SB: Mavs open UTA Hilton vs. Texas Tech on Thursday
Feb. 19, 2014
UT Arlington (6-4) hosts UTA Hilton Invitational
UTA-UTA Hilton Invitational Notes
ARLINGTON, Texas - The UT Arlington softball team opens up play in the UTA Hilton Invitational on Thursday at 7 p.m. vs. Texas Tech at Allan Saxe Field.
The Mavericks (6-4) are hosting a tournament at home for the second consecutive weekend before finishing out nonconference play with three tournaments on the road beginning next week.
"This tournament is going to be very difficult," UT Arlington coach Kristie Fox said. "All of these teams are quality teams that do well in their conferences. We are going to take it one game at a time beginning against Texas Tech. These teams are going to have some solid pitchers."
Fox is set to face the Red Raiders for the first time since she was an assistant coach with the team from 2010-12.
"It is always fun," Fox said. "It is a friendly rivalry that I have with the coaching staff. It is nice to know some of the players since I recruited some of them. It will be interesting to see them play and to take my bunch against theirs."
FOLLOWING THE TOURNAMENT: Live video and game stats are available throughout the tournament at UTAMavs.com. Select games will also be available via UTA Radio. Audio can be found on UTARadio.com or on the iHeartRadio app.
HEAD-TO-HEAD vs. OPPONENTS: UTA trails 10-4 in the all-time series vs. Texas Tech, losing the previous seven meetings between the clubs. UTA's last win came in 2008, when the Mavs won 5-3 in nine innings. The Mavs split a pair of games with Creighton last season, however, the Jays lead the all-time series 13-4.
The Mavs have won all five meetings with UMKC, earning a 9-1 decision last season on March 10. UTA and Illinois last met in 2003 for the team's only meeting. The Illini won the contest 5-0 in Arlington.
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.