ARLINGTON, Texas - UTA softball kicks off its final week of the regular season hosting the Houston Cougars in a nonconference, midweek doubleheader on Tuesday at Allan Saxe Field.
The meeting will be the first between the two since the Mavericks claimed a 4-2 in in Houston on February 9, 2007. The Cougars own the overall series advantage 7-4.
First pitch of Tuesday's doubleheader is slated for 3 p.m., with Game 2 beginning approximately 30 minutes following the conclusion of Game 1.
Six of the ten starters in the Maverick lineup are underclassmen. All are making major impacts on the team's success, putting up impressive numbers, with a number cracking UTA's single-season record lists.
Hitting in the heart of the lineup, freshman Whitney Walton's team-high 35 runs scored are tied for eighth on the Mavs single-season runs list. She is two shy of moving into fifth with 37. Her 35 RBI are the 10th most in a single-season. She is also one home run shy of cracking the top-10 single-season home runs list, drilling seven round trippers so far this season.
Sophomore Krista Rude, who had a tremendous freshman campaign, earning Sun Belt All-Conference and NFCA All-Region honors, picked up right where she left off, hitting a team-high .367 in 47 games. Her 54 hits are six shy of tying Delany Lightfoot (1989) for eighth on the single-season hits list.
Freshman Reagan Wright has been the primary designated player, with expectations of producing the power the Mavericks have lacked over the last few years and she has done just that. With 15 extra-base hits, the Mansfield, Texas native is four shy of tying Dee Jay Nelson (2007), Ali Sanford (2006) and Sandra Mendoza (2016) for sixth with 19.
As a freshman in 2016, Sam Clakley immediately took over as the ace of the pitching staff, picking up big wins, including UTA's first win over a ranked opponent since 2003, when Clakley and the Mavs defeated No. 5 Louisiana 3-1. Now in her sophomore season, Clakley has continued her strong play, earning 20 wins on the year, becoming only the seventh Maverick to ever record 20 wins in a single season.
Freshman Aileen Garcia and sophomore Laura Curry have played pivotal roles in the Mavericks success, recording the second and third highest batting averages on the team at .348 and .312, respectively. Curry is six runs away from 10th on the single-season runs list. She would become the first Maverick two appear on the list as a freshman and sophomore after finishing 2016 fourth with 39.
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