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SB: Mavs open 2014 at Red Desert Classic

UT Arlington coach Kristie Fox is in her second year with the Mavericks.
 
UT Arlington coach Kristie Fox is in her second year with the Mavericks.
 

Feb. 6, 2014

UT Arlington (0-0) at Red Desert Classic
Feb. 7-9 | St. George, Utah

The Canyons Softball Complex

Live stats: UTAMavs.com

By Michael Eldridge | UTAMavs.com

ARLINGTON, Texas - The UT Arlington softball team begins the 2014 campaign on Friday in the Red Desert Classic in St. George, Utah.

The Mavericks are joined by 10 other programs in the four-day tournament that begins with the first pitch on Thursday afternoon. UTA opens up its five-game slate on Friday at noon CT against Weber State. The Mavs have won their previous two season openers.

"The main focus is that first game," UT Arlington coach Kristie Fox said. "I choose to take it one game at a time."

UTA continues play on Friday against Idaho State at 2:30 p.m. before taking on tournament hosts BYU on Saturday at noon. The Mavs renew a brief Western Athletic Conference rivalry when UTA takes on Utah State, now in the Mountain West Conference, at 2:30 p.m.

The Mavericks conclude play on Sunday at noon against Utah Valley.

FOLLOWING THE TOURNAMENT: Live stats are available at UTAMavs.com. Tournament information is available at http://sgcity.org/recreation/reddesertclassic/index.php

HEAD-TO-HEAD vs. OPPONENTS: The Mavs face two opponents (Weber State and Idaho State) for the first time in program history in the first two games of the tournament.

UTA has split its two meetings with BYU, losing the last one, 5-2, on Feb. 11, 2006. The Mavericks leads the all-time series with Utah State, 3-1, winning the previous meeting, 1-0, on April 2, 2013.

Closing out the Red Desert Classic on Sunday, UTA faces a Utah Valley team for the second time overall. The Mavs trail the series 1-0, falling 9-1 on Feb. 13, 2005.

SECOND YEAR UNDER FOX: UT Arlington begins its second season under coach Kristie Fox. Fox helped the Mavs improve from a 15-26 record in 2012 to a 25-28 record in 2013. Fox, a former All-American, was a two-time national champion at Arizona and an assistant coach at Texas Tech prior to accepting the position with the Mavericks.

THIRD YEAR, THIRD CONFERENCE: The Mavericks softball team will be in their third conference in as many years with the move to the Sun Belt Conference. UTA moved from the Southland Conference in 2012 to the Western Athletic Conference in 2013.

MAVS PICKED 7TH IN PRESEASON: The Sun Belt tabbed the Mavericks to finish seventh in the conference, according to the SBC Preseason Poll. UTA picked up 21 points in the poll, well behind favorite UL Lafayette. The Ragin' Cajuns received six first place votes to go along with their 62 points overall.
 
PRESEASON PLAYER HONORS: Junior infielder Nina Villanueva and sophomore outfielder Britnea Barilli were both at-large selections to the Sun Belt Conference Preseason Team. Villanueva led the Mavericks with a .328 batting average, while Barilli finished with a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage. 

 

 

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