Austin – Taryn Munoz tossed her third straight shutout, while Alyssa Alfaro hit the game-winning two-run single in the bottom of the sixth inning, lifting St. Mary’s University to a 2-0 win over the University of the Incarnate Word in the opening round of the Heartland Conference Softball Tournament, Thursday afternoon at Diane Daniels Field.

Munoz (Sr., Bulverde, Texas) had only one 1-2-3 inning in the game, working her way into and out of trouble all day, but extended her scoreless innings streak to 19.2 innings with the complete game shutout. Munoz four hits and walked two, while striking out four. She improved to 20-12 with the victory, winning her third straight game.

The teams traded scoreless frames for five-plus innings as Munoz and UIW starter Briana Sanchez each held the opposing team’s offense in check. St. Mary’s finally broke through in the bottom of the sixth inning. Arlynda Flores (Sr., Uvalde, Texas) led off with a single through the left side. Pinch runner Shelly Lee (Fr., San Antonio) moved to third when Kelly Baker’s (Jr., Arlington, Texas) sacrifice bunt was thrown away. Christina Rodriguez (Fr., San Antonio) was then walked to load the bases. That brought up Alfaro (Jr., Eagle Pass, Texas), who drove the ball off the wall in left-centerfield for a two-run single. Sanchez held the Rattlers to two runs, but Munoz retired the Cardinals in order in the seventh inning to seal the victory.

Sanchez fell to 21-8 this season with the loss, allowing two runs on five hits and four walks, while striking out four. Both teams had their opportunities in the game, with the Cardinals leaving nine runners on base, while the Rattlers left seven.

With the win, St. Mary’s is now 32-19 this season and has won four straight games. Incarnate Word fell to 26-23. The Rattlers will return to action on Friday at 10 a.m. against the winner of the St. Edward’s University-Texas A&M International University matchup Thursday afternoon..

TAMIU won the first game of the day, 13-11, against the University of Texas of the Permian Basin.

St. Mary’s 2, Incarnate Word 0 (Apr 29, 2010 at Austin, Texas)
Incarnate Word…… 000 000 0 –  0  4  2      (26-23)
St. Mary’s………. 000 002 X –  2  5  3      (32-19)
Pitchers: Incarnate Word – Briana Sanchez and Kaylen Skinner. St. Mary’s – Taryn Munoz and Kelly Baker.
Win-Taryn Munoz(20-12)  Loss-Briana Sanchez(21-8)  T-1:57  A-225

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