March 23, 2012
San Antonio – It can’t get any more perfect than a no-hitter – besides a perfect game, of course. Not to mention a run-rule victory.
For the first time in her career, Rattler ace Emily Brittain pitched a perfect game Friday against the University of Texas-Permian Basin, never allowing a Falcon on base in her second no-hitter of the season.
Brittain is an arm that lasts, going the distance for eight of her 15 appearances before Friday and shutting the Falcons down in just five innings with the help of Rattler sluggers at the plate in an 8-0 run-rule victory.
“It feels good,” says the humble, 5-foot-10 slinger. “The defense backed me up really well in five innings and who knows what could’ve happened in the sixth and seventh inning. So my team came in for me.”
The Rattlers in the dirt helped Brittain defensively as only two balls were shot beyond the infield, keeping the game close to her and her Rattler basemen to deny any Falcon to touch a bag. Snags and clean throws certainly launched Brittain for perfection, but her stats and performance proves her consistency and heater are rough to contend with at the plate.
The sophomore is now pinching a 2.74 ERA after her perfect game Friday over a total of 95.1 innings pitched for the season. Her fourth shutout of the year came with two strikeouts, bringing her total to 63. With four shutouts, two no-hitters and a perfect game under her cleats, Brittain’s more promising stat is her two more years left to go.
“Shoot, more than anything I just want the team to win,” says Brittain, who now has a 9-3 win-loss record. “I mean, if it’s a no-hitter it’s a no-hitter, but the main thing is the win for the team. I just want the team to come together and get the wins like we have been.”
Brittain’s perfect game and stellar performance from her fellow teammates charged St. Mary’s (21-14, 5-1) for a second win over the Falcons (9-20, 2-3) in Game Two Friday, 2-0. The mound continued to blaze as freshman Vianna Gutierrez (San Antonio) pinched her second shutout with seven strikeouts.
Senior Richelle Morales (San Antonio) went 1.000 in Game One, pounding three hits for three RBIs including her walk-off single in the fifth that propelled the Rattlers to their sixth run-rule victory. The Rattlers’ leadoff hitter and leader in batting average remained so as Shelly Lee Zawadzki (Jr., San Antonio) pelted a triple in the fourth for another St. Mary’s run. Game Two saw seven Rattler hits whose two runs came off the throw in the third after Gutierrez’s bunt, giving the pitcher two RBIs for her 20th on the year.
It was a pitcher’s show for St. Mary’s Friday with Brittain leading the way with a perfect game that has the Rattlers sitting pretty in the Heartland Conference standings in a tie for the top seed.
The Rattlers will finish their three-game series against the Falcons Saturday at the St. Mary’s softball field at 12 p.m.