SB: UTA edges UNT 2-1 on Wednesday
April 24, 2013Photo Gallery
ARLINGTON, Texas - Nina Villanueva's first-career home run propelled UT Arlington to a 2-1 win over North Texas at Allan Saxe Field Wednesday night.
Villanueva sent a 1-0 pitch sailing just over the left field wall for the team's first hit of the night, a two-run home run. Senior pitcher Teri Lyles (17-10) pitched 4.0 innings of relief, giving up just three hits and striking out one. Starting pitcher Callie Collins went 3.0 innings, allowing a run on three hits. With the win, UTA snapped a three-game losing streak.
"It puts us in a position that puts us in the right direction," UT Arlington coach Kristie Fox said. "You always want to peak at the right time. There is no more time to wait for that peak to happen. That shows you what timely hitting can do for you. You don't have to out hit them to win."
Villanueva's two RBI led the Mavericks (19-24) on the night when UTA also picked up a hit from Kallan Thompson in the sixth.
The Mavericks escaped an early first-inning jam after the Mean Green (22-22) loaded the bases. Collins forced a pop-up to Kallan Thompson at second to leave three North Texas runners on in the opener.
North Texas opened up the scoring in the fourth. Jackie Miller sent a lead-off swing over the left field wall for her fifth home run of the season for a 1-0 lead.
UTA responded in the bottom half of the inning. Britnea Barilli walked to open up the inning and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from Thompson. Two pitches later, Villanueva sent the ball sailing just over the wall for UTA's first hit of the game, and her first-career home run.
The Mavs overcame another threat in the fifth inning. North Texas put runners on the corners with two out. Lyles forced a ground out, again to second, to end the inning. The Mean Green would leave nine on base overall.
Thompson turned the seventh inning momentum over to the Mavericks for the opening out. On a soft grounder in front of the catcher's box, Rachel Forshaw fired a throw to first and into the glove of Thompson to just get the out at first. The Mavs would retire the remaining two batters, with a grounder to second ending the game.
"The whole idea of today defensively was keeping our composure," Fox said. "Our whole focus was keeping our composure and making the routine plays. Overall our defense really stepped up."
UTA returns to Western Athletic Conference action this weekend in its final home series of the year. The Mavs welcome Utah State beginning with a Friday doubleheader starting at 4 p.m. The series concludes Saturday at 1 p.m. with Mavericks Senior Day.