May 2, 2014
ARLINGTON, Texas – UT Arlington softball heads to San Marcos for its final Sun Belt regular-season series of the 2014 campaign. The Mavericks are 20-29 overall and 4-13 in conference play.
The two schools have met 106 times, venturing from the Southland Conference to the Western Athletic Conference and now to the Sun Belt together. UT Arlington leads the series 58-48 and won the series last season 2-1.
"This week in practice we've been focusing on the passion for the game," UT Arlington coach Kristie Fox said. "These seasons are really long and it’s a grind. This is the time where we need to peak so we need to find that passion and love for the game."
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 0-3 in conference play against No. 16 Louisiana at Allan Saxe Field. The Mavericks picked up a 5-1 midweek win against Abilene Christian and went 2-1 against the Wildcats this season. Freshman Riley Fira has found herself in the designated player role in the Maverick lineup. Fira batted .429 with three hits in seven at-bats. She had one walk against Abilene Christian and two against Louisiana in Game 1 of the three-game series. Fira also moved to catcher in two of the four games she started as designated player this past week.
SCOUTING TEXAS STATE: The Bobcats are 23-29 overall and 6-12 in Sun Belt action as they sit just two spots ahead of the Mavericks in the league standings. Junior Courtney Harris leads Texas State with a .324 batting average throughout the season with 26 RBI. Senior Coralee Ramirez is batting .333 in conference competition and had no errors with 14 putouts. Fellow senior Ryan House is leading the Bobcat pitching staff with a 2.62 ERA and a 20-18 record.
AT THE PLATE: Junior Nina Villanueva is batting .354 to lead the Mavericks, with 52 hits and 36 RBI on the season. Villanueva is hitting .489 with 22 hits in Sun Belt action. Fellow junior Meagan Michele is batting .233 in league play.
ROADIES: The Mavericks have struggled on the road this season with a 3-9 overall away record and have one Sun Belt road win. The team is hitting .213 compared to opponents' .280.
IT’S A NUMBERS GAME: The Mavericks are 14-5 when leading after the fourth inning. The team is a perfect 8-0 when scoring six or more runs and 15-1 when out-hitting its opponent.
COUNTING HOMERS: Nina Villanueva (8), Meagan Michele (4), Jolene Schaefer (3), Britnea Barilli (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.
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