ARLINGTON, Texas - As the fall season ends, Peejay Brun prepares for her first year as head coach for the Maverick softball team. Brun plans to take the season on by storm and make a statement here at UTA with her staff and charismatic roster.
"It was great seeing the team and how they progressed over the last couple of months from where we started off. They are in great condition and hitting the ball really well and pitchers are doing a great job throwing strikes. We're in a really good spot and I couldn't ask for anything more."
Brun looks to second baseman Sandra Mendoza as the season comes closer to pull her team together and build chemistry with a new staff and players. Mendoza, who is a senior, is a natural role model for her teammates and sets the tone in the clubhouse. With this being her last fall season as a Maverick, she plans for a long spring.
"It was a great fall so far. We had a lot of time to build our chemistry as a team and get involved with the new coaches and get to know them which was great for us. I'm really excited for the spring. We have a lot of speed on our team and now that we have the chemistry it's really going to show a lot when it comes to game day." Mendoza said of her evaluation of the fall.
As far as newcomers go for the UTA softball team, there are two standouts. Pitchers Michal Hylton and JoJo Valencia. Both bring a strong presence to the mound and work great with pitching coach Charlotte Morgan and buy into the program. They are the only two pitchers as of now for the spring and show that they can compete with any team they face.
"They've been working with coach Morgan every day and for being new to a team and coaches, they've grown a lot," Mendoza said of the staff. "Everyday they come out here and give there best and they have a great mentality."
Valencia certainly has big shoes to fill as it looks like she will be the Mavs opening day starter this upcoming season for a revamped softball team.
"This fall has been really productive and I feel that the team and myself have learned a lot. We had to adjust to a new coach and have already learned a lot from her. We're all really excited for the spring and ready to see how we all mesh together and be a cohesive team." Valencia said. "This is going to be my first season as a Maverick and I'm really excited about that. I'm excited to travel with the team and help us get to the conference tournament."
The staff, Brun, Morgan and Megan Coronado, show that they trust their team and have really began to build something special inside the softball clubhouse. From scavenger hunts to costume parties, there is no excuse that this softball team hasn't peaked its team chemistry. But chemistry isn't the only thing that wins games.
"Building a lot more strength in the weight room, keeping our speed up, and once we get deeper into the spring, we want them to be ready to play division l softball." Brun said.
For Brun, her focus going into the spring is that of southern comfort.
"Really building more as a team and bonding and having that family feel is what I want to carry over into the spring time and I really think that's going to help us compete once we get into the season."
After slating an undefeated fall season, coach Brun and the Maverick softball team begin spring play on Feb. 9 against Syracuse in Baton Rouge, La. The first home game will be Feb. 21 against Northwestern State at Allan Saxe Field.
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