SB: Mavs host North Dakota State
March 13, 2012
FOR STARTERS: The UT Arlington softball team completed tournament play with a 9-8 overall recoed. The Mavericks began with an 8-4 record after the first three tournamnets, but struggled against Binghamton and Texas Tech in the Jeaninne McHaney Memorial Classic.
GAME DAY: The Mavericks host the North Dakota State Bison Wednesday for a double header at Allan Saxe Field. The two teams have only met once before, the last time the two schools met the Bison defeated the Mavericks 7-6 in 2008.
THREE IN A ROW TO START: UT Arlington opened the season with three straight victories for the first time since 1993, when the Mavericks began that slate with an 8-0. That team finished with 36 wins (36-23).
RIPE FOR THE PICKING: UT Arlington has been picked to finish third in the 11-team Southland Conference this year according to a preseason vote by the league’s coaches. The Mavericks received one first-place vote and totaled 82 points. Texas State (92) and Texas A&M Corpus-Christi (87) were predicted to place first and second, respectively. The SLC’s SID’s preseason poll had the Mavericks second, behind only Texas State.
HITTING IT HARD: Through 17 games, the Mavericks boast seven batters hitting at least .300. Leading the way is Stephanie Gonzalez hitting .380, closely followed by Courtney Zink (.372) and Erica LeFlore (.368).
PLENTY OF PLAYING TIME TO GO AROUND: Through 17 games, UTA has just one player who have started all every game (Stephanie Gonzalez). In addition, just one other (Courtney Enocksen) has played in every game. Thus far, 17 position players have appeared in a contest for the Mavericks.
THE EYES OF TEXAS ARE UPON US: The softball team is playing its first 28 games of the 2012 campaign in the Lone Star State. The team’s first out-of-state contest will be played March 16 at Grambling State, in Grambling, La. In all, the Mavs have 40 of their 50 games in the state of Texas.
PRESEASON ACCOLADES: Sophomore pitcher Callie Collins, the 2011 SLC Pitcher of the Year, was named to the preseason first-team All-Southland Conference team. UTA also had a trio of preseason second-team honorees: sophomore Courtney Zink (3B), senior Courtney Enocksen (SS) and senior Charne Office (OF). In addition, Callie Collins (P) was named the Pitcher of the Year and first-team all-league by College Sports Madness. Erica LeFlore (C) and Charne Office (OF) earned second-team mention.
4 Ls IN HER NAME, BUT LOTS OF Ws ON THE FIELD: As a freshman, pitcher Callie Collins posted an 18-10 record and a 1.72 ERA in 195.1 innings pitched. She racked up the second most strikeouts in the league (200), while holding held her opponents to a .193 batting average. As a result, Collins was named to the 2011 Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division I All-Region Second Team, becoming the first UTA player in four years to earn such distinction.
MOSTLY INTACT: UT Arlington returns eight of its nine starters and both of its top two pitchers from a year ago. However, the Mavericks must make up for the loss of graduated senior Rebecca Collom, who was a first-team All-SLC pick after leading the team in batting average (.329), hits (51), home runs (12), RBI (35) and runs (27). She is the school’s all-time career home run leader.
CHANGE IN CONFERENCE PLAY: This season, the Southland Conference has reduced the conference schedule from 30 games to 20 games with two-game series typically being played on Friday and Saturday. This allows Southland schools to challenge more non-conference opponents in mid-week action.