May 6, 2013
BIRMINGHAM, Ala.--The UAB softball team is set to make the trek to Tulsa, Okla., this week to compete in the Conference USA Softball Championship, May 9-11, at the Collins Family Softball Complex.
Softball Completes Southern Miss Sweep
The UAB softball team did not allow Southern Miss to plate a run on Saturday as the Blazers topped the Golden Eagles in the doubleheader, 6-0 and 2-0, at the UAB Softball Field.
All games will be aired on the C-USA Digital Network, and free live audio will be available through uabsports.com.
Follow @UABSoftball on Twitter for in-game updates.
Regular Season Champions
UAB (36-15) finished the C-USA slate with a record of 19-4, to win its first regular-season title in program history.
En route, the Blazers swept five league opponents--UCF, Memphis, Southern Miss, UTEP and Marshall. UAB also took the series from East Carolina and Tulsa before taking the one win it needed on the road at Houston.
Last Time Out
Over the weekend, UAB clinched the C-USA regular-season title with a 7-3 Sunday win at Houston.
In the circle, senior Lauren Webster picked up her 12th win of the year as she pitched 6.0 innings and struck out nine batters. Junior Lannah Campbell pitched the final inning and struck out the final batter of the game.
On the offensive side, junior Kristen McGrath picked up her first of two RBI in the top of the opening frame as she singled to left center to score sophomore Heather Pearson from second. The Cougars tied the game with a run in the bottom of the first, before a four-run inning broke the game open for the Blazers.
In the top of the third, senior Whitney Fletcher reached on a double to right center, and was scored on a singly by McGrath, also to right center. Senior Anna Kimbrell put two more runs on the board with a home run to deep left, and sophomore Haley Davis hit her first home run of the year on the following at-bat to give UAB a 5-1 lead.
The Blazers recorded two more runs in the top of the sixth, as Fletcher scored freshman Caitlin Attfield from first on her second double of the day before Davis was walked with the bases loaded to bring in UAB's seventh run.
Houston scored twice as it attempted a comeback in the bottom of the seventh, but Campbell manufactured a popout and a game-ending strikeout to end the game.
The Cougars took the first two games of the series with a pair of 4-1 wins during Saturday's doubleheader.
Scouting Southern Miss
The Golden Eagles are 14-40 on the year with a 4-18 mark in C-USA action. Over the weekend, Southern Miss ended the conference slate as it was swept on the road at Tulsa.
In the opener, Southern Miss was shut out, 8-0 in five innings, before falling, 9-4, in game two. Catcher Mackenzie Sher led the squad with two RBI in the loss.
Southern Miss dropped the finale, 3-1, with Danielle LaPointe recording the team's lone RBI of the game.
Morgan McKeever leads the team with a .272 batting average, while Sher has hit nine of the Golden Eagles' 21 home runs.
In the circle, Beth Dietrich leads the team with a 3.65 ERA in 117.0 innings pitched. Kimberly Wagner leads the pitchers in strikeouts with 60 in 116.2 innings.
UAB is 22-23 all-time against Southern Miss, and most recently swept the Golden Eagles with three shutouts at the UAB Softball Field on March 29-30.
UAB won the second game, 6-0, as catcher Anna Kimbrell hit a three RBI home run in the bottom of the fourth, followed by an RBI single by first baseman Megan McGrath. Designated player Kristen McGrath hit a two-RBI single in the fifth to finish off the Blazer scoring, while pitcher Lannah Campbell only allowed four hits and struck out 10 batters in the shutout.
In the finale, the Blazers scored two runs in the bottom of the third as right fielder Chandler Orr reached on an error that scored second baseman Heather Pearson and M. McGrath singled to left to score center fielder Whitney Fletcher. In the circle, Lauren Webster got the win, throwing four innings and striking out seven, while Streetman got the save, throwing the final three innings and striking out five.
The winner of the Thursday's matchup will face either No. 4 Marshall or No. 5 East Carolina on Friday at 4:30 p.m. CT.
Winning At Home
UAB rounded out the 2013 home schedule with a record of 18-3, the fewest losses at the UAB Softball Stadium in program history.
As the Blazers swept UTEP in their three-game conference series on April 20-21 to stretch their win streak to 11 consecutive home wins, UAB surpassed the previous program longest streak of 10 games, which was set during the 2002 campaign.
UAB is 10-1 on the year in C-USA games at the UAB Softball Field, and won 10-straight following the 7-4 win over East Carolina on March 16.
Scoring First, Scoring Often
On the season, UAB is 16-2 in games where it scores in the first inning. The Blazers are 32-5 on the year when they score first, and are 29-0 when leading after the sixth inning.
No Base Is Safe
Caitlin Attfield leads the team in stolen bases with 22 successes in 32 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 46 times in 51 games, while UAB stole 35 all of last season.
Bats On Fire
In the last 10 games, Caitlin Attfieldleads the team with a .400 batting average, with 12 hits, seven runs and three RBI.
Attfield's overall batting average, .369, also leads the team and is the third-highest mark in Conference USA.
UAB has hit 39 home runs on the year, which is second-most in the conference.
Kristen McGrath leads the team with 12 home runs, and sits in a tie for first place in league in home runs hit during conference play with seven. McGrath's mark places her two away from tying the single season record for home runs, which she set at 14 during the 2012 campaign.
Also for the Blazers, Anna Kimbrell has hit 10 home runs on the season. Most recently, Kimbrell hit a two-RBI home run in UAB's 7-3 win over Houston, which clinched the C-USA regular-season title.
We Love Free Bases
Anna Kimbrell has reached base 26 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 29, Kimbrell is fifth in the nation in HBP per game.
The mark is a new single-season record, surpassing Amanda Allen's 21 from 2008. Through her career, Kimbrell has been hit 28 times, third-most in program history. Andrea Rogers (2006-09) and Allen (2008-09) each have been hit 31 times in their respective careers.
Chandler Orr has been hit by pitch 12 times this season, fourth most in the league.
As a team, the Blazers have been hit 62 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 2.00. The Blazers have held their opponents to a .200 batting average, second best in the league, and have allowed the fewest hits at 251.
The pitching staff has only walked 106 batters--also a top mark in C-USA.
In conference action, UAB's ERA is second lowest at 1.78. The Blazers' pitchers have held the opposing batting average to .184, second-best in the league while Campbell's own mark of .184 is also second-highest in C-USA.
Streetman's opposing batting average is third best at 1.92, while Lauren Webster owns the second-lowest ERA in league action at 1.50.
Getting The Save
Pitcher Lannah Campbellleads the Blazers with six saves on the season. Most recently, she was credited with the save as she threw the final 2.2 innings of UAB's 7-2 win over UTEP on April 20.
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 seventh career save as UAB came back to beat Memphis, 7-5, on March 23, sits in a tie for second place all-time with Campbell, who has also posted seven.
The 2013 season marks the fourth-straight year that the Blazers earned at least 30 wins and the seventh 30-win season in UAB lore. The Blazers earned their 30th win on the road, topping Kennesaw State, 3-0, on April 25.
Kristen McGrath is rapidly approaching Mandy Lowman's (2009-12) school record for career home runs. Lowman hit 32 in four years, while McGrath has racked up 12 so far this season for a total of 31, 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 39 this season for a career total of 98, good for sixth place. She is currently five away from Andrea Rogers' (2006-09) fifth place mark of 103. Lowman's 126 RBI is UAB's top mark.