Feb. 15, 2013
BIRMINGHAM, Ala.-- After a successful opening weekend that saw the UAB softball team beat a ranked opponent for the first time since the 2011 season, the Blazers will hit the road again, this time to the Kennesaw State Classic in Woodstock, Ga.
UAB will face Eastern Kentucky and SIUE on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. ET and 3:30 p.m. ET, respectively. On Sunday, UAB will take on IUPUI at 10:30 a.m. ET before facing UT Martin at 3:30 p.m. ET.
Follow @UABSoftball on Twitter for in-game updates.
Last Time Out
The Blazers opened the 2013 season at the Oceanic Time Warner Cable Paradise Classic, hosted by the University of Hawaii.
Boosted by home runs from junior Kristen McGrath and senior Kate Armstrong on back-to-back pitches, UAB started the season off with a 4-3 win over then-No. 16 Washington. It marked UAB's first victory over a Pac-12 school and was the highest ranked opponent the Blazers have beaten in program history.
UAB also defeated SEC-foe Ole Miss, 5-3, and St. Mary's. 5-0. In the shutout over the Gaels, senior pitcher Lauren Webster struck out 13 and only allowed one hit, while senior Chandler Orr hit a home run to cap the Blazers' scoring efforts.
Scouting Eastern Kentucky
The Colonels (0-0) ended the 2012 season with an overall record of 27-30 and finished in fifth in the Ohio Valley Conference with a mark of 16-13.
Eastern Kentucky returns 14 letterwinners, including senior second baseman Raquel Howes, who was an All-OVC First Team selection last season. The Colonels also welcome four newcomers to the roster.
Saturday's game marks the season opener for Eastern Kentucky and the first-ever meeting between the two teams.
The Cougars (2-1) opened the season at Mississippi State's Bulldog Kickoff Classic, and won two games after dropping their season opener.
SIUE was edged by Georgia State, 10-9, before they bounced back with wins over South Alabama (2-1) and Troy (11-3). The Cougars combined for 13 runs and only allowed four in the two victories.
The upcoming contest marks the first-ever meeting between the two teams.
The Jaguars (3-2) competed in the Mercer Invitational in Macon, Ga., to open their season, and came out with a pair of run-rule wins, and another in regulation.
IUPUI won its opener against Alabama State, 5-3, before losing to Mercer, 7-5. On the second day of competition, the Jaguars topped the Bears, 10-4, in eight innings. IUPUI then defeated Alabama State a second time, 15-1, in five innings.
Sunday's game marks the first meeting between UAB and IUPUI.
Scouting UT Martin
The Skyhawks opened their season by posting a 2-2 record at the Southeastern Louisiana Lions Classic in Martin, Tenn.
UT Martin defeated Louisiana Tech, 7-2, in its season opener, and then topped Saint Louis, 3-2. The Skyhawks dropped a pair of games to Southeastern Louisiana and Delaware.
The contest marks the first-ever meeting between the two teams.
Accolades For Blazers
After being named to the Paradise Classic All-Tournament Team, junior designated hitter Kristen McGrath and senior third baseman Kate Armstrong earned another set of honors in the season's opening week.
After blasting three home runs in Honolulu, McGrath was named Conference USA Hitter of the Week. Armstrong was named UAB Student-Athlete of the Week after hitting a home run of her own. The Vestavia Hills, Ala. native recorded 14 at bats and owns an on-base percentage of .438--the second highest on the squad.
Leading The League Early
One week in, Kristen McGrath leads the league in RBI with seven and home runs with three. The Tampa, Fla., native also leads the conference in total bases with 16. Senior Anna Kimbrell sits in a tie for second place in home runs with two jacks of her own.
Senior pitcher Lauren Webster sits in second in the league for total strikeouts with 19, and the 13 Ks she recorded in the win over St. Mary's is the most in one game this season.
Starting Off Right
UAB has started off the 2013 season with continued excellence in its opening games. The Green and Gold has an impressive 10-4 record in season openers after UAB's win over Washington. The Blazers' only losses in season openers came in 2000 against Auburn, 2001 against Troy, 2009 against LSU and 2011 against Jacksonville State. Between 2002 and 2008 the Blazers were 7-0.
Quest For 400
With 383 wins, head coach Marla Townsend is only 17 away from her career milestone of 400 victories during her 14-year tenure at UAB.
Townsend recorded win No. 300 during the 2010 season when the Blazers defeated C-USA foe Memphis, 5-2, at home on May 1, 2010.
According to the schedule, this milestone is expected to also occur during league action.
Next up, the UAB softball team will return home to open its home slate, hosting in-state foe Alabama on Tuesday, Feb. 19 at 6 p.m. CT.