ARLINGTON, Texas - The Maverick offense couldn't provide the crucial hit needed on Saturday, falling to DePaul 1-0 at Allan Saxe Field to open the UT Arlington home tournament.
The Mavs (6-5) outhit the Blue Demons 7-4, but a solo home run in the second proved to be the game winner as DePaul (10-2) swept games against Sam Houston State and UTA on the day.
Sandra Mendoza had a milestone day as she was 2-for-4 at the plate. Her two hits were both doubles that pushed the senior into a tie for second in all-time doubles at UTA with 39 - tying Tami Martens (80-83). Mendoza also moved up the extra-base hits chart, going into eight with 44 in her storied career.
Despite Reagan Wright also joining in with a multi-hit effort, UTA would leave seven on, including a close play at the plate going against UTA and two in scoring position in the sixth.
"We aren't making adjustments, we out hit them but not making the adjustments at the time we need to make them," UTA coach Peejay Brun said. "That is more a mental side that we will have to work on. On the other end, their pitcher did a great job in keeping us off balance so that we weren't able to string together three hits, so you have to give her credit for doing a good job with that."
UTA returns to the diamond on Sunday in the final day of the tournament. UTA's slate begins at 12:30 p.m. against DePaul, followed by Sam Houston State to wrap things up at 3 p.m.
JoJo Valencia was knocked with the loss despite a gem in the circle. Valencia pitched seven complete and gave up just four hits, striking out two and giving just one free pass.
"One pitch left over the plate was hit out and outside of that she did a really good job," Brun said. "She held them to just four hits. You can't really ask a pitcher to do much more than that. She did a great job for us on the mound."
Another bright spot came on the defensive side, with diving catches snagged by Sandra and Melanie Mendoza, as well as Laura Curry. UTA's defense was error free on Saturday as it backed up the effort from Valencia on the mound.
"The defense is doing a great job for us," Brun said. "That is something we always ask from them is to go hard and aggressive for us on defense. The outfield is doing awesome job with some of those amazing catches. I am really proud of how they are playing the game behind the pitcher."
SB: Foundation set as Brun looks back at 2018
SB: Home runs end UTA's 2018 campaign
SB: LMU powers by UTA in NISC Champ round opener
SB: NISC Championship Round opens Wednesday
SB: NISC Championship Round set for Los Angeles, Calif.
SB: UTA captures NISC Regional final over Texas Tech