San Antonio – The St. Mary’s softball team is all set to defend its Heartland Conference Tournament championship.

The top-seeded Lady Rattlers will open up the 2011 Heartland Conference Tournament against No. 4-seeded Newman in Game 1, set for 1 p.m. Thurs., April 28 at St. Mary’s Softball Fields.

Second-seeded Texas A&M International will play No. 3 seed St. Edward’s at 3:30 p.m. on April 28.

The second day of the four-team, double-elimination bracket will begin at 11:30 a.m. on Fri., April 29. Games 4 and 5 will follow at 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., respectively.

The championship game will be held at 2 p.m. Sat., April 30, with another game to follow (if necessary) 30 minutes after the completion of the title game.

St. Mary’s (33-17 overall) secured the top seed, thereby earning the right to host the tournament, with a 4-3, eight-inning victory over St. Edward’s last weekend.

Unless the Rattlers were to host the regional tournament, the Heartland Conference games will mark the final games played at St. Mary’s Softball Fields, which has housed two national champions. Renovations to build the new Outdoor Sports Complex, which includes a beautiful new softball facility, are set to begin in the coming months.

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