San Antonio – After a literally perfect game Friday to seal two victories over the University of Texas-Permian Basin, the Rattlers fell Saturday in the final game of the series. But they still were sure to bring all the excitement and action they’ve become known for.
The close-out game of the three-game series against the Rattlers (21-15, 5-2) and the Falcons (10-20, 3-3) went down to the wire with each inning heating up more and more that kept Rattler fans cheering for a comeback victory, only to be stifled, 7-5.
Emily Brittain (So., Corpus Christi, Texas), who pitched a perfect game Friday for her second no-hitter of the season, started again on the mound Saturday but was shortly replaced by Maricela Bissaro (So., San Antonio) after two innings. The Rattlers held the Falcons to zero runs in both Game One and Two Friday, but quickly saw a recharged Falcon team Saturday as they put up two runs off a throwing error in the top of the second. With a perfect game that ended on a run-rule and another shutout in Game Two, the final game had the Rattlers questioning what went wrong.
“Honestly I have no idea,” says catcher Christina Rodriguez. “It was just a really different ballgame today. It comes down to being mentally prepared and I don’t think we were ready for that today.”
It was suddenly the Rattlers on the scoreless trek as the Falcons scored two more runs in fourth to lead it 4-0. But St. Mary’s came out in true Rattler fashion in the bottom of the fifth to rally for three runs with a double from Richelle Morales (Sr., San Antonio) for two RBIs and a single from Katie Nichols (Jr., San Marcos, Texas) for the final run, all with two outs against them.
St. Mary’s now trailed by one, 4-3, going into the bottom of the sixth in what could’ve been its last at-bat of the game. Again with two outs against them, a single from Vianna Gutierrez (Fr., San Antonio) put the tying run on as Rodriguez (Jr., San Antonio) stepped up to the plate. Rodriguez smashed a two-run homer that brought the Rattlers in the lead, 5-4.
Her crowd-jarring homer had the potential as the game-winner, but a recharged Falcon team remained so and scored three runs in the seventh to silence the smash hit with a 7-5 victory.
The loss doesn’t take away from the clutch two-shot homer from Rodriguez, however, and the protector of the plate is already in the mindset for the Rattlers’ next battle.
“We practice a lot of hours a day everyday,” says Rodriguez, who has 10 RBIs for the yea. “So we have the physical part down. We just need to come out mentally prepared and be able to come up whenever we do make those errors. Just coming up as a team together, fighting for what we want.”
The Rattlers will take on their next game without the comforts of home Tuesday against non-conference Angelo State in San Angelo, Texas at 4 p.m.