Feb. 5, 2014
ARLINGTON, Texas – UT Arlington softball held its 2014 media day Tuesday afternoon. Sophomore Britnea Barilli and junior Nina Villanueva joined UT Arlington coach Kristie Fox in a press conference to discuss the upcoming season.
UTA went 25-28 last year, earning a trip to the Western Athletic Conference tournament. The Mavericks will compete as a member of the Sun Belt Conference in 2014, their third league in as many years.
UT Arlington is returning eight letterwinners, while welcoming nine newcomers to the 2014 squad.
The Mavericks begin the 2014 campaign on Friday when UTA travels to St. George, Utah to take part in the Red Desert Classic. The Mavs open against Weber State at 12 p.m.
UT Arlington coach Kristie Fox
On the season opening Friday: "We're really excited to get the season started. I think the girls are so sick of playing each other that we are ready to take out our aggression on other teams."
On free admissision to all home games at Allan Saxe Field. "We wanted to really get our program out into the community, and having young players come out and be able to meet our team. After every game we plan on having an autograph session and a meet-and-greet for 20 minutes."
On her expectations for senior pitcher Callie Collins: "I'm looking for Callie to take a leadership role in terms of her attitude for the other two pitchers. I expect her to have a good attitude and just go out and compete."
On the schedule: "We tried to challenge ourselves a little bit more this year. A good challenge in the games we think we can go out and win and compete in, and challenge ourselves against some teams that have a very good reputation in the softball world. To continue to move forward to get to Regionals, Super Regionals and the World Series, which is our goal, we have to be able to play against big-name teams and not be afraid of what they have on the front of their shirts."
UT Arlington sophomore Britnea Barilli
On how she's improved from last season: "Last year I felt a lot of pressure to play really well because I was a freshman playing. I just want to play the best that I can. I'm going to make the pitcher pitch to me and it's worked in my benefit."
UT Arlington junior Nina Villanueva
On what she is focusing on this season: "I'm working on keeping the ball on the infield and not making as many errors, and have a better attitude and be able to move on if I make a mistake. We know that people don't expect us to be the best team out there and I think it's more fun when you go and beat teams that you don't expect to beat. We want to hit more consistently throughout the whole season, so hopefully I'll start stronger this year and maintain it."