The San Marcos Rattlers didn’t merely survive the first round of the high school softball playoffs, but they flew right through it, setting up a three-game second round series this weekend against San Antonio O’Connor in the second round.
The Rattlers (21-8) and O’Connor (24-7) will play a best-of-three series at Seguin, beginning Friday night at 7 p.m. Game 2 will take place Saturday at 5 p.m., also at Seguin, with the third game, if necessary, to be played Saturday at 7 p.m.
The Rattlers entered the playoffs as the third-place team from District 25-5A, so their 12-3 victory over Judson qualifies as an upset. The Rockets entered the playoffs as the runner-up from District 26-5A.
San Marcos (21-8) crushed Converse Judson, 12-3, in the first round of the playoffs last Friday night.
The Rattlers had every facet of their game working, particularly the bats. Katie Nichols, Katie Polk and Sarah Perez all went three-for-five against Judson, while Jordan Castilla, Meagan Villegas and Daisy Valero all were two-for-four.
San Marcos pitcher Dawn Villegas continued her outstanding pitching for San Marcos, allowing only five hits while striking out six Judson hitters. Villegas has whiffed 204 opposing hitters this season.
O’Connor constitutes a different kind of challenge. Though the Panthers finished fourth in District 28-5A, they finished the regular season ranked seventh in the San Antonio area by the San Antonio Express-News, then ousted District 27-5A winner Victoria Memorial last weekend by winning two of three in the first round of the playoffs.
The Panthers won the opener, 6-3, then lost the second game, 2-1, before a four-run outburst in the first inning combined with savvy pitching by freshman pitcher Meagan Ramirez for a 5-4 win in the rubber game.