DENTON, Texas - A strong start from JoJo Valencia held Nicholls to just three hits as UT Arlington topped the Colonels 4-1 on Friday afternoon to open play in a five-game weekend hosted by North Texas at Lovelace Field.
Valencia pitched her third complete game of the season to help the Mavericks move to 8-6 on the season. The Mavs picked up a pair of hits from freshman Madison Miller, while a pair of runs came from Sandra Mendoza and scores by Krista Rude and Kjirstyn Murphy led UTA.
UTA, finishing Day 1 in Denton, take the diamond again on Saturday for the first of two games with the first coming against Tulsa at 10 a.m. The day finishes against tourney host North Texas at 2:30 p.m.
- Miller had her first-career multi-hit game as a Maverick. The freshman hit the game winner in her first home run last week vs. DePaul in extra innings.
- Krista Rude extended her hitting streak to seven games with a 1-for-3 day. Rude has reached safely in the last eight games.
- Valencia pitched the team's sixth complete game of the year. Valencia and Randi Phillips each have three.
- UTA is 4-0 when it scores in the first inning and 6-2 when it scores the first run.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
UTA wasted little time to get itself on the board by crossing a run in the first. Mendoza's infield single to lead off the bottom half of the opener turned into a run with the two of three Nicholl's errors coming on Mendoza's steal of second.
The Mavs were quiet until the fourth when the offense came alive. UTA strung hits together from Miller and Whitney Walton to load the bases. Laura Curry got just enough on a ground out to bring in Murphy, who had reached on a one-out error.
The lead was doubled in the fifth with Mendoza crossing once again as Aileen Garcia's single brought in both the senior and Rude.
Valencia nearly had a complete-game shutout, but a two-out homer to left put the Colonels on the board for the first time. Valencia finished with a strong line, giving up just three hits, strikeout out two and did not give up a walk.
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