March 13, 2014
SAN DIEGO, California – UT Arlington opens the San Diego Classic against Long Beach State at 3 p.m. Friday. The Mavericks are 13-11 overall and 3-5 during the first eight games of a 16-game road trip that takes UTA into Sun Belt Conference play on March 22.
"All three teams we play this weekend are strong contenders in their respective conferences," UT Arlington coach Kristie Fox said. "This is a good test for our conference series in the Sun Belt. Spring seasons are a grind and this spring break trip is just what we need before our very strong conference."
Following the game against the 49ers, UT Arlington is scheduled to play host San Diego State at 5:30 p.m. The Maverick also take on the same two teams Saturday, starting with LBSU at 1:30 p.m. and the Aztecs at 6:30 p.m. UTA will close out tournament play Sunday as the take on Harvard at 12 p.m.
FOLLOWING THE TOURNAMENT: Live Stats are available live on goaztecs.com for all games vs. SDSU. Twitter updates of UTA games @UTAMavs.
COLLINS NAMED SBC PITCHER OF THE WEEK: Senior pitcher Callie Collins earned UT Arlington's first Sun Belt Conference softball accolades by being named the SBC Pitcher of the Week on Feb. 24. Collins made five appearances and three starts during the UTA Hilton Invitational, earning a 3-0 record and allowing just two earned runs through 19.1 innings pitched.
HEAD-TO-HEAD vs. OPPONENTS:
Long Beach State (LBSU leads 2-0) – UTA has lost both game between the Mavericks and the 49ers, the last a 5-0 shutout in Honolulu.
San Diego State (SDSU leads 1-0) - The Aztecs and Mavs met in March of 1989 when SDSU defeated UTA 6-2 in Las Vegas.
Harvard (First meeting) – Sunday's game will mark the first match up between the UTA and Harvard.
COUNTING HOMERS: Nina Villanueva (4), Jolene Schaefer (3), Britnea Barilli (2), Rebecca Stokes (2), Shelbi Sikes (2), Jasmine Tanksley (1), Kacey Everett (1-grand slam), Holly Murphree (1).
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. 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 last season, while Barilli finished with a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage.