Feb. 4, 2013
By Taylor Wright | UTAMavs.com
ARLINGTON, Texas - The UT Arlington softball team has been playing several inner-squad scrimmages in order to prepare for their upcoming season.
The Maverick pitchers have been the main focus of these scrimmages. Returners Callie Collins and Teri Lyles as well as newcomer Brittany May, have been forced to face live hitters and win the battle at the plate.
"These scrimmages we have had are focused on stretching our pitchers workloads out. Throwing a bullpen and throwing versus hitters are two very different things," UTA head coach Kristie Fox said. "I have been happy with the competitive edge I see in our pitching staff. Whether they have their best stuff that day or not, they get on the mound with the intention of winning the battle against the hitters and we are going to need a lot of that pure stubborn fight this season."
Several infielders have also benefitted from their inner-squad scrimmages as they are focusing on playing a new position. Returner Meagan Michele along with newcomers Nina Villanueva and Rebecca Stokes are taking on new roles and have really capitalized on the game-like action.
"There were a few positions that we were unsure about but in the past few weeks, in our opinion, have been solidified. As we continue to get closer to our season there will be a lot less moving around and playing people at multiple spots," Fox said. "This will help people like Nina, Meagan and Becca get comfortable in their new position. We are lucky that we have the caliber of athlete that can play multiple positions."
As scrimmages begin to draw to a close, newcomer Jolene Schaefer has emergerd as a natural team leader. She has taken on the duties of directing the outfield from her role at center.
"One player who has really stepped up in my opinion is Jojo, our centerfielder," Fox said. "She has taken control of our outfield and we have a lot of trust and confidence in her out there."
The Mavericks open their 2013 season in Orlando, Fla. at the UCF Tournament against Buffalo at 8:30 a.m. on Feb. 15. For the complete 2013 softball schedule, please click here.