ARLINGTON, Texas —
It can be said that Callie Collins is back in the saddle again.
After winning six major awards in 2011 (including Southland Conference Pitcher of the Year) as a University of Texas Arlington (UTA) freshman pitcher, the Rusk High School product was unable to continue her string of dominance in the circle for the past two seasons due to an injury that she suffered during training in early 2012.
Despite being less than 100-percent and often in some pain, Collins, the daughter of Darvin and Betty Collins of Rusk, still started 22 games in 2012 and 29 last season for the Mavericks.
Collins, the only senior on this year's UTA squad, seems to have retuned to fine form this season, however.
In fact, her recent production has been so good that she has been named as the Sunbelt Conference (SBC) Pitcher of the Week.
Collins got the call in five games last week, with three of those being starts in the UTA Hilton Invitational.
She posted a record of 3-0 and gave up just two earned runs in just over 19 innings of work.
“Callie showed her senior maturity and composure this (past) weekend,” UTA head softball coach Kristie Fox said in a press release. “She had to carry a lot of the load in these six games over the weekend and competed one pitch at a time. She was a leader in the fact that she was focused on her job and trusted the defense to play behind her.”
In last weekend's tourney, Collins fanned 22 opposing batters, walked just four batters while racking up a miniscule earned run average (ERA) of 0.93.
The Mavericks, who are out west this weekend playing in the Arizona Wildcat Invitational, are 10-6 thus far this season and the UTA pitching staff is ranked No. 6 in ERA.
Collins has struck out 55 hitters in 47.1 frames of work in 11 appearances this year.
Of all SBC pitchers having at least eight appearance, Collins ranks fifth in earned run average (2.30).
An All-State pitcher at Rusk High, who collected 817-career strikeouts during her storied prep career, Collins doesn't plan on retiring from the game anytime soon, even though she will complete her final year of collegiate eligibility later this year.
She has been selected to travel to Asia with the Competitive Edge International organization in June and July, where she will be showing kids on the other side of the world what high-level softball is all about.
Collins will also be sharing with those overseas something much more important than softball — the love of Jesus Christ.