Lady Rattlers show growth in Bryan

Photo by Gerald Castillo

High School Softball

San Marcos played a brutal schedule to begin its season.

The Lady Rattlers started the season with their first home win in six years over Westlake, 16-6, on Feb. 14. San Marcos, however, suffered a setback at the Bryan Tournament after finishing 1-5.

But head coach Cathy Stoughton said playing in this weekend’s tournament will help the team grow as the season progresses.

“I’m a firm believer that you play up to your competition,” Stoughton said. “Especially when you have a young and inexperienced team, and you have a lot of people in a lot of new places, you have to throw them to the wolves. They have to play against teams that are going to exploit every mistake and exploit every weakness, and expose every weakness that you have so you know what you have to work on.”

San Marcos began tournament play with an 8-4 win over Manvel, where it received a three-hit and two RBI performance from junior McKayla Sepeda, a two RBI outing from senior Maegan Delgado and two hits from senior Olivia Lantigua.

But the Lady Rattlers dropped their next game 13-2 to Brazoswood. San Marcos followed the loss with an 11-5 defeat against Midland. The Lady Rattlers led 5-4 after four innings but Midland scored the game's final seven runs to claim the game 11-5.

San Marcos dropped an evenly matched game against Tomball, 5-4 after allowing the game’s final two runs in the third inning. The Lady Rattlers fell to Paschal, 3-2 and then lost its final tournament game against Oak Ridge, 3-1.

Stoughton said facing tough competition at the Bryan Tournament was important for her team. She said San Marcos faced three district champions, two regional quarterfinalists and one area finalist during tournament play.

“We go to Bryan every year because it’s one of the best tournaments, the premier tournaments, in the state,” Stoughton said. “There are no 'gimmie' games there.”

Stoughton’s Lady Rattlers are a young squad that includes four freshmen and three sophomores. She said inexperience gave San Marcos trouble during its time in Bryan.

“We have a lot of young kids and that’s what’s hurting us right now is inexperience,” Stoughton said. “A couple throwing errors that cost us some pretty big bases, people forgetting to back up, you know, little things. But when you play teams of that caliber, they make you pay for it.”

But Stoughton said Lantigua, Delgado and sophomore Ysi Gonzalez have stepped up early this season. Lantigua currently has .550 bating average, Delgado leads the team in RBIs and Gonzalez has a .333 RBI with eight runs scored.

Despite the record after the first week of play, Stoughton believes her young team has done a good job thus far.

“We’re kind of finding our footing right now,” Stoughton said. “But the kids know now after this brutal week after playing Westlake and then going to Bryan that we can compete and we just have to believe we can compete. We have a lot of new faces and we’re still trying to find our lineup. But the kids are playing good ball.”

San Marcos Daily Record

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