Head coach Marla Townsend takes her UAB Blazers into its final non-conference weekend of the season with a tough road test at No. 17 Oklahoma.
April 25, 2014
UAB (29-20, 13-7 C-USA) at No. 17 Oklahoma (36-10, 11-2 Big 12)
Saturday, April 26 – (DH) 2 p.m./4 p.m. CT
Sunday, April 27 – 12 p.m.
Norman, Okla. – Marita Hynes Field at OU Softball Complex
Game Coverage: Twitter | Live Audio | UAB Notes
TV: Fox Sports Oklahoma/Fox Sports Southwest/Fox College Sports Central
Live Stats: Saturday - Game One | Game Two | Sunday - Game Three
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – UAB’s tough schedule continues this weekend when the Blazers travel to Norman, Okla. to face the defending national champion, No. 17 Oklahoma Sooners in a three-game set.
The two teams will clash at Marita Hynes Field for a doubleheader on Saturday at 2 p.m. CT and conclude the series on Sunday at 12 p.m.
Saturday’s games will be televised live on Fox Sports Oklahoma, while Sunday’s series finale is set to air on Fox Sports Southwest. All three games will also air on Fox College Sports. Check soonersports.com for cable and satellite channel listings.
UAB is just one of two teams to step out of Conference USA play with just two weeks of regular-season play left. The Blazers carry the nation’s sixth-toughest schedule into the weekend to face the No. 17 Sooners, who are No. 15 in this week’s RPI.
Following closure of the 2014 UAB home schedule, the Blazers will hit the road for Norman, Okla. this weekend for a three-game set against the defending national champions.
A win would give head coach Marla Townsend and the program win No. 450 overall, and would also push UAB to five-straight seasons with at least 30 wins and its eighth season with 30 or more overall.
Senior Leigh Streetman needs just one win to tie for most in a UAB career with 58 and two more would tie for the most in a single season at 20. Senior Lannah Campbell needs just one more strikeout for career No. 500, fourth all-time. One home run for Megan McGrath would make 15, the most of any Blazer in a single season.
Scouting the Competition
Winners of three-straight, the Oklahoma Sooners enter the weekend non-conference series at 36-10 overall and 20-2 inside their home facility.
The defending national champions are 15th in the RPI with a 7-8 record against teams in the top-25, but are 6-1 against teams 26-50 and 8-2 in their last 10. The Sooners are 5-1 against common UAB opponents, with wins over Syracuse, Tulsa, Baylor and North Texas, and a two-run loss to Baylor in that series finale.
Oklahoma has seven players hitting at .300 or better, led by Shelby Pendley and Kady Self. Pendley has the team-lead in home runs and RBI with 13 and 51, slugging at .801 on the season. Self is hitting .443 but has just 61 at-bats in 20 games started. Georgia Casey and Whitney Ellis combine for 17 home runs and 76 RBI as part of the Sooners’ offense that hits .313 as a team.
Sophomore pitcher Kelsey Stevens is second in the NCAA in wins with 25 with a 25-7 record on the year. She’s thrown a team-high 186 innings of work and allowed 141 hits with 54 earned runs. She’s walked 72 and struck out 180 as Oklahoma’s ace this season. No other pitcher on the Sooners’ roster has thrown more than 37 innings as five other pitchers combine for a 10-3 record and 98 innings pitched.
Breaking Down the RPI
UAB sits at No. 33 in this week’s RPI. 10 teams on the Blazers’ schedule currently sit in the RPI’s top-50, while 18 of UAB’s opponents rank within the top-100.
UAB is 6-11 against top-50 RPI teams, but 11-3 against teams 50-100. Of UAB’s six remaining regular-season contests, three are against teams in the top-25. UAB’s overall strength of schedule is No. 6 nationally, while the non-conference slate is second toughest in the NCAA.
McGrath Named C-USA Hitter of the Week
Senior Kristen McGrath was named C-USA Hitter of the Week on April 21 following her strong offensive performance at the plate this past week.
She totaled 11 RBI with two home runs and went 9-for-15 with a 1.067 SLG percentage and also scored three runs with a double over five games.
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.