (29-14 overall) with a solo shot for a 1-0 lead in the third, and later added to her day with a two-RBI double in the fifth. Outfielder Lauren Miller (Sr., Baytown, Texas) homered in the seventh to put St. Mary’s up 4-0.

Ace Emily Brittain (Fr., Corpus Christi, Texas) went the distance for the complete-game shutout. She struck out four and gave up six hits.

Texas A&M International dropped to 22-24 overall, with a 9-2 record in conference play following the two defeats.

In Game 2, St. Mary’s overcame a 2-1 deficit in the second with a four-run third inning. The Rattlers never looked back, tacking on another run in the fourth and adding two more in the sixth.

First baseman Jared Gonzalez (So., San Antonio) went 2 for 3 with two RBIs and a run scored, while freshman pitcher Maricela Bissaro (San Antonio) blasted a solo home run in the fourth. Bissaro picked up the victory to improve to 7-4 on the season, striking out three and scattering six hits and yielding two earned runs over six innings. Crystal Keller (So., Castroville, Texas) pitched one scoreless inning in relief.

St. Mary’s will wrap up the three-game series at 1 p.m. Saturday, giving the Rattlers a chance to enhance their newfound leader-of-the-pack status — and giving Fields a shot at No. 600.

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