A year removed from a historic season, the Navasota Lady Rattler softball team continues to accomplish huge firsts under Head Coach Jenna Bane.
Navasota enters District 26-4A play with the best start to date in the history of Rattler softball with a 13-3 record and ranked seventh in the state.
Last season, the Lady Rattlers snuck into the playoffs as the fourth-place finisher in their district, but this season Navasota is looking to achieve more.
The road doesn’t get any easier, as two teams from the district are with Navasota sitting among the states’ top 10. Giddings (15-5) is ranked sixth and Bellville (15-4) sits at No. 8.
District play for Navasota began Tuesday in Caldwell (results were not available at press time).
Caldwell enters district at 11-2, LaGrange at 12-6 and Smithville at 3-8.
Fans would be hard pressed to find a blemish in the Lady Rattlers’ lineup, as Navasota has been solid throughout, offensively and defensively.
The Lady Rattlers have bitten teams offensively, featuring six players who have hit for a .300-plus batting average. Navasota’s offense begins with a quick strike from lead-off batter and offensive leader, Mia Nunez. The freshman is 30-46 (.652), including 10 homeruns, a triple, three doubles and 14 RBIs.
Nunez is followed by junior Desiree Calderon 22-44 (.500) with five doubles, 17 RBIs; and sophomore Emily Ripkoski 20-44 (.455) with two HR, three triples and a team-high 20 RBIs.
Senior Alyssa Bustamante hits 14-36 (.389) with 13 RBIs, followed by freshman Isabella Dobajanski 27-45 (.378) with six doubles and 10 RBIs and senior Samantha Harris 15-42 (.357) with one HR, two triples, four doubles and 13 RBIs.
Ripkoski leads the Lady Rattlers in the circle with an 11-2 record and has pitched 68.2 innings with a 3.77 era, striking out 55 and allowing just 37 runs in 15 games. She walked just 24 batters in 15 games.
Navasota also displays blazing speed with 84 stolen bases as a team on the season. They have only been picked off seven times for a .923 percentage. Nunez has swiped 21 bags, followed by Calderon with 19 and Ripkoski with 11. The Lady Rattlers also hit 39 extra base hits.
The Lady Rattlers first home game in district is slated for a 6 p.m. first pitch Tuesday, March 19.