March 1, 2014
ATHENS, Ga. – The UAB softball team (6-9) shut out No. 18 Georgia, 8-0, on Saturday at the 6th Annual Bulldog Invitational to split games against the Bulldogs and Western Carolina at Jack Turner Stadium.
Following a 5-4 loss in eight innings to the Catamounts in game one, UAB shutdown the Bulldogs and handed Georgia its first shutout of the season. UAB picked up its first win over a ranked opponent since the 3-2 win in 13 innings against UCLA on May 19, 2013 to win the NCAA Louisville Regional.
The eight run deficit for Georgia also marked the first time they were defeated by eight runs or more since Feb. 23, 2013 when they dropped a 14-2 decision to No. 23 Washington.
Junior Heather Pearson extended her on-base streak to 14 games batting .500 with three hits, a home run, two RBI and three runs. Megan McGrath finished the day .375 with a home run, two RBI and three hits in eight at-bats. Kristen McGrath batted just .250 on the day, but totaled four RBI and a home run.
Leigh Streetman worked 8.2 innings in the circle for the Blazers on Saturday and didn’t allow a run while striking out 10 and walking three. Her complete-game shutout improved her season record to 5-5.
Western Carolina 5, UAB 4 (8 innings)
For the second-straight game against the Catamounts, UAB took an early advantage in the first inning. Pearson dropped a high fly ball down the right field line to reach base safely for the 13th consecutive contest to set the table for Kristen McGrath. On a 1-1 count, McGrath sent a high fly ball to center field for her second home run of the season and 33rd of her career – her home run moved her into sole possession of first place on the UAB all-time career home run list.
UAB added two more runs in the fifth when Pearson lifted her first home run of the season to left field to make the score 4-0. The Catamounts answered back in the bottom of the fifth and sent eight batters to the plate to manufacture two runs with three hits, but they left the bases loaded as Campbell got out of a jam.
The Catamounts tied it up in its half of the sixth after sending seven batters to the plate. Following a groundout and strikeout to begin the inning, Western Carolina totaled three-straight singles and a double to plate two runs and tie the score at 4-4.
UAB got a leadoff runner in the eighth but she was stranded at first. Western Carolina tripled with one out in the eighth to setup a one out, one on situation. Streetman then intentionally walked back-to-back Catamounts to setup the bases loaded with one out. With the Western Carolina five-hole hitter at the plate, who had struck out twice in previous at-bats, UAB catcher Ashley Johnson threw down to third on a pickoff attempt and the ball rolled past Dennis into foul territory to score the game-winning run.
UAB 8, Georgia 0
UAB got things started in the third when Amy Dennis led off with a single. Following two-straight putouts, Ashley Johnson delivered a soft single to setup two on and two out for freshman Danii Fernandez. Fernandez dropped a single over the head of the shortstop to plate Dennis and Johnson advanced to third on the throw, as did Fernandez to second.
Attfield followed with a 2-RBI double down the left field line to plate UAB’s second and third runs of the inning.
UAB tacked on two more runs in the third when Megan McGrath picked up her second home run of 2014 with a hard shot to right-center field to give UAB a 5-0 advantage.
Georgia threatened in the third, fourth and fifth innings, but Streetman shut down the Bulldogs. In the fifth, Georgia picked up back-to-back singles from the nine-hole and leadoff hitter with two outs, but Streetman struck out Paige Wilson to end the Bulldogs’ threat.
UAB tacked on three insurance runs in the seventh to seal the win over the Bulldogs.
The Blazers will face Georgia again Sunday at 12:30 ET/11:30 CT to close the 6th Annual Bulldog Invitational.
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