SB: Mavs take on GSU in search of first SBC win

April 4, 2014

ARLINGTON, Texas - UT Arlington softball travels to Atlanta to take on Sun Belt Conference opponent Georgia State this weekend.

The Mavericks are looking for their first conference win as the face the Jaguars in a Saturday doubleheader starting at noon CT and again Sunday at 11 a.m.

The Mavericks (14-21, 0-6 SBC) and the Jaguars (17-19, 2-4 SBC) square off this weekend for the second time in program history. UTA defeated GSU 5-2 in 2012.

"We really need to focus on ourselves and changing the philosophy; getting back to what we did last year and get back to the grind," UT Arlington coach Kristie Fox said.

FOLLOWING THE TOURNAMENT: Live Stats are available live on  Twitter updates are available through @UTAMavs.

UT ARLINGTON LAST WEEK: The Mavericks hosted their first Sun Belt Conference series last weekend against WKU. The Lady Toppers swept the Mavs, extending UTA's losing streak to seven games. Junior Nina Villanueva hit her fifth home run of the season and hit .625 against WKU. Villanueva had three runs, five hits, including two doubles, and five RBI. She recorded 10 total bases with one walk and one hit by pitch. She had six putouts, seven assists and no errors at shortstop.

SCOUTING GEORGIA STATE: The Jaguars are 17-19 overall and 2-4 in league play. Freshman Taylor has a .471 batting average in 17 at bats, and the Jags have three players hitting over .300 with more than 100 at-bats. Of those three junior Lauren Colman is batting .390 with 41 hits and 36 RBI. GSU has thrown five pitchers so far this season, with Kaitlyn Medlam having the lowest ERA of the bunch at 2.81.

AT THE PLATE: Junior Nina Villanueva is batting .290 to lead the Mavericks, with 31 hits and 28 RBI.

ROADIES:  The Mavericks have struggled on the road this season with a 1-6 away record. As a team the Mavericks bat .175 from the plate on their opponent's home field.

COUNTING HOMERS: Nina Villanueva (5), Jolene Schaefer (3), Britnea Barilli (3), Rebecca Stokes (2), Shelbi Sikes (2), Meagan Michele (2), Jasmine Tanksley (1), Kacey Everett (1-grand slam), Holly Murphree (1).

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.

SECOND YEAR UNDER FOX: UT Arlington is in 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.

 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.

 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.

 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.





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