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Shortstop Ava Serna makes the tag in San Marcos’ latest home game against the New Braunfels Unicorns. The Rattlers completed a two out rally to stun East Central 2-1.
Daily Record photo by Gerald Castillo

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Head Coach Cathy Stroughton holds a team meeting with the infielders in the Rattlers game against New Braunfels.
Daily Record photo by Gerald Castillo

Rattlers win snaps three skid against East Central

Thursday, March 30, 2023

San Marcos snapped a three game losing streak with a late home run in the seventh inning as the Rattlers topped the East Central Hornets 2-1.

It has been a painful losing streak for Head Coach Cathy Stroughton as the Rattlers suffered from three very tough defeats.

“It seemed like we hadn’t had the best of luck even though you don’t want to attribute things to luck,” Stroughton said. “Against Judson, we lost on a blooper that was hit in the right spot. We had some close ball games and been in every ball game so we finally got some things to go our way.”

The victory was a massive one for the Rattlers as not only did San Marcos nab the road win to start a three game road trip but also held an East Central team that had scored a combined 28 runs over their past two games.

“It was a huge win for us,” Stroughton said. “To be on the road to start our road trip and pick that victory was important. East Central is a formidable opponent and a great squad. It was a testament to (Addy) on how well she pitched considering East Central run-ruled their last two opponents.”

District 27 in softball has been a gauntlet for all six teams involved with every team having defeated an opponent as the race for the playoffs goes into the final stretch of district play.

For the Rattlers, the season is now all about focusing on one opponent at a time but still learning from their mistakes.

“In this district, you have to show up every night,” Stroughton said. “Everybody can play ball so you are challenged every time you step out onto the dugout. We did have a rough night against New Braunfels based on some defensive mistakes, not hitting the ball well as we should have and stranding too many runners on base. It was a combination of things.”

One of the focuses during practice leading up to the game was getting runners on base.

“We told the girls that in this district you have to play game to game,” Stroughton said. “When you are trailing 5-0, you can’t win the game on just one home run and one swing. You have to get baserunners on from station to station… All our focus shifted to from the mistakes we made against New Braunfels and looking at what kind of team we are going to face in East Central.”

Because of the amount of parity with the standings from all six teams, the race towards the playoffs will be heated.

“In a district of six teams with the fact that anyone can beat anyone, nobody is out of it,” Stroughton said. ‘That is what is instilled in them when we fall behind in a game that you are never out of until the final out. … The way they are battling considering how things have been going is good.”

After trailing for the majority of the game following an inside-the-park home run, San Marcos was down to their final out in the top of the seventh inning.

Jessica DeLeon was able to give the Rattlers hope as the catcher sent the ball back up the middle for a massive two-out hit to represent the tying run on base.

Following the single, first baseman Lina Alvarez flipped the entire game on its head with an enormous two-run home run with two outs as the Rattlers took their first lead of the game at 2-1.

“To see the girls as excited as they were was so clutch, Stroughton said. “For Lina to stay calm in that situation, not let the stress get to her, pick a good pitch to swing at and to see it go over the fence was the right moment.”

Starting pitcher Adelaida Sierra then closed out the contest in the bottom of the seventh for the complete game finish, allowing just six hits, one run, and throwing 13 strikeouts.

“It is really nice to have someone of her caliber and composure in the circle,” Stroughton said. “When she throws, she is going to keep us in every ballgame” San Marcos goes back on the road to close the second round of district play Friday night as the Rattlers travel to Schertz Clemens to battle the Buffaloes.

First pitch in at 7 p.m.

cmcwilliams Twitter@ColtomBMc

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