The SHSU softball team will face a tough pitching staff this weekend from the No. 1 team in the Southland Conference, the University of Texas-Arlington.
The Bearkats are coming off a two series losing streak against Baylor and Northwestern State.
“I think that it is real important that we bounce back,” said head coach Bob Brock. “UT- Arlington is a team that is leading the league and having a big year.”
The Lady Mavericks are 30-14 overall and 18-3 in conference play. UTA suffered its first loss at home last Sunday against Louisiana-Monroe 3-2.
SHSU’s record for away games is 10-13.
“We haven’t always been good on the road, but lately we have been doing better,” Brock said.
Players to look out for from the Lady Mavericks’ roster come from the pitching staff.
Junior Katy Cox (21-6) owns over 621 career strikeouts. She has 236 strikeouts this season. Cox became the career softball strikeout leader at UTA March 23, in a game against Northwestern State by posting career strikeout number 621. She has pitched eight games since then.
Only a freshman, Jill Garro has a 1.85 ERA with 83 strikeouts for the Lady Mavericks.
Hitters to look out for from UTA include freshman Beverly Rowan, batting .326 this season with 44 hits, 27 RBIs and two home runs. Freshmen Autumn Petrino and Jenna Fortune have three home runs apiece.
The Lady Mavericks are a young team with all but seven on the roster at freshman status.
Sam Houston has some heavy hitters of its own. Sara Gatlin and Melissa Cosgrove lead the Bearkats in home runs with six each this season. Cosgrove has also collected 26 RBIs this year.
Lauren Boone has shelled out 49 hits for SHSU so far, batting .358. Chrissy Dileo has collected 25 RBIs for the Bearkats.
SHSU struggled at the plate in the last two series’ where they usually dominate.
“If you look at our games from last week, you see that we just didn’t hit,” Brock said. “We did win one game on a home run in the bottom of the seventh, but I just felt that offensively we weren’t real strong.”
That game winning home run belonged to Erin Lindsey last weekend against the Lady Demons from Northwestern State. Lindsey scored the only run of the series for the Bearkats, who dropped to fourth in the SLC.
SHSU won’t have a game between the weekends, but Brock said they have been working hard in practice.
The first pitch for Saturday’s doubleheader against UTA is set for 1 p.m. Sunday’s game starts at noon at Allan Saxe field in Arlington.
The Bearkats only have six more games left for the season. Their final series takes place the following weekend against McNeese State. The Southland Conference Tournament is May 2-4 in Natchitoches, La.