May 1, 2016
By Michael Eldridge | @DFWSportsMike
ARLINGTON, Texas - It took nine innings, but UT Arlington was finally able to finish off Troy in a 13-12 win on Sunday at Allan Saxe Field.
After Troy scored six runs over the final two regulation innings, including a three-run homer to tie the game on two outs in the seventh, UTA was able to put together a rally in extras. With runners on the corners, senior Britnea Barilli induced an error by the pitcher to score the winning run from third.
"The whole game was a battle," Barilli said. "We knew we had to keep battling and knew that we can get one across. I felt everyone's energy today and everyone wanted to win for the seniors and that really helped push us."
The Mavericks improved to 29-16 overall and 8-13 in Sun Belt play after taking the series finale. UTA closed the home portion of its schedule with a 19-8 record. Troy went to 30-20 overall and 11-10 in conference play.
"I am really excited that we could get a win for our seniors," UT Arlington coach Kristie Fox said. "It was a dogfight every game we played against them. We have some things we need to clean up. We were one out away from the win, but to keep fighting and not give up after that moment it is fitting on Senior Day that it came to a senior to get us the win. The mentality that this group has from top to bottom stems from them leading the way and never quitting."
UTA closes the regular season with a three-game series at Texas State that opens on Friday.
Hidden in the heroics of extra innings, sophomore Sandra Mendoza etched her name into the top of the Mavericks' single-season hits record with a 4-for-5 performance in Game 3. The four hits sent her by Katie Jones' mark set in 2007 as Mendoza has 71 hits in 2016.
"It is awesome and really good for the program, I could not have done it without the girls," Mendoza said. "They put me in situations where it is a team win all the time. We go through this together and we work hard everyday."
The Mavericks continued their trend in the series of getting on the board first. UTA, doing so in all three games, picked up a run on a RBI ground out by Burchianti to plate Mendoza.
The teams would exchange back-to-back big innings through the second and third as Troy sent three across the plate in each. Mendoza provided the big blow in the second to tie the game at three apiece with a two-RBI double to the right-centerfield wall.
UTA got things started in the third as it loaded the bases with no outs. Burchianti advanced home on a wild pitch and Barilli was able to bounce a single off the right-field line to score two. UTA picked up another pair of runs before Mendoza added another double that completed a five-run frame for UTA.
"It was a very big win," Mendoza said. "We kept fighting the entire day and wanted to do it for the seniors."
The Trojans and Mavericks combined for 29 hits.
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