April 15, 2013
BIRMINGHAM, Ala.--The UAB softball team is set to round out a six-game road swing with a trip to Troy on Tuesday. First pitch is set for 5 p.m. CT at the Troy Softball Complex.
UAB Tops Troy 1-0
Senior Catherine Crawford stole home in the bottom of the sixth inning to give the UAB softball team the one run it needed to top the Troy Trojans in a pitcher's duel on Tuesday at the UAB Softball Field.
Last Time Out
The Blazers won their Conference USA series over the weekend, taking two games from No. 17 Tulsa. Both teams were 11-1 in league going into the weekend before UAB took the second game of the doubleheader, 9-7, and the series finale, 1-0.
After dropping game one, 4-1, UAB struck first in the second game as sophomore second baseman Heather Pearson hit a home run in the top of the first inning. The Golden Hurricane took the lead with a two-run homer in the bottom of the second, while UAB followed with three runs in the top of the third, two scored on a double by senior third baseman Kate Armstrong and one scored as senior pinch runner Hailey Glynn ran home on an error by the Tulsa catcher to put UAB up, 4-2.
Tulsa tied the game at four runs apiece in the bottom of the fourth before retaking the lead at 7-4 on a three-RBI home run by Kernen in the bottom of the fifth.
In the top of the sixth inning, sophomore left fielder Amy Dennis hit a solo home run to left with one out to cut the lead to 7-5. With two down, Pearson reached on a single to center field, and was batted to third on a double by senior center fielder Whitney Fletcher. Armstrong then came up to bat and hit her second double of the game to tie the score at seven runs apiece before junior designated hitter Kristen McGrath hit the third consecutive double of the inning to score one and give UAB an 8-7 lead.
UAB went on to score one more run in the top of the seventh, while senior pitcher Lauren Webstershut down Tulsa in order in the sixth and seventh innings of the 9-7 victory.
The Blazers went on to win, 1-0, on Sunday and clinch both the series and first place in the C-USA standings, as K. McGrath hit a solo home run in the top of the sixth inning. In the circle, Webster picked up the win as she threw five innings and allowed only two hits, while junior Lannah Campbell got the save as she struck out three, and got UAB out of a two-on, two-out jam in the bottom of the seventh.
The Trojans are 19-23 on the season and have won one of their last five contests. Last time out, Troy dropped a Sun Belt Conference series at FIU, 2-1. The Trojans lost the doubleheader, 6-5 and 3-0, before taking a 5-4 win in the finale.
Senior Caitlin Ortiz leads the team with a .356 batting average, while senior Hannah Renn has hit nine home runs on the year and has a slugging percentage of .613. In the circle, senior Michaela Hamilton leads the pitching staff with a 3.62 ERA and a record of 5-4. Freshman Rachel Rigney (8-12, 4.25 ERA) leads the pitchers with 118.2 innings in the circle and 57 strikeouts.
UAB trails Troy in the all-time series, 12-9, but has won its last two meetings with the Trojans. A season ago, UAB won, 1-0, at home as former left fielder Catherine Crawford stole home in the bottom of the sixth frame.
In the most recent RPI poll, released on April 8, UAB is ranked at No. 32, its highest ranking in program history. The previous best was No. 33, which the 2012 squad reached on April 16.
The Blazers are ranked second highest in Conference USA, with Tulsa leading the league at No. 21.
On the season, UAB has picked up four wins over three teams in the RPI top-30, No. 7 Washington (Feb. 7), No. 29 Mississippi State (March 26) and No. 21 Tulsa (April 13-14).
Blazers In The National Polls
UAB has received votes in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Top-25 for the second-consecutive week. In the poll released on April 2, the Blazers picked up one vote, while the poll released on April 9 lists the squad with five votes.
Winning At Home
UAB is currently 10-2 on the year in games played at the UAB Softball Field, and has won eight straight, dating back to the 7-4 win over East Carolina on March 17. The longest home win streak in program history is 10 games, set in 2002.
Scoring First, Scoring Often
On the season, UAB is 10-0 in games where it scores in the first inning. The Blazers are 23-2 on the year when they score first, and are 21-0 when leading after the sixth inning.
Down To The Last Out
The Blazers have scored runs with two outs 58 times this season (39.2 percent), and Whitney Fletcher leads the team as she has driven in two-out runs 14 times.
Of the last 72 runs scored by UAB--dating back to the doubleheader at Alabama State on March 19--the Blazers have crossed home plate with two outs on the board 33 times, and 10 of those situations were batted in by Fletcher.
Fletcher recorded seven two-out scores during UAB's sweep of Memphis on March 23, including three in the Blazers' comeback during the top of the seventh inning of game two, where UAB won, 6-4.
Each of the nine runs scored by the Blazers in the three-game series with Southern Miss (March 29-30) occurred with two outs on the board, including a three-RBI home run by Anna Kimbrell.
During the Tulsa series, Kate Armstrong hit a two-RBI double with two outs in the second game (April 13), while Kristen McGrath followed with a double of her own to score one run. In the series finale (April 14), McGrath hit a two-out home run in the 1-0 win.
No Base Is Safe
Caitlin Attfield leads the team in stolen bases with 18 successes in 22 tries, which already puts her in the UAB top-10 all-time list for steals in a season.
With her 18th stolen base occurring during the series with Southern Miss, Attfield now sits in a tie for 10th place in career steals with former Blazer Holly Krzan (2004-08). Lindsay Stanley (2004-07) owns the school record in career-stolen bases with 100.
Martina Landrum set the record for stolen bases in one season in 2009, when she had 38.
As a team, the Blazers have successfully stolen base 40 times in 36 games, while UAB stole 35 all of last season.
Kristen McGrath is nearing Mandy Lowman's (2009-12) school record for career home runs. Lowman hit 32 in four years, while McGrath has racked up eight so far this season for a total of 27, and currently sits in second place in the record books.
McGrath has also entered the UAB top-10 all-time list in career RBI with 27 this season for a career total of 86, good for seventh place. She is five RBI away from Beth Mullins' (2001-04) sixth-place mark of 91. Lowman's 126 RBI is UAB's top mark.
Bats on Fire
In the last 10 games, UAB has recorded 31 runs on 57 hits and 29 RBI with seven home runs. Also, through this stretch, the Blazers have posted shutouts of five opponents.
Pearson has seven run on 10 hits, including a double and a home run, while Fletcher has five runs on eight hits, two doubles, a triple, a home run and a team-leading six RBI.
UAB has hit 31 home runs on the year, which is second most in the conference behind Marshall's 36.
We Love Free Bases
Anna Kimbrell has reached base 19 times this season by way of being hit by pitch to average 0.53 times per game. The mark is second most in the conference, and as of April 8, Kimbrell is fourth in the nation in HBP per game.
UAB's single-season record for hit by pitches is 21, set by Amanada Allen in 2008, placing Kimbrell's 19 in second. Through her career, Kimbrell has been hit 21 times, fourth most in UAB history. Andrea Rogers (2006-09) and Amanada Allen (2008-09) each have been hit 31 times in their respective careers.
Outfielder Chandler Orr has been hit by pitch eight times this season, fourth most in the league.
As a team, the Blazers have been hit 44 times for the second most in conference.
Success in the Circle
The UAB pitching staff has posted the second best ERA in the conference with a mark of 2.18. The Blazers have held their opponents to a conference-best .193 batting average, and have allowed the fewest hits at 171.
The pitching staff has also allowed the fewest earned runs in the conference with 76, and have only walked 84 batters--also a top mark in C-USA.
In conference action, UAB's ERA is second lowest at 1.97. The Blazers' pitchers have held the opposing batting average to a league-best .183, while Campbell's own mark of .168 is also top in C-USA.
Streetman's opposing batting average is third best at 1.82, while Lauren Webster owns the second-lowest ERA in league action at 1.45.
Getting The Save
Pitcher Lannah Campbellleads the Blazers with five saves on the season. Most recently, she was credited with the save as she threw the final two innings of UAB's 1-0 win over Tulsa on April 14.
The single-season record for saves is seven, set by Leigh Streetman in 2011.
UAB's pitching staff now holds the top-three spots in career saves, starting with Leigh Streetman's 12. Streetman picked up her first save this year when she pitched 2.1 innings in UAB's 2-0 win over UCF on March 9. Her second save of the season came in the series finale with Southern Miss on March 30, when she threw 3.0 innings and allowed no hits in the 2-0 win.
Webster, who picked up her sixth career save as UAB came back to beat Memphis, 7-5, on March 23, sits alone in second place with seven, while Campbell's six career saves puts her in third place.
Head coach Marla Townsend reached 400 career wins on Friday, March 29, as UAB topped Southern Miss in a 1-0 shutout where pitcher Leigh Streetman threw her second no-hitter of the season.
This weekend, UAB returns to the UAB Softball Field to host UTEP in a three-game series on Saturday and Sunday. First pitch for the doubleheader is set for 1 p.m. CT, while Sunday's finale is set for a Noon CT start.