ARLINGTON, Texas – The fall slate finished unblemished as UTA topped Tarleton State 8-3 on Saturday in the final exhibition contest of 2017. The win closed the Mavericks fall record at 6-0.
Saturday's 10-inning affair was a defensive battle early on. It was a three-run frame in the third that pushed the Mavs on top, a lead that the two-man UTA staff wouldn't let go of. Whitney Walton stared on the offensive side, with two RBI that came off of a triple in the third and double in the seventh.
Through six games, UTA first-year coach Peejay was able to learn about her team and what she has to work with going into the season as well as what she wants to focus on to improve.
We have a good team here, they are really fast and probably the fastest team that I have ever coached," Brun said. "We can make a lot happen both offense and defense. There are things to work on, not giving up free bases. We need to cut down on the mental errors, but it is a good squad and we ended the fall on a good place.
The two-headed attack of UTA's pitching staff shined against the TexAnns with starter JoJo Valencia going the first five innings, while Michal Hylton cleaned things up over the back half. Valencia finished with five innings of scoreless ball, striking out four, while Hylton downed five. Each pitcher gave up just four hits.
"They are doing a great job," Brun said. "We knew it was going to be a battle. When you only have two, it will take a lot out of them. Each day is taking a lot out of them. We are trying to continue to get them into great shape to survive the season. They are doing a great job and I like so far what I've seen."
A perfectly executed hit-and-run put the Mavs on top in the third. Krista Rude timed her jump well to score from first as Walton's triple opened things up. Reagan Wright knocked in Walton in the next at-bat, while Aileen Garcia's hit into center completed scoring with Wright crossing the plate.
"They did great," Brun said of the team's improvement in situational hitting over the fall. "We have been working on it a lot more, getting the runners in motions. Every time today we did it we were successful and will need to move forward with that.
Three scoreless frames were put up on the board despite opportunities from both. Tarleton left at least a runner on base from the first through the seventh and UTA took advantage of the TSU offensive woes. It was the duo of Walton and Curry once again that came through, this time a stand-up double brought in Curry. A two-out pinch-hit liner by Madison Miller pushed the UTA lead to 5-0.
UTA pushed another pair of runs across in the eighth, highlighted by Curry's single into center to bring in Mendoza.
Rude helped make it three consecutive innings with a run as her bases-loaded grounder forced home Cy'Andria Newton to complete Maverick scoring.
HOW TO BUY TICKETS
Full season and single-game tickets to attend UTA baseball and softball events will be on sale on Friday, Dec. 8 through the UTA Box Office in person or by calling (817) 272-8585 and online throughUTATickets.com. Season tickets are available for as low as $75 for softball and $75 for baseball. Single-game tickets begin at $6, while tickets for Feb. 27th’s date vs. TCU and April 24 vs. OU begin at $10. Tickets for UTA’s matchup against Baylor at Globe Life Park on March 6 are $12. UTA students and faculty staff tickets are available for just $5 for a single game or at a reduced rate for season tickets. Visit UTATickets.com for detailed information.
FOLLOW THE MAVS SOCIALLY
For up-to-date news, photos, videos and updates you can follow UTA sports program online at UTAMavs.com or via any of several social media accounts on Twitter @UTAMavs, Instagram @UTAMavs, Snapchat @UTAMavs and Facebook at UTArlingtonAthletics.