UTA's home opener is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 24 vs. Nicholls at 3 p.m.
With much talk this fall about the youth movement, seniors Mallory Foster and Kacey Everett were not outdone on the fall's final scheduled scrimmage, both launching home runs early.
The services and aid these young ladies receive at UTA are second to none and go along with the high standard that has been set as a member of the Maverick softball program.
UTA had 12 individuals recognized as Easton/NFCA Scholar Athletes.
UTA's offense was led by Whitney Walton, Bri Burchianti and Cy'Andria Newton, with each recording three hits. Walton
Kristie Fox was named the head softball coach on June 17, 2012. In four years in charge of the program, Fox has helped build the program to new heights. Fox has been a major part of the reconstruction of Allan Saxe Field, opening its doors in 2015 with a new clubhouse, locker room, new seating for 622 as well as a brand new field.
Fox has helped guide the team to four consecutive postseason appearances after the team failed to reach the conference tournament the season prior to Fox taking charge of the team. In her first season, she helped UTA to a 10-win improvement and reached the Western Athletic Conference Tournament after a 25-28 season with nine newcomers.
In 2014, Fox's team opened play by winning nine of the season's first 14 games and finished nonconference play with a 14-15 record despite a tough schedule to begin the season. The Mavericks returned to the postseason after a grueling season throughout a Sun Belt schedule that saw UTA facing two nationally-ranked teams. UTA opened the Sun Belt Championship with a win over in-state rival Texas State before falling in a battle with Western Kentucky in the second round.
The trend continued for the Mavs in 2015 as the team had a record-breaking season during a 27-win campaign. UTA broke single-season records for batting average, runs, RBI, hits and walks. The season also saw several individual records fall. Nina Villanueva broke the all-time single-season runs record with 52 runs scored, while she was second in single-season history in batting average. Shelbi Sikes recorded the most RBI during a season and Mya Anderson and Meagan Michele finished second and third respectively in home run totals.
Fox and the Mavericks made the 2016 campaign one to remember as UTA complied a 29-20 mark, the most wins since winning 30 in 2011. UTA created history in winning 19 straight games to start the year, an all-time high for the program. Perhaps the highlight of the season was knocking off No. 5 Louisiana 3-1, limiting one of the best offenses in the nation to six hits. Becoming only the third and fourth Mavericks named to an NFCA All-Region team, Sandra Mendoza was named NFCA All-Region Second-Team, while Krista Rude was a member of the Third-Team All-Central Region third team.
Fox has had six players earn postseason awards through conference play. As two of only four freshmen named to All-Conference teams in 2016, Rude and Samantha Clakley garnered Second-Team All-Conference honors. After finishing the regular season as the Mavericks' new single-season hits record holder with 76, Mendoza was selected to the Sun Belt All-Conference first team.
Villanueva has been a two-time selection to the All-Conference team after earning her first nomination in the WAC in 2013, followed by a Sun Belt award in 2014. Kacey Everett was selected to the All-Sun Belt second team in 2014 after leading the conference in players caught stealing as a freshman.
Her strides off the field have also helped the Mavericks grow as a team. As well as helping in the community, Fox has challenged her team in the classroom and the team GPA has reached new heights, with Marisa Datko and Callie Collins being named 2013-14 NFCA All-American Scholar Athletes.
Fox, a two-time national champion and an All-American, took over the UTA program after spending the previous three years as an assistant coach at Big 12 member Texas Tech. Fox, recognized as one of the top young assistants in the country at Tech, worked primarily with the Red Raiders' hitters and infielders.
A number of Texas Tech's offensive records were broken during Fox's stay in Lubbock. The Red Raiders hit a program-best .341 in 2011 to rank fourth nationally, while their 7.17 runs per game led the Big 12 and finished fourth in the country. Texas Tech set school records for hits, home runs, runs, grand slams, RBI, total bases, slugging percentage and walks during 2011.
The Red Raiders were 41-17 in 2012, the third consecutive season of at least 40 wins. Texas Tech reached the NCAA Regionals in each of the three seasons Fox served on the coaching staff, a feat that had not been previously accomplished at the school.
She also played a vital role in the Red Raiders' recruiting efforts and served as the program's camp coordinator.
Fox spent a year as an assistant coach at Murray State prior to her arrival at Texas Tech. She was an undergraduate assistant at Arizona in 2009 while completing her degree in psychology. Fox, a first-round selection of the Chicago Bandits in the 2007 National Professional Fastpitch League draft, was a two-time national champion and standout member of the Arizona Wildcats' team for four years.
She earned All-American honors after her sophomore and junior seasons at Arizona. Fox set the Women's College World Series record her senior season with 11 hits to lead the Wildcats to their eighth national title. She finished her four-year career (2004-07) with a .350 batting average, 260 hits and 230 RBI. Arizona went a combined 203-43-1 during her playing career, with the national titles in 2006 and 2007.
Originally from San Diego, Calif., she is a former member of the USA Elite Team and earned a gold medal in the College World Games in Taiwan with Team USA in 2006. Fox was named one of three assistant coaches for the USA Softball Junior Women's National team that will compete at the 2015 World Cup of Softball X in Southern California and the Pan American Games in Toronto, Canada. Both events are scheduled for July.
Fox's family has deep ties in athletics. Her sister, Kellie, is a senior softball player at the University of Arizona and a member of the US Women's National Team. Her brother, Kory, is a freshman football player at Cal Poly.
Fox and her husband Andy celebrated the birth of their son Andrew in June.
Baseball, softball season tickets on sale now
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