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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Softball

Mavericks constitute final test before softball home stand


Looking to keep momentum going into senior weekend, softball ends their roadtrip with a doubleheader at UT-Arlington | Courtesy of UH Athletics

For the Cougar softball team, the 2017 season has been one of attrition.

At times, the team struggled to maintain a record above .500 wins. At other times, it has dominated opponents. The softball team has played with some of the best in the country and often just been short of victory.

With only five games left in the regular season, the softball team heads to Arlington to play the University of Texas at Arlington Mavericks, the Cougars’ last opponent before senior weekend. The Cougars and Mavericks come into the game with near identical records of 25 wins to 26 wins.

The Cougars go into the doubleheader with momentum; they’ve won two straight games¬†on the road against the University of Memphis Tigers.

Senior utility player Shelby Miller was named the American Athletic Conference Hitter of the Week for her performance over the series, and she collected seven RBI’s and scored four runs. In total, the Cougars outscored the Tigers 15-5 in the last two games.

In contrast, the Mavericks in contrast dropped their last series away to Appalachian State. But they did win their last game 14-3 after losing the first two by a combined 2-5.

Conference-wise, the two teams are opposites of each other. The Cougars have a record of 10-5 in conference and cannot catch the University of Tulsa, which has a conference record of 14-1 with only three games left.

The Cougars hold only a one-game lead over the University of Central Florida.

The Mavericks, meanwhile, are fifth in the Sunbelt Conference with a record of 12-12. They are tied with Georgia Southern University and are slated to play the 38-11 Texas Southern in their last series.

For both teams, this doubleheader is a way of gaining momentum before their last respective series. The Cougars need to win to maintain their second place spot, but the Mavericks need a victory to earn a favorable match up in the conference tournament.

Statistically, the Cougars have the edge in this series. The Cougars rank No. 48 in the NCAA with a batting average of .300. Conversely, the Mavericks rank fifty spots lower at No. 98 with a .286 BA. The Cougars also have an advantage in pitching, with an earned run average of 2.74. The Mavericks rank only No. 127 with an ERA of 3.39.

Earlier in the year, the Cougars under-performed in some games in which they were the superior team. As the season closes, they will need to learn from their mistakes to come out on top and be ready to close out the season against South Florida.

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