March 14, 2012
ABILENE, Texas – After a marathon doubleheader Tuesday that saw extra innings and big bats, the Rattlers barely had time to reflect – much less recover – as they hit the road the very next day to battle another doubleheader, falling to Abilene Christian in both games Wednesday.
Game One saw the same swings as the doubleheader on Tuesday did, as the Rattlers (15-13) smashed 11 hits for seven runs that included three Rattlers going yard Wednesday after combining for 14 hits and four home runs over two games the day before.
But while the bats were certainly connecting for St. Mary’s, they didn’t draw enough runs, falling 8-7 in Game One and 2-1 in Game Two on Wednesday.
There is light through the losses, however.
Freshman Taylor Vidrine (San Antonio) has quickly come to the radar after homering twice Tuesday, only to do it again Wednesday against Abilene Christian (17-4) by going yard in the third for three RBIs. The newcomer leads the team in RBIs along with Jared Gonzalez (Jr., San Antonio) with 16, followed closely behind by another new face. Freshman pinch hitter Vianna Gutierrez (San Antonio), who also pitches for the Rattlers, pelted a homer as well in Game One – following her grand slam from the day before to bring her season RBI tally to 14.
But that’s not all. Alex Rodriguez’s (Eagle Pass, Texas) time at the plate showcased another home run, and from yet another freshman. But the show of talent from the Rattlers’ youngest players couldn’t cover up the error in the final inning that gave Abilene Christian the go-ahead run for the 8-7 win.
Game Two proved the Rattlers weren’t shaken by the loss, remaining confident at the plate for eight hits. Shelly Lee Zawadzki (Jr., San Antonio) nearly went a thousand, going 3-4 with the bat that picked up St. Mary’s only run in the 2-1 loss. Senior Richelle Morales (San Antonio) picked up two hits, and Christina Rodriguez (Jr., San Antonio) and Katie Nichols (Jr., San Marcos, Texas) sliced a double each.
Game Two again went down to the wire as the bottom of the seventh saw another tie ball game. But it proved pressure is Abilene Christian’s game, as the Wildcats closed out with a walk-off single for the win.
While St. Mary’s took two losses on the road Wednesday, its game play is statistically hinting at a successful season and promising years ahead. The Rattlers will see how well they perform when Heartland Conference games are on the line as they take on their first conference play of the season Friday against Oklahoma Panhandle State at 12 p.m. on the St. Mary’s Softball Field.