SB: Mavs split first day in Orlando
Feb. 15, 2013
By Taylor Wright | UTAMavs.com
ORLANDO, Florida – The Mavericks opened up their 2013 season and the UCF Holiday Inn Select with a 5-3 win over Buffalo and a 1-0 loss to UCF. The Buffalo game marked the first win of the year for UT Arlington softball and the first for head coach Kristie Fox with the program.
UT Arlington 5, Buffalo 3
Starting pitcher Teri Lyles gave up a leadoff home run in the bottom of the first inning to give Buffalo its first run of the game. Meagan Michele knocked a two-out, two-run shot over the left field fence in the top of the second inning to give the Mavs the lead, 2-1.
A leadoff walk for Britnea Barilli started things off in the top of the third inning and Rebecca Stokes followed that up with a sac bunt to put Barilli in scoring position. Jolene Schaefer also earned herself a walk before Lyles tagged a two-run double into left field. Rachel Forshaw exchanged places with Lyles to expand the Mavs lead to 5-1.
After a pair of walks and a single loaded the bases for the Bulls, a sacrifice fly gave Buffalo its second out of the bottom of the third inning, but cut the Maverick lead to three, 5-2. The Bulls threatened again in the bottom of the fourth with a runner in scoring position, but UTA shut it down with solid defense.
Buffalo gained momentum in the bottom of the fifth with the bases loaded and no outs. Lyles notched a strikeout before the Bulls added their only run for the inning to pull within two at 5-3.
The Mavericks entered the bottom of the seventh inning with a two-run lead to protect. A groundout to Kallan Thompson, a pop-fly in foul territory to Nina Villanueva and a popup to Rebecca Stokes sat the Bulls down in order and gave UTA its first win of the season.
Michele’s two-run homer along with Lyles’ two-run double led the way for the Mavs in their win over Buffalo. Lyles also pitched seven complete innings with five strikeouts while allowing three runs on five hits and two errors.
UCF 1, UT Arlington 0 (8)
UT Arlington was struck out in order to start the game against the home UCF Knights. Callie Collins pitched out of trouble in the bottom of the first inning, stranding runners on first and third to keep things tied, 0-0.
Neither team recorded a hit until Schaefer slapped a single to right in the top of the fourth inning. She would advance no further as the Knights defense shut the Mavericks down at the plate.
The Knights earned their first hit of the game in the bottom of the fifth inning. After a sac bunt and a single, Michele ended the rally by catching a pop fly at third base.
Thompson bunted to start the sixth inning and beat the throw to first. Barilli moved her over to second on a sac bunt before Thompson safely stole third. The Maverick threat ended there and kept the score tied at 0-0.
Once again, UCF rallied and loaded the bases with three Knights with only one out in the sixth inning. Collins stuck out one and the next batter grounded out to her to earn the last two to preserve the scoreless tie.
Schaefer singled for the second time but then was out on the fielder’s choice from Lyles. However, Lyles advanced to second on a throwing error by the second basemen. UCF struck out two Mavs to end the top of the seventh inning and the UTA scoring threat.
Collins kept things tied in the bottom of the seventh to head into extra innings. International tiebreaker rules were in effect meaning that each team started with a runner on second base.
The Mavericks were unable to capitalize with the free runner on the bases and things were still tied heading into the UCF half of the eighth inning. The Knights free runner on second safely stole third and the next batter hit a walk-off single to win in extra innings.
"We just couldn't come up with the big hit in the second game and we had a few opportunities to put it away," Fox said. "It was a learning experience and it will make us stronger in the long run."
The loss puts the Mavs at 1-1 on the season and in the UCF Holiday Inn Select Tournament.
"Today, our pitching staff came out and showed what they are made of," Fox said. "I couldn't have asked for more from them. If they continue to throw like that I know we will be in all the games we play from here on out."
The Mavericks will be back in action with a doubleheader starting at 8:00 a.m. CT on Saturday, Feb. 16. UTA will face Florida A&M in the first game followed by Stetson. For live stats and all other UCF Holiday Inn Select Tournament information, please click here.