By Brooke Ortale | UTAMavs.com
ARLINGTON, Texas - After a grueling fall schedule filled with early morning practices under the lights of Allan Saxe Field, the sun shined brightly on UTA softball Tuesday afternoon as the Mavericks hit the field for their second practice of the spring.
"All of the girls have worked really hard this fall and it was good for them to go spend some time with their family, but I think that they're all excited to be back together," UTA coach Kristie Fox said. "This team has really good chemistry and they're ready to start working hard and seeing how it pays off when we have games."
Finding her way to fuel the Mavs desire to reach the goals they've set for the year, freshman Mariah Denson hung posters with motivational quotes and inspirational messages.
"My thought was to get them pumped up," Denson said. "It's time to grind. We grew up wanting to do this and now we're getting to do it, so you've got to want to be here. I feel that putting those signs up motivates them, walking into a locker room with a sign to read and get you going."
While the freshmen are the getting the chance to finally live out their childhood dreams, seniors such as Mallory Foster are taking to the field for their final season in a Maverick uniform.
"It's bittersweet," Foster said. "We talk about it all of the time, that we're not ready for it be done. We're just laying it all out there because we only have only a certain amount of games left and then we're done. We're really taking that to heart and using it to fuel us this year."
The Mavericks open their season Feb. 10-12 at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz. UTA faces a tough test right out of the gate playing host Arizona State and fellow Pac-12 member, Utah. Both of which made the NCAA tournament last season, with Utah reaching the NCAA Super Regionals.
"We've been working all fall in anticipation and waiting for season to really start so I'm just really excited that its finally here," Laura Curry said. "We're a month away and we've been working really hard. So we're excited to out there and actually play some good teams."
After playing its first two weekends on the road, UTA plays its home opener Feb. 24 against Nicholls as part of the UTA Invitational. Season tickets go on sale Friday, Jan. 13.
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