April 26, 2013
BIRMINGHAM, Ala.--The UAB softball team will play in its final home Conference USA series this weekend, hosting a three-game showdown with Marshall at the UAB Softball Field.
The Blazers currently lead C-USA with a 16-2 record.
Saturday's doubleheader is set to start at 1 p.m. CT, while Sunday's finale is set for a Noon CT start.
Admission to Saturday's games, which follow the UAB Football Spring Game at West Campus Field, are free. The football FanFest will begin at 9 a.m. CT while the football scrimmage is set for an 11 a.m. CT start.
Saturday's softball games will also recognize Cancer Awareness Day, and prior to the game, members of the UAB Athletic department--Amy Nicholas (Academics), Hal Messersmith (Volleyball) and Norm Reilly (Media Relations)--will throw out the ceremonial first pitches.
Following Sunday's game, UAB's senior class of Kate Armstrong, Whitney Fletcher, Hailey Glynn, Anna Kimbrell, Chandler Orr and Lauren Webster will be recognized for their performances throughout both the season and their careers in Green and Gold.
Follow @UABSoftball on Twitter for in-game updates.
Last Time Out
On Thursday, UAB split a doubleheader at Kennesaw State, taking the first game, 3-0, before dropping a 6-1 decision in game two.
Pitcher Leigh Streetman threw her eighth complete game of the season in the win, and only allowed three hits while striking out six Owl batters. Freshman Caitlin Attfield and senior Chandler Orr led the squad as they combined for four of UAB's five hits. Freshman Ashley Johnson entered to pinch hit in the top of the seventh, and singled to left center before being scored on a groundout by sophomore Heather Pearson.
In game two, Whitney Fletcher recorded UAB's lone RBI of the game, scoring Attfield from second in the top of the first. Kennesaw State used six runs on six hits in the bottom of the sixth to win in its final home game of the season.
The Thundering Herd are 29-17 on the year, and have not played since taking two games on the road at Ohio on April 17.
Ashley Gue leads the team with a .344 batting average, while Alysia Hively has hit eight home runs on the year. Shaelynn Braxton is the RBI leader with 25.
In the circle, pitcher Andi Williamson is 26-13 on the year with an ERA of 2.17. Williamson has thrown 235 innings, 23 complete games and has struck out 300.
UAB leads the all-time series with Marshall, 14-10, and in the 2012 regular season, the Blazers took three games on the road in Huntington, W.Va. Megan McGrath hit a home run in UAB's 3-2 win in game one.
UAB took the second game, 8-0, with eight runs on 12 hits, scoring four runs in both the first and third innings. Lannah Campbell threw the five-inning shutout and gave up two hits and struck out three.
In the finale, UAB took a 3-0 lead in the first on a three-RBI home run from Kristen McGrath, before Marshall tied the game with a three-run inning in the fourth. K. McGrath hit her second home run of the game to left in the top of the sixth, before the Blazer defense held off a Marshall comeback try in the bottom of the seventh of the 4-3 win.
The teams met a fourth time in 2012, in the Conference USA Championship semifinal game. After Marshall tied the game at 2-2 in the fourth, the Thundering Herd hit a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the 10th inning of UAB's 3-2 loss.
Next week, the Blazers will remain at the UAB Softball Field, hosting Chattanooga for two games on Tuesday, April 30 at 3 p.m. CT. On Wednesday, May 1, the Blazers will play in their final home game of the season, hosting Jacksonville State at 4 p.m. CT.
In the most recent RPI poll, released on April 22, UAB sits at No. 33. The Blazers attained their highest ranking in program history at No. 30 on April 15.
The Blazers are ranked second highest in Conference USA, with Tulsa leading the league at No. 24.
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 fourth-consecutive week. In the poll released April 23, the Blazers received 15 votes.
The Blazers also received votes four votes in the NFCA poll.
Winning At Home
UAB is currently 13-3 on the year in games played at the UAB Softball Field.
As the Blazers swept UTEP in their three-game conference series on April 20-21 to stretch the win streak to 11 consecutive home wins, UAB surpassed the previous program longest streak of 10 games, which was set during the 2002 campaign.
Scoring First, Scoring Often
On the season, UAB is 12-2 in games where it scores in the first inning. The Blazers are 26-4 on the year when they score first, and are 25-0 when leading after the sixth inning.
No Base Is Safe
Caitlin Attfield leads the team in stolen bases with 22 successes in 29 tries, which places her in eighth place in the single season top-10. Attfield is six steals away from Candice Hithe's seventh-place mark, in which she stole 28 bases in 2011.
Martina Landrum set the record for stolen bases in one season in 2009, when she had 38.
Attfield is now in ninth place in career stolen bases, two behind Leigh Walker (2005-08), who stole 24 bases in her career.
As a team, the Blazers have successfully stolen base 45 times in 43 games, while UAB stole 35 all of last season.
Bats On Fire
In the last 10 games, Caitlin Attfield leads the team with a blistering .516 batting average, with 16 hits, seven runs and three RBI.
Attfield's overall batting average, .375, also leads the team and is the second-highest mark in Conference USA.
UAB has hit 34 home runs on the year, which is second most in the conference behind Marshall's 37.
Kristen McGrath leads the team with 10 home runs, and sits in a tie for first place in league in home runs hit during conference play with six. McGrath's mark places her four away from tying the single season record for home runs, which she set at 14 during the 2012 campaign.
Also for the Blazers, Anna Kimbrellhas also hit eight home runs on the season.
We Love Free Bases
Anna Kimbrell has reached base 20 times this season by way of being hit by pitch to average 0.47 times per game. The mark is second most in the conference, and as of April 26, Kimbrell is fifth in the nation in HBP per game.
UAB's single-season record for hit by pitches is 21, set by Amanda Allen in 2008, placing Kimbrell's 19 in second. Through her career, Kimbrell has been hit 22 times, in a tie for third-most in UAB history with Natalie Mitchell (2008-11). Andrea Rogers (2006-09) and Amanda Allen (2008-09) each have been hit 31 times in their respective careers.
Outfielder Chandler Orr has been hit by pitch nine times this season, fourth most in the league.
As a team, the Blazers have been hit 50 times for the second most in conference.
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 10 so far this season for a total of 29, 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 32 this season for a career total of 91, good for sixth place. She is currently tied with Beth Mullins' (2001-04), and 12 away from Andrea Rogers (2006-09) fifth place mark of 103. 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.