March 14, 2013
BIRMINGHAM, Ala.-- After opening the Conference USA schedule with a series sweep, the UAB softball team returns home to host East Carolina at the UAB Softball Field for three games. Saturday's doubleheader will have a 1 p.m. CT first pitch.
Sunday's game is set for an 11 a.m. CT start and will be broadcast on Fox Sports Net, with Bruce Howard and Amanda Scarborough on the call.
Admission for Sunday's game is free, and the first 50 fans for each game will receive a free UAB Softball seat cushion.
Follow @UABSoftball on Twitter for in-game updates.
Last Time Out
Last weekend, the Blazers made the trek to Orlando, Fla., and opened the conference schedule with three wins over UCF.
In the opener, junior first baseman Megan McGrath hit her first home run of the year in the top of the sixth inning to add two scores to UAB's 5-1 win. The Blazers ended the day with a 4-0 win as pitchers Lannah Campbell and Leigh Streetman combined in the circle for the game two shutout.
On Sunday, sophomore second baseman Heather Pearson got UAB on the board in the third inning with her first home run of the year. Junior designated player Kristen McGrath added a pair of two-RBI homers in the fourth and seventh innings en route to the Blazers' 8-2 victory, and the sweep.
For the weekend, UAB held the Knights to a .143 team batting average, while Campbell posted a 0.00 ERA through 8.1 innings, claiming a win and two saves.
Scouting East Carolina
Opening the season by competing in five tournaments and hosting three, East Carolina is 8-15 on the year and has yet to meet a C-USA opponent.
Last week, the Pirates dropped four games at Hawaii's Malihini Kipa Aloha Tournament. To start, East Carolina dropped a 9-0 decision to Portland State in five innings, before losing to tournament-host Hawaii, 8-0.
In the final day of the tournament, the Pirates dropped a 3-0 decision to Syracuse before once against falling to Hawaii, 4-0. East Carolina hasn't scored a run since its 6-0 win over North Dakota on March 3, in Tempe, Ariz.
For the Pirates, junior Kristi Oshiro leads the squad with a .415 batting average, while junior Alex Fieldhouse has hit five home runs.
In the overall series, East Carolina holds a slim lead over the Blazers at 19-18. Last season, UAB won the first two games in Greenville, N.C., 1-0 and 5-3, before dropping a 4-2 decision to the Pirates on the final day of play.
Starting With A Sweep
For the third straight season and the fourth time overall, UAB has opened the C-USA schedule with a series sweep of its opponent.
During the 2002 season, the Blazers took three games from former C-USA member St. Louis, March 12-13.
In 2011, UAB defeated then-No. 25 Houston on the road, March 12-13, en route to a 6-0 start in league play.
A season ago, the Blazers took three games from Memphis at home, March 10-11, before also taking the series at Marshall March 23-24. The Blazers continued with a win in their first game of the Houston series to go 7-0 in conference play for the first time in program history.
Reached Base Streaks
Senior catcher Anna Kimbrell currently leads the Blazers with a 15-game reached base streak, which started when she was walked in UAB's game against Hawaii on Feb. 7.
Fifteen games marks the longest reached-base streak since former Blazer Caley Walden reached in 21 consecutive games during the 2011 season.
Freshman Caitlin Attfield is the other Blazer currently boasting a double-digit number of reached bases with 12 games, which started when she reached on a bunt single on Feb. 9 against Washington.
UAB On TV
UAB is currently 1-0 in televised appearances this season, defeating UCF, 8-2, on March 10. The contest was also televised by Fox Sports Net.
The Blazers' second televised game this season--also UAB's second at the UAB Softball Field--is set for Sunday, also on Fox Sports Net.
A season ago, the Blazers played in their first home televised game, hosting Tulsa on May 5, 2012. UAB topped the Golden Hurricane, 2-1.
No Base Is Safe
On the season, UAB is 19-25 in stolen base attempts. Freshman shortstop Caitlin Attfield leads the team with a perfect 10-for-10 mark in stolen base attempts. Senior outfielders Whitney Fletcher and Chandler Orr have each made three successful steals apiece, while senior Hailey Glynn, sophomore Hayley Davis and freshman Kelly Britthave also successfully stolen a base for the Blazers.
Bats on Fire
Catcher Anna Kimbrell leads both the team and the league in slugging percentage with a mark of .969, and also sits in a tie for second in C-USA for home runs with six. Designated hitter Kristen McGrath posts a slugging percentage of .630--fifth best in the league.
With a batting average of .380, freshman Caitlin Attfield has the fourth-best mark in the conference, while Kimbrell's average of .344 is eighth best.
Kimbrell and Attfield also boast top-10 on-base percentages, with Kimbrell's at .511--good for top of the league--and Attfield 10th at .436.
Before Sunday's game, Fletcher hit UAB's last triple, a season ago, as part of the Blazers' 12-4 win over Samford on April 10, 2012. UAB recorded seven total triples last season.
The last triple UAB recorded during a C-USA matchup was by former Blazer Catherine Crawford in UAB's 2-0 win over Memphis on March 11, 2012. Crawford was also responsible for UAB's last multi-triple game when she hit two against Alabama State on Feb. 28, 2009.
The duo combines for 12 of the 16 home runs UAB has hit this season.
We Love Free Bases
Catcher Anna Kimbrell has reached base six times this season by way of being hit by pitch to average 0.38 times per game. The mark is 22nd in the nation and her six times is tied for the most in C-USA.
Outfielder Chandler Orr has been hit by pitch five times this season to average 0.31 times per game and 41st in the nation.
Success in the Circle
Boosted by Lauren Webster's ERA of 0.88, which is second in Conference USA, the Blazer pitching staff has the best team ERA in C-USA with a mark of 1.97.
In four of Webster's five winning outings, she has struck out 12 or more batters, including 14 twice, in wins over IUPUI (Feb. 17) and Murray State (March 3).
Getting The Save
Pitcher Lannah Campbell is one of 14 pitchers in NCAA to have been credited with three saves on the year. Campbell got her first in the 4-3 win over Washington on Feb. 7, as she came into the game with one out in the fifth inning.
Campbell's second and third saves came during the series at UCF, as she closed out the seventh inning of the 5-1 game one win, then made an appearance in the fifth inning of the 8-2 win in game three.
The Blazers take to the road for six games over the next week, first traveling to Montgomery, Ala., for a doubleheader against Alabama State on Tuesday, March 19 at 1 p.m. CT. On Wednesday, the Blazers will make their way to Mobile, Ala., to face South Alabama at 4 p.m. CT. UAB will resume the Conference USA schedule at Memphis March 23-24.