UT Arlington (28-16, 8-13 SBC) vs Texas State (33-18, 12-9 SBC)
May 6-7 | Bobcat Softball Stadium| San Marcos, Texas
By Brooke Ortale | UTAMavs.com
ARLINGTON, Texas - UT Arlington softball closes out the Sun Belt regular season with a three-game series at in-state rival Texas State that begins Friday.
"Texas State is going to be a really tough team to beat," senior Britnea Barilli said. "But if we all come to play then I think it will be some good games."
The Mavs lead the all-time series with the Bobcats 59-54 with Texas State sweeping the Mavs last season.
Following the weekend, the Mavs travel to South Alabama for the Sun Belt Championship beginning May 11. Seedings and game times will be determined following the conclusion of this weekend's Sun Belt games.
Last Week Recap: In their last home series of the season, the Mavs were swept by Troy Saturday before rebounding with an extra-inning win over the Trojans on senior day.
The Mavs dropped a heartbreaker in Game 1 of the series 5-4 in nine innings. The Mavs took a 3-0 lead in the third before the Trojans tied it in the sixth. Both teams went scoreless for two innings with Troy scoring two in the ninth to take the 5-3 lead. The Mavs attempted to mount a comeback in the bottom of the inning pulling within run but was unable to push across the tying run.
UTA again took the early lead, scoring two in the second inning of Game 2. A three-run third followed by a nine-run fourth for the Trojans were too much for the Mavs, falling to the Trojans 12-2.
In her last home game of her career, Barilli drove in the game winner in the ninth of Game 3.
Mendoza's Record-Breaking Season: Compiling 71 hits on the season, Mendoza is the Mavericks new single-season hits leader, passing Katie Jones 70 hits in 2007.
"It was awesome," Mendoza said. "It's really good for the program. We come out here and work every day. The girls push me every day and I think I push them so it's really good for the program."
Her 15 doubles put her in a tie for fifth on the single-season doubles list, only three shy of Kristi Bryant's and Dorcas Coston's 17 they hit in 1993 and 1984 respectively. Mendoza's 19 extra-base hits are good for a tie for sixth on the single-season extra base hits list. Meagan Michele's 26 from a year ago tops the record book. Mendoza has 39 RBI this season placing her sixth on the single-season RBI list. Shelbi Sikes set the record with 45 in 2015. Mendoza is on pace to shatter the single-season batting average record of .417, hitting .467 with two weeks left.
Conference Standings: UTA sits seventh in the Sun Belt standings at 8-13 with one regular season SBC series against Texas State before the Sun Belt Championships. The Bobcats are in third in the SBC at 12-9. With a sweep against the Bobcats and help from teams within the conference, the Mavs can move as high fourth in the SBC.
Streaking: Mendoza extended her hit-streak to a career-high 18 straight games following her RBI single in Game 1 on Saturday. This marked the second significant hit-streak of the season for Mendoza after she recorded a hit in each of the first 17 games of the season.
Krista Rude is riding a 10 game hit-streak. Her career-high 13 game hit-streak was set at the start of the year, recording a hit in each of the first 13 games of her career.
Sikes has reached base in each of the last nine games, setting a new season-high for her.
Mavericks in the Rankings: UTA sits 57th in the country and third in the Sun Belt in winning percentage (.644) and 78th in Division I and second in the SBC in batting average (.299). The Mavs lead the conference in doubles (1.40) and triples per game (0.22). UTA ranks third in the conference in scoring (5.04) and stolen bases per game (1.29).
The Mavs are just as good on the defensive side of the ball, sitting second in the conference and 96th in Division in double plays turned per game (0.33) and third in the Sun Belt and 73rd in the nation in fielding percentage (.966)
Mendoza's .467 batting average is the 11th highest in Division I softball and second best in the SBC. She leads the SBC in doubles per game (0.33) and leads the conference and is 25th in the nation in on-base percentage (.534). Mendoza and Laura Curry are tied for fourth in the Sun Belt and 29th in the nation in triples with four, averaging 0.09 a game, good for fourth in the conference and 45th in Division I.
Kacey Everett leads the conference and is second in the nation in sacrifice flies with six, while Rebecca Stokes leads the Sun Belt and is 20th in Division I in sacrifice hits per games (.26). Curry ranks second in the SBC and 31st in the nation in sacrifice hits per game (0.24)
Samantha Clakley's three saves on the year tops the Sun Belt and is good for 48th in the nation. Her 18 victories are fourth in the conference and 41st in Division I.
Underclassmen Lead the way: The underclassmen have played a major role in the team's success this season. Mendoza (sophomore) leads the team in most offensive categories. Mendoza is a team leader in batting average (.467), hits (71), triples (4), RBI (39), slugging percentage (.618) and on-base percentage (.534).
Rude (freshman) and Curry (freshman) are second and third on the team in batting average, hitting .407 and .333 respectively. Curry leads the team in runs, scoring 36 times on the year, while Rude is the team's stolen base leader, swiping 13 so far this season. Brianna Burchianti (freshman) has also played a major role in the team's success hitting .280 with 23 RBI, primarily as the designated player for the Mavericks.
Clakley (freshman) has been dominant in the circle, recording a team-low 2.97 ERA with 126 strikeouts and 18 wins in 181.1 innings thrown.
Record Watch: Curry's 36 runs this season put her 10th on the Mavs single-season runs list. Nina Villanueva sits at the top scoring 52 runs last season
Sikes' 30 walks on the season places her in a tie for eighth on the single-season walks list. Barilli is three away from appearing on the list for third time in her career with 27 walks this year.
In the hunt for the Maverick all-time walks record, Barilli has 27 walks on the season to give her 121 in her career. She is second on the Mavericks all-time walks list with 119, chasing Jill Garro at the top with 141. Sikes has 68 career walks, putting her ninth on the list.
Milestone Watch: Barilli has started 206 games in her career, playing in every Mavericks softball game in left field over the last four years. Stokes has started 200 games, starting every game but six at first base in her career.
Barilli scored her 100th run of her career, while Everett reached the century mark in hits over the weekend.
Chasing History: UTA's 19-0 start to the season was the best start of any program in UTA Athletics history, with the 1980's 9-0 start marking the best start prior to this season. The Mavs are chasing the 1983 team's 39 wins for most in school history. The Mavs are currently 22-4 on the year.
Up Next: Following their series with Texas State, the Mavs are on the road for the Sun Belt Championships being held at South Alabama. Games times and seedings will be released following the conclusion of this weekend's SBC games.
Streaming on UTAMavs.com: All home games are video streamed at UTAMavs.com/collegesportslive. Subscriptions are available for $9.95 per month and $99.95 per year.
Can't Make the Game? If you are unable to catch UTA Softball action in person, follow on twitter @UTAMavs or on facebook via UT Arlington Athletics for live in game updates.
Tickets: Single game tickets and season tickets are available at UTATickets.com and by calling 817-272-9595. Parking is free for all games at Allan Saxe Field.
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