San Antonio – If it’s not one freshman, it’s another for the St. Mary’s softball team.

And on Friday, the freshest face to star was Vianna Gutierrez, who went 3 for 3 at the plate with three RBIs in a 10-2, run-rule victory over Oklahoma Panhandle State in the Heartland Conference opener.

Gutierrez (Fr., San Antonio), a pitcher who stays in the lineup as a designated player on her “off” days,” is hitting .400 on the season with 17 RBIs, totals that only soared Friday at St. Mary’s Softball Field.

But it’s not as if Gutierrez is a solo act from within the Rattlers’ (16-13, 1-0) freshman class.

First baseman Taylor Vidrine (Fr., San Antonio), the reigning Heartland Conference Player of the Week, has 16 RBIs and four home runs on the season – three of which have come in the past four days. She added two more runs to her season stats on Friday.

Third baseman Nicole Sardelich (Fr., Angleton, Texas) is hitting .378 with 14 RBIs, and the defensive stalwart added to those numbers with a 1-for-3 showing at the plate against Panhandle State.

Then there’s Alex Rodriguez (Fr., Eagle Pass, Texas), the new starting second baseman, who scored a run and drew two walks; Haley Richter (Fr., Hondo, Texas), the valuable bench player who had an RBI in her only at-bat Friday, and has four RBIs in seven at-bats this year; and base runner Amanda Villa (Fr., San Antonio), who was again called to run the bases against the Aggies.

See a trend?

But the Rattlers have more than freshman, as senior shortstop Richelle Morales (Sr., San Antonio) drove in two runs before leaving with injury, and sophomore pitcher Maricela Bissaro (So., San Antonio) improved to 6-1 on the season with a five-strikeout performance.

A five-run second inning helped put away the game for the Rattlers, as they went on to officially seal the deal with two more runs in the fifth that gave them the required 10-run cushion to call the game.

The Rattlers will be back in action Saturday to close out the series in a doubleheader beginning at 11 a.m. at the St. Mary’s Softball Field.

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