Michael Eldridge | @DFWSportsMike
ARLINGTON, Texas - UT Arlington softball ended its four-team fall slate on a high note at Allan Saxe Field on Saturday.
The Mavericks pounded 15 hits in the finale and were sound defensively, conceding just one error in the matchup vs. Crowder College. UTA had 16 hits on Thursday against Lubbock Christian. UTA coach Kristie Fox has taken a lot of positives from its schedule, but she added that the team still has a lot to work on.
"I am really excited about our defense and the job that our pitchers did," Fox said. "Offensively, we have a lot of work to do. The heart of our lineup really needs to step up and help us get some bigger innings. We are able to scratch one or two across, which is great, but we had a lot of opportunities to break open the game and we haven't done it yet."
The Mavericks had four players finish with two-hits. Mya Anderson was 2-for-4 with two runs scored and a RBI. Calin Sims knocked two hits, crossing the plate once and also producing a RBI. Shelbi Sikes and Britnea Barilli each had two hits.
UTA's pitching staff continued to build momentum towards the regular season, getting two innings of work each in the 10-inning game. Kayla Donaldson was the most effective out of the group, striking out a team-high four, while allowing just one hit. Samantha Clakley and Brooklynne Simbeck each struck out two.
Despite colder weather coming as the team takes the winter break, position battles are heating up as freshmen and transfers look for playing time. Fox said that she is seeing a big improvement in the level of play with the competition between returners and newcomers.
"The freshmen have done a really good job in competing every day in practice," Fox said. "They have completely changed the way practice is ran. They take self-responsibility and they are trying to get people's spots. I like the way that they are doing that and it is pushing the girls to compete right back, so they have had to step up their game as well."
Taking into account what the team has accomplished in its four games, Fox said there is still a lot to accomplish before the team takes the field for the 2016 season
"We have to see our pitchers stretch out the innings and offensively we need to swing the bats a little bit better," Fox said. "We swung the bats well last year and took our foot off the gas a little. It is the same kids, so we have to get them going again and comfortable again and get them confident. That is what the fall is all about, getting the confidence back."
Information about the 2016 schedule, as well as ticket information, will be released soon.
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