Austin, Texas – Alex Garcia’s bases-loaded walk with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning scored the winning run and lifted St. Mary’s University to a 7-6 victory over St. Edward’s University in the 2010 Heartland Conference Softball Tournament, played Saturday afternoon at Diane Daniels Field.

The Rattlers led 6-2 after the fourth inning, but the Hilltoppers rallied for four runs over the next two innings, tying the game at 6-6, entering the seventh inning. Kelly Baker (Jr., Arlington, Texas) led off the inning by walking and Christina Rodriguez (Fr., San Antonio) followed with a walk of her own. The runners moved to second and third on a sacrifice bunt. SEU pitcher Paige Sandahl then walked Chelsea Wenske (Jr., Shiner) to load the bases. After Sarah Perez (Fr., San Marcos, Texas) struck out, Garcia (Fr., San Antonio) stepped up to the plate. Garcia fell behind in the 1-2, and then took three straight pitches out of the zone to force home the game-winning run.

The Rattlers fell behind 2-0 after the first inning, but Lauren Miller (Jr., Baytown, Texas) led the Rattlers back. Katie Nichols (Fr., San Marcos, Texas) walked to lead off and Miller followed with her third homerun of the season to left-centerfield. That started a five-run inning, with Arlynda Flores (Sr., Uvalde, Texas) smacking a solo homerun as well. One inning later, Miller smacked her second homerun of the game in the fourth inning to give the Rattlers the 6-2 lead.

Taryn Munoz (Sr., Bulverde, Texas) was named Tournament MVP after picking up her third win of the tournament. She allowed six runs on 10 hits and five walks, while striking out six. She threw all 21 innings of the Rattlers three games in the tournament. She is now 22-12 overall this season and has won her last five decisions.

The Heartland Conference Championship is the ninth in 10 years for St. Mary’s. The Rattlers are 30-3 all-time in Heartland Conference Tournament play. With the win, St. Mary’s is now 34-19, while St. Edward’s fell to 35-20. The Rattlers will return to action in two weeks when they open play at the NCAA South Central Region Tournament. Exact dates and the tournament site will be announced on May 8.

Heartland Conference All-Tournament Team
Most Outstanding Player – Taryn Munoz, StMU

P-Taryn Munoz, StMU
P- Victoria Beltran, TAMIU
C-Kelly Baker, StMU
INF-Melanie Padilla, UIW
INF-Arlynda Flores, StMU
INF-Chelsea Wenske, StMU
INF-Angel Montejano, TAMIU
OF-Meagen Biley, SEU
OF-Lana Jo Hairston, SEU
OF-Lauren Miller, StMU
DP-Stacy Giles, SEU
UTIL-Courtney Lavender, SEU

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