Mavs Host McNeese State in Final Home Conference Series
April 22, 2010
by Josh Bowe -
Lyles the freshman and Hulme the senior are pitching the Mavericks towards the top of the Southland conference standings with different styles. Hulme is 13-8 with a 2.63 ERA and Lyles is right behind with a 12-9 record and a stunning 1.48 ERA.
"Every time I see Cara I tell her `Cara you strike out so many people'," Lyles said with a grin. "I think its good in the end because it gives batters different tastes."
It's true. Hulme is the strikeout pitcher of the pair. Hulme has 135 strikeouts compared to Lyles 89. But not that there's anything wrong with that. Lyles has been more successful by pitching to contact and letting her defense do the talking.
"I give everything to my defense," Lyles said. "I do get a few strikeouts but other than that it's the defense that does everything."
Hulme has seen a lot in her four years and has provided a lot to the UT Arlington program. Hulme said she's seen a lot in Lyles and has taken her under her wing in a ways.
"I'm the senior so I have to help her out," Hulme said. "She's one of the better freshman I have ever seen."
Lyles has greatly appreciated the leadership Hulme has provided. College has been an extreme change of pace for Lyles.
"Just everyone's better and more aggressive," Lyles said. "Cara has been there to show me the ropes and help me out."
The two of them combined have given the Mavericks a fighting chance in a competitive Southland Conference. UTA stands at 15-7 in the conference after a five game winning streak that saw a sweep of Southland leading Stephen F. Austin last weekend.
Even more impressive in the sweep was how it was done. SFA didn't score a single run in the three games. Two of the shutouts went to Lyles, the other to Hulme.
"Not only did we beat them but we shut them out," Lyles said. "We sent a message with that sweep."
If three straight shutouts weren't enough, UTA then went on to shut out Sam Houston State 10-0 and 5-0 on Saturday with the third game on Sunday being cancelled due to rain. If it weren't for one run scored by New Mexico State on Monday the Mavericks would have had five straight shutouts.
As is, UTA has outscored its opponents 31-1 during the streak.
"They've been as dependable as anyone," coach Debbie Hedrick said. "You usually need to be successful in two of the three areas of the game - pitching, hitting and defense - to win. We've been getting great pitching and defense to help them out."
The streak has also given the Mavs something else besides a jolt to the standings - confidence. UTA has faced some big time schools and programs this season such as Texas and Baylor. While UTA lost both games, it was competitive in each.
Lyles thinks her team can play with the best of them.
"Absolutely we can," Lyles said. "Those games show we don't just want to play, we want to win."
With Hulme and Lyles pitching, these Mavericks could be seeing a lot more winning this season.
"I think we can play with everyone," Hulme said. "We've got what it takes."