By Cassie Logan | UTAMavs.com
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Senior Kacey Everett blasted a grand slam as part of an 11-run second inning and UTA softball silenced Southern 16-0 in five frames Thursday at Allan Saxe Field.
UTA (10-7) powered 13 hits, holding the Jaguars (4-5) to three with a trio of errors. Sam Clakley (9-2) earned the win in just two innings in the circle, striking out one and allowing two knocks. Sam Montes, Gracie Bogle and Mariah Denson each threw an inning, combining to offer just one hit and a walk.
"The girls came out ready to play and did a good job of getting a run early," UTA coach Kristie Fox said. "This is a big weekend for us. We’ve got good teams coming in.
"We’ve got to take it game-by-game and make sure that we focus on handling the one in front of us first. There’s a good opportunity for us to see some good pitching and really prepare us for the Sun Belt.”
Whitney Walton continues to swing a hot bat and lifted her team-leading fourth home run of the season, a two-run bomb in the fourth inning. The freshman went 2-for-3 with two runs and four RBI on the day. Laura Curry was 2-for-2 with two runs and a pair of RBI.
With a leadoff double in the first inning, Sandra Mendoza advanced into eighth on UTA's career doubles list. The milestone watch also continues for Everett, who now sits three homers away from tying Mya Anderson for 10th all-time.
Avery Grimes and Brianna Angel registered their first career hits, both in pinch hit situations. Bryanna Datko slammed her first home run of the season, also as a sub. Both Datko sisters have come through with pinch-hit home runs this season after Marisa Datko had one of her own against Buffalo on Feb. 18.
Reagan Wright opened up the scoing early in the bottom of the first on an RBI-groundout. The one-run lead was slightest deficit the Jaguars could handle until the Mavericks burst through on an 11-run, eight-hit second frame.
UTA plated another four runs in the fourth inning, including Walton and Datko's long shots, to complete the run-rule and cap the day at five innings.
“It felt great,” Datko said. “I just went up there and tried to make a most of my opportunity and it felt great to hit a pitch like that."
The Mavericks return to the ballpark to host the Maverick Classic beginning Friday. UTA hosts St. Francis, Incarnate word and Tulsa, with games starting 10 a.m Friday. The Mavs make their first appearance against the Cardinals at 3 p.m.