Sophomore Anna Kimbrell and the Blazers won three games at the Paradise Classic.
Feb. 9, 2013
"We have grown so much this week," head coach Marla Townsend said. "From having good practices early on, to coming out here and actually facing opponents, and growing as a team, it's very positive. We nailed out a number of players at the plate, our relays are solid, and our outfield has matured tremendously."
Kristen McGrath homered to left field in the bottom of the second inning for her third of the season, and sophomore Anna Kimbrell followed with a home run of her own to start off the UAB (3-2, 0-0 C-USA) offense in the third inning. The Blazers' second run in the third inning came from a fielding error by Washington's (3-2, 0-0 Pac-12) pitcher, Kaitlin Inglesby.
"Our hitters today, their presence at the plate sends a signal that they're buying in," Townsend said. "They're buying in on what we're doing. I think it great all-around to play this caliber of teams, especially ones that have World Series experience. It also tells us that we have a few things we need to work on, but we're right here."
Washington got on the board in the fifth inning after a Blazer error at first base led to pinch runner Dani Braun coming in from third. Inglesby's sac fly brought in the runner on third for the Huskies' second score. With two outs and two on, senior Lauren Webster came in and forced left fielder Whitney Jones to strike out to end the inning.
In the bottom of the fifth, with two outs and freshman shortstop Caitlin Attfield on at second, McGrath singled up the middle to score the Attfield and put UAB up by a pair of runs, 4-2.
In the sixth inning, the Huskies scored six runs on six hits, starting with leadoff hitter Shawna Wright's home run to left field. All three UAB pitchers saw action before the Blazers got out of the inning.
UAB attempted a comeback in the bottom of the sixth and seventh innings, but were unable to get runs across the plate.
"I'm extremely proud of our girls," Townsend continued. "They've grown as a team and individually, and we realize that we have the talent, the mental aspect of the game, and we are looking forward to getting back out there and playing again."
The Blazers finished their trip of the University of Hawaii's tournament with a 3-2 record, its best in the program's three trips to Honolulu.
Up next, UAB travels to Kennesaw, Ga., to compete in the Kennesaw State Classic, Feb. 16-17. The Blazers will take on Eastern Kentucky, SIUE, IUPUI, and UT-Martin during the two-day tournament.