Feb. 22, 2014
By Michael Eldridge and Taylor Wright | UTAMavs.com
ARLINGTON, Texas – The UT Arlington softball team swept Day 3 action in the UTA Hilton Invitational, picking up wins against Creighton and UMKC on Saturday at Allan Saxe Field.
"We take it one game at a time," UT Arlington coach Kristie Fox. "It is a good feeling to have those wins under our belt and we are trying to build on them as much as we can."
Britnea Barilli led the Mavericks with five hits over the two games, a day after she knocked in three RBI in Friday's win vs. Creighton.
UT Arlington 6, Creighton 5
For the second time this season, Meagan Michele was the hero in the bottom of the seventh.
Michele lifted the Mavericks over the Bluejays with two outs by sending the game-winning home run over the right-field fence. Her shot was a response to a seventh in which Creighton overcame a two-run deficit in the top half of the inning. Michele's first walk-off of the season came against BYU in the Red Desert Classic on Feb. 8.
"Anytime she comes up to bat you think the game can change with one swing," Fox said. "She is just clutch like that. I wish she would continue to trust herself so that we can get to Sun Belt play."
Jolene Schaefer led the Mavericks with two RBI, going 2-3 in the game. Barilli and Michele each had a pair of hits. Brittany May picked up her first-career win as a Maverick, allowing two earned runs on two hits and two walks in 1.2 innings pitched.
"I hope it really helps her confidence," Fox said. "I think she puts a little bit too much of pressure on herself. I really hope she takes that confidence builder and runs with it."
Creighton opened scoring in the second inning on back-to-back one-out hits and it took the Mavericks three innings to respond. Schaefer led off the bottom of the fifth with her second homer in as many days, a shot to center.
The Jays plated a pair of runs in the sixth. The Mavericks responded, picking up a run on a bases-loaded walk and scoring on a throwing error to tie the game on the next play. Once again, Schaefer came through in the clutch with a single to right to give UTA a one-run lead, 4-3. Kacey Everett padded the lead with a sacrifice fly.
The back-and-forth action continued into the seventh. The Jays picked up a pair of runs on one out to tie the contest. Two outs into the bottom of the frame, Michele’s homer ended it.
UT Arlington 4, UMKC 3
The Mavericks, trailing 1-0 after UMKC scored in the first, pushed three across in the third. Barilli and Tanksley singled to open the inning and a one-out single up the middle from Rebecca Stokes scored both. Nina Villanueva continued the rally in the next at-bat, knocking a single to right field to score Stokes.
Stokes came up big again in the fifth. Stokes opened the Mavs half of the frame with a single up the middle. Lauren Ramsey, pinch-running for Stokes, scored on the next play when Villanueva doubled to the right-center to give the Mavericks a 4-2 lead.
Callie Collins, pitching in her second game of the day, pitched around a one-out single to finish off UKMC in the seventh. Collins struck out five in seven innings of work, allowing seven hits and three runs (two earned).
The Mavericks close out the UTA Hilton Invitational tomorrow with a doubleheader starting at 11 a.m. against Illinois.