Feb. 17, 2013
By Taylor Wright | UTAMavs.com
ORLANDO, Florida - The UT Arlington Mavericks improve to 4-1 on the season with a 9-6 win over South Carolina to close out their time at the UCF Holiday Inn Select Tournament.
"Our pitching put up a good fight," UTA head coach Kristie Fox said, "and our offense really stepped up. This win really sets the tone for the rest of the season."
Rebecca Stokes smashed a one-out double down the left field line to start the Mavericks' half of the first inning. Villanueva drew a walk to put runners on at first and second. Jolene Schaefer drove in Stokes with a double to right-center field to give the Mavs a 1-0 lead.
A leadoff single started the second inning off for the Gamecocks. Collins struck out one, forced a grounder to first and then struck out the final South Carolina batter to bring the Mavericks up to bat.
Taylor Zink started the second inning with a leadoff single through the left side of the infield. Meagan Michele laid down what looked like a sac bunt, but reached first as the ball slipped under the glove of the South Carolina first baseman.
Zink and Michele advanced on a wild pitch to put two Mavs in scoring position followed by a walk for Stokes to load the bases with two outs. An infield single for Villanueva scored two runs to expand the UTA lead to 3-0 in the bottom of the second inning.
Back-to-back singles for the Gamecocks began the third inning of play. Villanueva snagged a grounder to force the out at second, but South Carolina runners would advance to the corners. The Gamecocks runner on first safely stole second, but Villanueva was able to throw the runner out at home to preserve the shutout for the Mavs.
South Carolina got back in the game with a two-run, one-out homer in the top of the fourth inning to make the game 3-2. Teri Lyles came in to relieve Collins and ended the rally from the Gamecocks with two strikeouts.
Kallan Thompson slapped down an infield single in the bottom of the fourth and then stole second on the following pitch. Britnea Barilli singled to left to score Thompson and then advanced to second on the throw home to put the Mavs up by two, 4-2.
Stokes notched an RBI single to score Barilli, but was thrown out at second trying to earn an extra base. Villanueva flew out to center to end the fourth inning, but not before the Mavericks earn back a three-run lead, 5-2.
Lyles gave up a leadoff infield single to South Carolina to put a runner aboard with no outs in the top of the sixth. A Maverick error put a Gamecock on first and advanced the runner to third. The throw down to third gets away from Michele and the South Carolina runner scored to put them down two, 5-3.
A South Carolina single to right-center brought the Gamecocks within one with only one out in the top of the sixth. Villanueva threw a slow roller to first to get the second out, but not before both South Carolina runners advanced to scoring position. A Gamecocks triple would give them the lead at 6-5, but the Mavs were able to hold them there.
Zink hit a much-needed leadoff single to start the bottom of the sixth inning. Michele followed that up with another single after a long battle at the plate. Thompson reached on a bunt single to load the bases for the Mavs and bring up leadoff hitter Barilli.
The South Carolina pitcher walked in Zink to tie the game at 6-6. Stokes stroked a two-RBI single to the left-center gap to put UT Arlington up 8-6 with no outs. Villanueva reached on a fielder's choice, while the Gamecocks earned one out on the play. Schaefer followed up with a single to once again load the bases.
Lyles hit a sacrafice fly to center to expand the UTA lead to three, 9-6. before the Gamecocks got the last out of the inning. Back-to-back groundouts to Villanueva at short followed by a strikeout by Lyles gave the Mavericks the 9-6 win.
"Like Coach Fox said, this tournament just raises our expectations," senior Teri Lyles said. "That's where I see us going from here too."
The Mavericks will return to action at the Texas Shootout hosted by Texas State in San Marcos on Friday, Feb. 22. UT Arlington will face Sam Houston State at 9:30 a.m. followed by a matchup with Baylor at 1:30 p.m.