The Mavericks return seven upperclassmen and the full batting order from 2014.
The team will have clubhouses and training facilities worthy of a world-class, collegiate program by January 2015 as a result of a $5.5 million softball/baseball complex expansion and renovation plan.
The Mavericks open the Sun Belt Conference Championship Wednesday in Lafayette, Louisiana against Texas State at 12:30 p.m.
UTA finished its home schedule 11-11 at Allan Saxe Field
The Mavericks and the Cajuns return to Allan Saxe Sunday at 1 p.m. for the final game of the three-game series.
Softball head coach Kristie Fox has already made tremendous strides after one season at UT Arlington. Fox led the Mavericks to an overall record of 25-28 in 2013, a 10-win improvement over the previous season.
The Mavericks made an appearance in the Western Athletic Conference tournament after missing the conference tournament the previous season. The 2013 squad featured nine newcomers, including sophomore transfer Nina Villanueva, who was named to the WAC All-Tournament Team.
A former All-American and two-time national champion, Fox was named head softball coach at UT Arlington on June 17, 2012. Fox led the program in the Sun Belt Conference in 2014.
"I truly believe Kristie has the ability and the background to become one of the top head coaches in the country," UT Arlington director of athletics Jim Baker said. "Her youthful energy and knowledge of the game, plus her history of success as both an assistant coach and an accomplished player, made her the perfect fit as we begin an exciting new softball era at UT Arlington."
Fox 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.
"I'm really excited to be part of UTA softball's bright future," Fox said. "I want to thank Jim Baker, [senior associate athletics director] Debbie Garcia and the whole committee for giving me this opportunity. Their commitment to improving softball facilities, UTA's location and great academic programs really sold me on the fact that UTA is pursuing excellence for academic and athletics, and I'm proud to be a part of it."
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.