KINGSVILLE, Texas – When the Heartland Conference named St. Mary’s pitcher Emily Brittain the Pitcher of the Week on Tuesday evening, the league might have jumped the gun a bit.
Brittain’s best was yet to come.
The sophomore hurler had a career night Tuesday, striking out 11 in a 4-0, no-hit victory over Texas A&M-Kingsville in the front end of a doubleheader at Hubert Field.
The performance came hours after Brittain (So., Corpus Christi, Texas) was honored by the conference for last week’s effort, in which she shut down No. 19 Tampa in a 1-0 victory that featured 10 strikeouts.
Picking up from where Brittain left off, freshman pitcher Vianna Gutierrez capped off the night by fanning nine in a 2-0 shutout of Kingsville that gave the Rattlers (8-5) the sweep.
In both games, all the Rattlers needed was a single inning of offensive production to assist their red-hot pitchers.
In Game 1, St. Mary’s struck for four runs in the top of the third. Katie Nichols (Jr., San Marcos, Texas) tripled to drive in a run, while Jared Gonzalez (Jr., San Antonio) doubled moments later to drive in two more. Richelle Morales (Sr., San Antonio) capped the scoring with an RBI double to left-center field.
It was another extra-bases hit doing the damage in Game 2, this time off the bat of Gutierrez (Fr., San Antonio), who helped her own cause in the circle with a two-RBI double to center field with two out in the top of the first.
With the no-hitter, Brittain becomes the second pitcher on the Rattlers’ staff to have achieved the feat, following behind fellow sophomore Maricela Bissaro (So., San Antonio), who achieved the feat last season.
The Rattlers, winners of five of their last six, will head to Denton, Texas this weekend for 2012 Best Western Premier Spring Fling, hosted by Texas Woman’s University.