May 10, 2013
TULSA, Okla. ---- The No. 1 seed UAB softball team fell to fourth-seed Marshall, 1-0, on Friday in semifinal action in the Conference USA Championship at the Collins Family Softball Complex.
The Thundering Herd scored the game's lone run in the top of the first inning as Jazmine Valle doubled home Ashley Gue who had reached base on a bunt single and took third on a Blazer error.
“I’m proud of the way the ladies came out and fought today,” head coach Marla Townsend said. “Obviously we left nine people on base, which we normally find a way to get those in. Lauren Webster came out and settled in to pitch a great game, but we just have to be able to get those runs across the plate.”
It was the second straight year that Marshall has eliminated UAB in the conference tournament semifinals.
UAB falls to 37-16 on the season while Marshall improves to 34-20. The Thundering Herd will face Houston in Saturday's championship game.
The Blazers, who advanced to Friday's semifinals with an opening round 3-2, 10-inning victory over Southern Miss, shut out Marshall (1-0 and 2-0) in each of the two regular season matchups.
The Blazers will now await their postseason fate on Sunday as the NCAA Championship bracket is announced on ESPNU at 9 p.m. CT.
“There’s no doubt when Whitney Fletcher’s up to the plate that she can change the game with one swing of the bat,” Townsend said. “I liked where we were in the bottom of the seventh, I like the fight the girls had and I’m proud of them. We’re just hoping for an opportunity to continue playing.”
UAB left nine runners on base as it attempted to come back, including two each in the third, fifth and sixth innings. In the sixth, senior Kate Armstrong reached on a leadoff single to third, while junior Kristen McGrath followed as she reached on a single up the middle. A strikeout bookended by a pair of foul popups to the Marshall catcher ended the threat.
In the circle for UAB, senior Lauren Webster (12-4) threw the complete game in the loss, striking out five. For Marshall, Andi Williamson (31-16) got the complete game win, giving up six hits and walking two.