Sam Houston State heads to Arlington to take on the UTA Mavericks in a two-game series as the Bearkats look to stay on pace with league-leading Texas State Friday and Saturday.

The Kats and the Mavs face off Friday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at 1 p.m.

Texas State, the league's preseason favorites, stand 14-2 in league play while Sam Houston is two games back at 12-4. Both teams meet in the regular season softball finale next weekend at Sam Houston's Bearkat Softball Complex.

With last Tuesday's doubleheader sweep of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Sam Houston takes sole possession of second place. Sam Houston has now won 23 of its last 27 games (since starting the year 1-13) and now stand 23-17 on the year.

Sam Houston has become a winner with a combination of power hitting and strong pitching. The Bearkats already have broken the school record for most home runs in a season (39 set in 2006) with 45 homers this year. SHSU leads the Southland in home runs and third baseman Shelbi Tucker is the league's top home run hitter.

"We've really emphasized hitting more this year," SHSU head coach Bob Brock said. "Adrian Gregory, our assistant coach, has come in here and done a really good job. She spends a lot of time with the hitting. We've kind of specialized it that way."

Sam Houston also is getting strong pitching from senior Tomi Garrison, sophomore Shelby Lancaster and freshman Meme Quinn.

"Our game is about pitching first," Brock said. "Then offense, defense and base-running. Our young ladies have been performing well in all areas."

Tickets for Sam Houston's last home series with Texas State are available online at or at the SHSU Athletic Ticket office located in the Ron Mafrige Field House at Bowers Stadium. For more information please call (936) 294-1729.