April 18, 2013
BIRMINGHAM, Ala.--The UAB softball team returns to the UAB Softball Field after six games on the road to host Conference USA opponent UTEP for a three-game series. Saturday's doubleheader is set for a 1 p.m. CT start, while Sunday's finale is set to start at Noon CT.
UTEP Tops UAB In Series Finale
The UAB softball team fell, 7-0, to the UTEP Miners in the series finale on Sunday at Helen of Troy Softball Field in El Paso, Texas.
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Last Time Out
The Blazers dropped a 2-1 decision to Troy on Tuesday, with sophomore Hayley Davis batting in the lone UAB run of the game in the top of the sixth inning. Freshman shortstop Caitlin Attfield led the team at the plate, going 3-for-4 and stealing her 19th base of the season.
The Miners are 12-25 on the year and are in the midst of a 10-game losing streak. Last weekend, UTEP hosted Houston at Helen of Troy Field for three C-USA games, losing 17-2 (5), 10-7 and 10-1 (6).
With a 1-13 mark in league games, UTEP is in a tie for last place in the conference standings with UCF.
Outfielder Erika Arcuri has started in 34 games and has a .357 batting average, while infielder Alanna Leasau leads the team in home runs with seven and RBI with 33.
In the circle, pitcher Danielle Pearson is 6-10 on the year with a 3.95 ERA in a team-high 122.1 innings.
UAB leads the all-time series with UTEP, 12-9, and took two of three games a season ago in El Paso, Texas. The Blazers used three-RBI home runs from Lauren Webster and Kristen McGrath in a 10-run fifth inning to win game one, 11-3 (5). In game two, the Blazers scored eight runs on eight hits to win, 8-0, in five innings. UAB dropped the series finale, 7-0.
For the series, Whitney Fletcher led the squad with a .500 batting average and was two-for-two in stolen bases, while McGrath batted .400, slugged 1.000 and had a stolen base of her own.
In the most recent RPI poll, released on April 15, UAB has climbed to No. 30, 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. 23.
On the season, UAB has picked up four wins over three teams in the RPI top-30, No. 11 Washington (Feb. 7), No. 28 Mississippi State (March 26) and No. 23 Tulsa (April 13-14).
Blazers In The National Polls
UAB has received votes in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Top-25 for the third-consecutive week. In the poll released April 16, the Blazers received 17 votes, the highest in the "Others Receiving Votes" category and the most since UAB picked up 24 votes on March 6 of the 2011 campaign.
The Blazers also entered the NFCA poll for the first time in program history, receiving seven 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 73 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 19 successes in 23 tries, which places her in a tie for ninth for single-season steals with Candice Hithe, who stole the same number throughout the 2003 season.
Martina Landrum set the record for stolen bases in one season in 2009, when she had 38.
Attfield is now in a tie for ninth in career stolen bases with Amanda Ellis (2001-04).
As a team, the Blazers have successfully stolen base 41 times in 37 games, while UAB stole 35 all of last season.
Bats on Fire
In the last 10 games, UAB has recorded 31 runs on 58 hits and 29 RBI with seven home runs. Also, through this stretch, the Blazers have posted shutouts of four opponents.
Pearson has seven run on nine hits, including a double and a home run, while Attfield has five runs on 10 hits, and two RBI. During this stretch, Whitney Fletcher leads the team in RBI with six and boasts a .577 slugging percentage.
UAB has hit 31 home runs on the year, which is second most in the conference behind Marshall's 37.
We Love Free Bases
Anna Kimbrell has reached base 19 times this season by way of being hit by pitch to average 0.51 times per game. The mark is second most in the conference, and as of April 15, Kimbrell is third 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 2.16. The Blazers have held their opponents to a conference-best .193 batting average, and have allowed the fewest hits at 180.
The pitching staff has also allowed the fewest earned runs in the conference with 77, and have only walked 87 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 Campbell leads 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.
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.
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.
UAB remains at home next Tuesday, hosting Alabama State for the finale of the three-game home-and-home series begun earlier this season, on March 19. First pitch set for 4 p.m. CT. On Thursday, April 25, UAB travels to Kennesaw, Ga., for a doubleheader at Kennesaw State, set to start at 3 p.m. CT.