San Antonio – Rounding first base after homering Saturday, St. Mary’s softball senior Richelle Morales pointed toward family and friends standing behind the right-field wall where her home-run ball had landed.

It was that kind of afternoon for the Rattlers, as they won a doubleheader over rival Texas A&M International to sweep the three-game series at St. Mary’s Softball Field.

Jumping to a 9-0 first-inning lead, the Rattlers (25-16 overall) won Game 1 12-8 before taking Game 2 2-0 behind a 10-strikeout performance from freshman pitcher Vianna Gutierrez (Fr., San Antonio) on Senior Day.

Sandwiched between the wins was a special ceremony commemorating the carers of seniors Morales (San Antonio), catcher Stacey Moss (San Antonio), utility player Kristi Candelaria (El Paso, Texas) and outfielder Caroline Flores (San Antonio).

Said Gutierrez of a freshman like herself coming through for the seniors: “The freshmen have been working hard all year. It’s paying off.”

With the wins, St. Mary’s (7-2 in Heartland Conference) moved three games past Texas A&M International (13-30 overall) for second place in the conference. St. Mary’s remains one game behind St. Edward’s in the league standings.

In Game 1, Taylor Vidrine (Fr., San Antonio), Christina Rodriguez (Jr., San Antonio) and Morales all homered in the first inning to build a massive nine-run lead early, which the Rattlers clawed to maintain the rest of the way.

Ace Emily Brittain (So., Corpus Christi) picked up the win in the game, improving to 12-3 on the season.

The games are expected to be the last to be played at St. Mary’s Softball Field, which will soon undergo construction to begin renovations for the new outdoor sports complex. St. Mary’s will play its final home game against Incarnate Word later this month at a to-be-determined site off campus.

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