BATON ROUGE, La. - UT Arlington had to deal with Mother Nature on Saturday, but coach Peejay Brun described the team as resilient in being able to top UMass, 4-1, and setting itself up to be in position on Sunday at the Tiger Classic.
Update: UTA will resume its game against Southern Miss at 8:30 a.m. with UTA down 4-2, bases loaded and two outs in the eighth.
"I tell them that they have to be ready for anything and in practice I would throw different things at them, and when we had the rain delay they didn't miss a beat," UTA coach Peejay Brun said. "You couldn't even tell we were there for eight hours and that is going to help us in the long run this year.
"It will be huge to have energy coming out. We are in a position to come out of this weekend on a positive note. It is going to be really important and come out in that situation and make a statement immediately."
Krista Rude's bat paced the offense in the opener vs. UMass as the junior provided two hits and crossed the dish twice to lead UTA (2-1). The four runs, much like Friday's opener, were all that JoJo Valencia needed in the circle to improve to 2-0.
"She was really good," Brun said of Valencia. "She is just doing a great job in hitting her spots. She isn't doing too much and is just getting the job done for us. If you hit your spots you give us a chance and she is doing a great job in doing that."
HOW IT HAPPENED:
After a double play seemed to take momentum away in the first, the Mavs loaded the bases and Whitney Walton took a pitch inside to bring home rude as the opening score.
After a quiet two innings went by, the Mavs picked it up in the fourth and fifth innings to bring in three runs and lead 4-0. It was the bat of Laury Curry this time around to single into right to score Cy'Andria Newton.
Rude put the pressure on in the fifth with a leadoff hit, advancing to second on a stolen base and came around to score on a throwing error by the catcher. Another error, this time at third, would bring home Kayci Moore to complete UTA's scoring effort.
"One of the things that the team is doing well is that they are being patient," Brun said. "We aren't getting as many hits as I'd like, but we had six walks in the first game. When your walks outnumber your strikeouts, then we are heading down the path that we want to walk down to hit the pitches that we want to attack. We have been able to steal bases, so we are doing a lot in the short game and the girls."
UMass threatened in the fifth, bringging in a run on a single, but back-to-back outs would squash the comeback attempt with the final two frames going smooth for Valencia.
LEADING THE MAVERICKS:
Valencia allowed just four hits, one entering the fifth and struck out three in her second start of the year. Despite allowing a free pass and hitting two, Valencia was knocked for just one earned run.
WHAT'S NEXT ON THE SLATE:
Sunday's action gets going with the resumption of action against Southern Miss. The teams are scheduled to play again later in the day, with a schedule still pending for an estimated start time. Follow @utasofball on Twitter for updates. The Mavs will return home for the Allan Saxe Field opener on Tuesday against Texas Tech.
FOLLOW THE MAVS SOCIALLY
For up-to-date news, photos, videos and updates you can follow UTA sports program online at UTAMavs.com or via any of several social media accounts on twitter @UTAMavs, Instagram @UTAMavs, Snapchat @UTAMavs and Facebook at UTArlingtonAthletics.
SB: NISC Championship Round opens Wednesday
SB: NISC Championship Round set for Los Angeles, Calif.
SB: UTA captures NISC Regional final over Texas Tech
SB: Energized Mavs advance into NISC Region Final
SB: Curry, Wright named to NFCA All Region teams.
SB: Curry's grand slam helps send UTA by UCA