April 25, 2014
ARLINGTON, Texas - UT Arlington softball hosts No. 16 Louisiana this weekend in the final home Sun Belt Conference series of the season.
The Mavericks open the series with a doubleheader Saturday at 1 p.m., with a single game Sunday at 1 p.m. at Allan Saxe Field.
Senior pitcher Callie Collins will be recognized following Sunday's as part of Senior Day. The Rusk, Texas native leads the Maverick pitching staff with a 2.71 ERA in 155 innings pitched.
FOLLOWING THE GAME: Live stats and stream are available live on UTAMavs.com. Twitter updates are available through @UTAMavs.
UT ARLINGTON LAST WEEK: UT Arlington softball went 2-1 in conference play against ULM to win its first SBC series. Junior Nina Villanueva hit her eighth home run of the season as she led the Mavericks with a .500 batting average this week. Villanueva went 5-8 against ULM for a .625 batting average, including a perfect 3-3 with 2 RBI and 1 home run in the second game of a doubleheader. She also grabbed 8 putouts and 11 assists with no errors at shortstop. Villanueva leads the team with an overall .360 batting average and is hitting .541 in Sun Belt action. Sophomore Britnea Barilli also batted .500 last week as she was 5-10 with 4 runs scored and 2 RBI.
SCOUTING LOUISIANA: The Ragin' Cajuns are 35-7-1 overall and 13-1 in Sun Belt action. Senior Natalie Fernandez is leading the Cajuns with a .457 batting average, ranking her 11th nationally. Louisiana has a .300 batting average and a .956 fielding percentage. The team's five-player pitching staff is led by junior Christina Hamilton, who is 19-1 with a 1.37 ERA.
AT THE PLATE: Junior Nina Villanueva is batting .360 to lead the Mavericks, with 50 hits and 36 RBI on the season. Villanueva is hitting .541 with 20 hits in Sun Belt action. Fellow junior Meagan Michele is batting .270 in league play.
HOMEBODIES: The Mavericks are 11-8 when playing at Allan Saxe Field and went 2-1 at home last weekend against ULM. Nina Villanueva is batting .431 at home and sophomore Rebecca Stokes is batting .333.
COUNTING HOMERS: Nina Villanueva (8), Jolene Schaefer (3), Britnea Barilli (3), Meagan Michele (3), Rebecca Stokes (2), Shelbi Sikes (2), Jasmine Tanksley (1), Kacey Everett (2), Holly Murphree (1), Marisa Datko (1), Riley Fira (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. She also received the honor on April 14 after she went 2-0 pitching two complete games. She gave up just one run off of four hits, while striking out 11 batters in 13 innings. The one run came in a 2-1 Maverick victory over Troy. Collins helped her team shutout Abilene Christian in a mid-week game allowing no runs with four strikeouts.
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.
THIRD YEAR, THIRD CONFERENCE: The Mavericks softball team is in its hird 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.