San Antonio – The St. Mary’s softball team made it look easy against Incarnate Word in Game 1 of Wednesday’s doubleheader. But the Cardinals made Game 2 a little tougher.

St. Mary’s won its seventh in a row with a 6-1 victory over UIW, but the Cardinals rebounded to take the nightcap 12-6 before nearly 200 fans at the SAISD Sports Complex.

Emily Brittain (So., Corpus Christi, Texas) fanned seven in the victory to improve to 14-3 this season, while centerfielder Katie Nichols (Jr., San Marcos, Texas) led the way at the plate with a two-RBI effort on a 2-for-3 outing.

Breaking open a 1-1 deadlock, the Rattlers exploded with three runs in the fourth before tacking on two more in the fifth to run away with the game.

But it was Incarnate Word (23-21) who ran away with things in Game 2.

St. Mary’s led 3-1 after three, but a wild and weird fifth inning saw Incarnate Word score seven runs to take a commanding lead. Four more Cardinal runs in the sixth all but put it away at 12-5.

In the fifth, UIW strung together seven hits, doing most of the damage with two outs as Maricela Bissaro (So., San Antonio) relieved the reigning Heartland Conference Pitcher of the Week, Vianna Gutierrez (Fr., San Antonio), against the red-hot Cardinal bats. But everything went UIW’s way, as one dribbling single even took a sidewinding hop with the kind of English usually seen in a pool hall to skip past the glove of the Rattlers’ second baseman.

Nichols was also the Rattlers’ leading run producer in Game 2, where she came away with two more RBIs to finish with four on the night.

The action marked the regular-season home finale for the Rattlers (27-19), who will now prepare for a pivotal weekend “Battle of the Saints” series with St. Edward’s.

At stake? Only the Heartland Conference regular-season crown, as the squads enter the regular-season-ending three-game series with matching 10-2 records in league play.

The series will get underway at 1 p.m. Friday in Austin, Texas.

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