San Antonio – Alex Carraman hit a three-run homerun and Lea Padilla limited St. Mary’s University to just five hits over six innings as the University of the Incarnate Word advanced to the Heartland Conference Tournament Championship game with a 5-3 win Friday afternoon at Rattler Field.

The Cardinals started the game with four straight hits off St. Mary’s starter Taryn Munoz (Jr., Bulverde), with Carraman smashing her 11th homerun of the season to give the Cardinals the early 3-0 lead.

In the bottom of the first the Rattlers responded. Kelly Baker (So., Arlington) smacked an RBI single to make it a 3-1 game and Arlynda Flores (Jr., Uvalde) followed with her 24th homerun of the season, tying the game at 3-3. That bomb tied the St. Mary’s single-season school record and also tied her first first in the nation in homeruns this season.

In the second inning the Cardinals continued their hot hitting, putting up two more runs, this time against Flores, who took over on the mound. Carolina Flores singled home a run and Carraman drove in her fourth run of the game with a sacrifice fly to make it 5-3.

After that the game went from a shootout to a pitchers duel as Padilla and Flores traded goose-eggs for the next five innings. After allowing two hits and three runs in the first inning Padilla allowed just three more over the final five innings. Flores allowed three hits in the second inning, but allowed just three more over the final five innings to keep the Rattlers in the game.

Heather Monre (Jr., New Braunfels) singled to lead off in the seventh inning, chasing Padilla. Amanda Sparks then came in and retired the final three Rattler batters to pick up her fifth save of the season. Padilla improved to 11-18 with the win.

St. Mary’s saw its season come to an end with the loss. They finished 32-32. UIW is now 28-32 and will face St. Edward’s University in the Heartland Conference Championship game at noon on Saturday.

Incarnate Word 5, St. Mary’s 3 (May 01, 2009 at San Antonio, TX)
Weather: Clear, Sunny and Hot

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