SAN ANTONIO — UTSA will close out the regular season and look to secure a spot in next week’s Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Tournament when it hosts UT Arlington this weekend in a three-game series at Roadrunner Field. The set will start at 6 p.m. on Friday and conclude with a 3 p.m. doubleheader the following day.
The Roadrunners enter the series with a 25-22 record and are part of a four-way tie for third place in the WAC standings with an 8-10 league mark. The Birds need just one win lock up a bid to the league tournament, which will be played from May 8-11 at the Lady Techster Softball Complex in Ruston, La.
UTSA is coming off last weekend's series win at Louisiana Tech behind a pair of strong starts from Haylee Staton. The Austin native allowed just one earned run in each start and recorded a total of 14 strikeouts. Staton’s 13 wins rank fourth in the league, while her 109 strikeouts stand sixth.
Darian Blake continues to lead the offense with a .372 batting average, which is good for fourth in the circuit. The Katy native is hitting .426 in WAC play and she has a hit in all but two of 18 league contests this spring. Meanwhile, Megan Low paces the squad with 15 extra-base hits (10 doubles/five home runs) and 27 RBIs.
The Mavericks (22-25, 6-12 WAC) are led by Nina Villanueva’s .308 average, while Meagan Michelle leads the team with four homers. UT Arlington boasts the conference’s best pitching staff (1.99 ERA) and is batting .224 as a team, which ranks eighth in league. The duo of Teri Lyles (1.62 ERA) and Callie Collins (2.50 ERA) have combined to strikeout 233 batters and Lyles leads the circuit with 19 victories. The Mavs are led by first-year head coach Kristie Fox, who joined the program in June 2012 after a three-year stint on the Texas Tech coaching staff and an All-America playing career at Arizona.
UTSA leads the all-time series 41-30, including a 26-12 mark in San Antonio. The Birds have won the last three meetings, two of which were decided in extra innings.