May 15, 2013
BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—The UAB softball team travels to Louisville, Ky., this week to face UCLA in the NCAA Tournament Louisville Regional.
The Blazers and Bruins will face off on Friday at 5 p.m. ET at Ulmer Field.
This marks UAB’s fourth trip to the NCAA Tournament in as many seasons, and will be the first meeting in program history with UCLA.
Also in the regional are host Louisville and Summit League Champion IPFW.
Free audio will be available for each of UAB’s contests on uabsports.com.
Follow @UABSoftball on Twitter for in-game updates.
Last Time Out
Last week, UAB traveled to Tulsa, Okla., for the Conference USA Championship, and the Blazers won the opener before falling in the semifinal game to eventual champion Marshall.
The Blazers outlasted Southern Miss, 3-2, in 10 innings as UAB came back from a 2-0 deficit. Seniors Chandler Orr and Whitney Fletcher hit home runs in the fifth and sixth innings, respectively before UAB loaded the bases in the bottom of the 10th by a pair of hits and a fielder’s choice. With one out on the board, senior Kate Armstrong bunted in the winning run on a squeeze play, scoring Orr from third base.
Junior Lannah Campbell threw the final seven innings of the contest and only allowed three hits while striking out 12 Golden Eagle batters.
In the semifinals, the Blazers gave up one run in the first inning to Marshall, and were unable to overcome the deficit, falling, 1-0.
The Bruins finished the regular season with a record of 37-18 and a mark of 10-14 in Pac-12 Conference play.
Last time out, UCLA wrapped up the league schedule at Oregon State, and won the series after dropping the opener, 3-2.
In the second game, the Bruins took a 4-2 lead into the bottom of the seventh and outlasted a Beaver comeback try to win, 4-3.
UCLA used a seven-run sixth inning to come out on top, 8-1, in the series finale. Pitcher Jessica Hall picked up the win, striking out three in the final four innings.
Stephany LaRosa leads the Bruins with a .378 batting average, while B.B. Bates has hit 24 home runs on the year and is slugging .893. In the circle, Ally Carda has a 22-10 record with a 2.37 ERA in 186.1 innings. Carda has struck out 202 while Hall has 109 strikeouts.
UAB and UCLA have never met. The Blazers last faced a Pac-12 opponent in the first tournament of the year, the Oceanic Time Warner Cable Paradise Classic, in Honolulu, Hawaii (Feb. 7-9). UAB won its season opener against Washington to get the program’s first win over a Pac-12 school.
The Cardinals are 46-11 on the year with an 18-4 mark in Big East conference action.
Last time out, Louisville was shut out, 3-0, by South Florida in the Big East Championship semifinal game, which came after a 12-3 (5 inn.) win over Syracuse in the opening round.
Alicja Wolny leads the Cardinals with a .417 batting average, while Katie Keller has hit a team-high 12 home runs with a .412 batting average and a slugging percentage of .731.
In the circle, Rachel Le Coq leads the team with a 1.88 ERA in 171.1 innings. Caralisa Connell leads the pitching staff with a 25-4 record and a 2.20 ERA in 193.2 innings pitched.
A former member of Conference USA, Louisville leads the all-time series with UAB, 18-3.
The Blazers last faced the Cardinals in 2012, as UAB dropped a 5-4 decision in the neutral territory of Miami, Fla. on Feb 11.
UAB’s last win over Louisville was during the 2004 season, as the Blazers took a 2-1 decision at home to open the league series.
The Mastodons are 34-14 on the year and finished the Summit League slate with a mark of 12-4.
IPFW, which is making its first trip to the NCAA Tournament in program history, topped South Dakota, 5-2, to open the Summit League Conference Championship. The Mastodons then took two of three games from North Dakota State to win the league championship and clinch the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Ashleigh Bousquet leads the team with a .417 batting average and also has the top slugging percentage at .736.
In the circle, Miranda Kramer leads the pitching staff with a record of 23-8 and an ERA of 1.82 in 180.2 innings. Kramer has also struck out 270 batters on the year.
UAB and IPFW have never met. UAB’s last opponent from the Summit League was IUPUI, which the Blazers topped, 3-0, at the Kennesaw State Classic (Feb. 17).
The winner of Friday’s matchup will face the winner of IPFW and Louisville’s contest on Saturday at 2 p.m. ET.
The losers will face each other at 4:30 p.m. ET for the fourth game of the regional.
Complete Regional Schedule
Friday, May 17
G1: UAB vs. UCLA--5 p.m.
G2: IPFW vs. Louisville--7:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 18
G3: Winner G1 vs. Winner G2-- 2 p.m.
G4: Loser G1 vs. Loser G2--4:30 p.m.
G5: Loser G3 vs. Winner G4--7:30 p.m.
Sunday, May 19
G6: Winner G3 vs. Winner G5--1 p.m.
G7: If necessary--3:30 p.m.
*ALL TIMES EASTERN
Fourth-Straight NCAA Appearance
UAB received one of the NCAA Tournament’s 34 at-large bids for the fourth consecutive season.
Joining the Blazers from Conference USA are Marshall (Lexington Regional), Houston (Austin Regional) and Tulsa (Lincoln Regional).
Last season, UAB competed in the Knoxville Regional, and suffered a pair of losses in the double-elimination tournament. The Blazers lost to Virginia Tech, 4-1, before losing to regional host and then-No. 5 Tennessee 8-0.
Four Regionals In Four Years
UAB has competed at a different regional site in each of its four years of competition in the NCAA Tournament.
In 2010, the Blazers competed in the Tuscaloosa Regional before traveling to the Athens Regional in 2011. In 2012, UAB competed in the Knoxville Regional and this season is set to compete in the Louisville Regional.
UAB has only won two of six contests during the previous three trips. The Blazers topped Alcorn State, 10-1, in 2010 and held off Florida State in the first game of the regional in 2011, 2-0.
Conference USA Regular Season Champions
UAB (37-16) 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.
Along with Freshman of the Year accolades, Attfield was also named to the C-USA All-Freshman Team and was one of three Blazers named first team All-C-USA.
Townsend, who led the Blazers to its first regular-season title in program history, was voted Coach of the Year for the third time in her career. Townsend also picked up the honors in 2002 and 2006.
Scoring First, Scoring Often
On the season, UAB is 16-2 in games when 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 23 steals in 33 tries, which places her in eighth place in UAB’s single season top-10. Attfield is five steals away from Candice Hithe’s seventh-place mark, (28 stolen 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, one behind Leigh Walker (2005-08), who stole 24 bases in her career.
As a team, the Blazers have successfully stolen base 47 times in 52 games. UAB had 35 steals in all of last season.
Bats On Fire
In the last 10 games, Whitney Fletcher leads the team with a .364 batting average. She has 12 hits, three doubles, and the game-tying home run in the Conference USA Championship opener with Southern Miss. Fletcher is slugging a team-high .545, and batted in four runs.
Kristen McGrath leads the team with seven RBI during the 10-game span, as she has hit two home runs with a .300 batting average.
In the circle, Lannah Campbell has made six appearances and is 4-1 during the span with an ERA of 0.23 and 25 strikeouts.
UAB has hit 41 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 the league in home runs hit in conference games 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 0.50 times per game. The mark is second most in the conference, and as of May 13, Kimbrell is fourth 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 Conference USA with a mark of 1.92. The Blazers have held their opponents to a .202 batting average, second best in the league, and have allowed the fewest hits at 264.
The pitching staff has only walked 108 batters-also a top mark in C-USA.
Getting The Save
Pitcher Lannah Campbell leads 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 32, 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.