April 11, 2014
UAB (23-18, 9-5 C-USA) at Southern Miss (19-21, 7-8 C-USA)
Saturday, April 12 – (DH) 1 p.m./3 p.m. CT
Sunday, April 13 – 1 p.m.
Hattiesburg, Miss. – Southern Miss Softball Complex
Game Coverage: Twitter | Live Video | UAB Notes
Live Stats: Saturday - Game One | Game Two | Sunday - Game Three
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – A series that dates back to UAB’s program start in 2000, the Blazers and Golden Eagles of Southern Miss will clash this weekend in Hattiesburg for a three-game Conference USA set as just 14 games remain on UAB’s 2014 regular season schedule.
The two teams will continue their longstanding rivalry with a doubleheader slated for Saturday at 1 p.m. CT, while game three of the series is set for 1 p.m. on Sunday.
With just three weekends of C-USA play remaining, this one is important as UAB maintains second place in the league standings with a tiebreaker over North Texas. Tulsa has the top spot at 10-1, while Southern Miss is fighting for a C-USA tournament spot at 7-8 in league play. The Golden Eagles are tied with Florida Atlantic, the host of this year’s conference tournament, for the eighth and final spot.
UAB and Southern Miss have dueled back and forth in the series over the years dating back to UAB’s start in 2000. The two teams are locked at 23-23 against each other all time. However, the Blazers have won 11-straight against the Golden Eagles dating back to the 2010 season and have outscored Southern Miss 44-11 in those 11 contests.
The Blazers are back in Conference USA action this weekend with a three-game set at Southern Miss in Hattiesburg. UAB is 6-4 in the last 10 games – all four losses have come in a one-run deficit.
The Blazers remain No. 26 in this week’s NCAA RPI release and played their 17th against a top-25 team in No. 1 Alabama on Wednesday. The contest in Tuscaloosa was the second against a top-5 team in the RPI and seventh against a top-25 RPI team.
UAB sits second in the Conference USA standings heading into the three-game series in Hattiesburg. The Blazers own the tiebreaker over North Texas after sweeping the Mean Green in Denton, as Tulsa sits atop the league standings with a 10-1 league record. Southern Miss is 7-8 in conference play and is tied for the eighth and final spot to qualify for the C-USA Tournament May 8-10.
Scouting the Competition
Southern Miss enters the weekend series at 19-21 overall with a 7-8 Conference USA record. The Golden Eagles are No. 185 in this week’s RPI, while two of Southern Miss’ C-USA series thus far have been against the bottom two teams in the league - UTEP and Middle Tennessee - teams they finished 4-2 against.
The Golden Eagles are 2-7 against common UAB opponent this season. USM lost its series to Florida Atlantic, 2-1, split a midweek with Troy and got swept by East Carolina last weekend in league play.
Sarah Evans leads the USM offense, hitting .394 with one home run and 24 RBI. Mackenzie Sher is the leading home run hitter for the Golden Eagles with eight long balls on the season and a team-leading 25 RBI.
Southern Miss’ pitching staff enters with an overall 4.74 ERA, lead by Shelbee Rodgers who is 13-8 on the year with a 3.84 ERA. She has thrown 17 complete games with five shutouts in 122 innings of work and has allowed 67 earned runs on 138 hits. Samantha Robles is the No. 2 starter in the circle for USM with a 5-9 record on the year and a 4.60 ERA with 15 starts in 17 appearances.
UAB Up To Program-Best No. 26 In NCAA RPI
Following its debut into the NCAA’s RPI rankings as the No. 32 team, UAB sits at No. 26 in this week’s RPI, the highest UAB has ever been in program history. Eleven teams on the Blazers’ schedule currently sit in the RPI’s top-50, while 17 of UAB’s opponents rank within the top-100.
UAB is 6-11 against top-50 RPI teams, but 10-3 against teams 50-100. UAB will play three more games against a top-25 RPI team in late April, a three-game set at Oklahoma to close out non-conference play.
For the latest news on Blazer sports, follow the UAB Athletics Twitter account, @UABathletics. For an in-depth look into the UAB softball program and in-game updates, follow @UABsoftball on Twitter and Instagram.