Feb. 18, 2013
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The top-ranked Alabama softball team (10-0) will close out its season opening road trip when it heads to UAB (6-3) for a Tuesday night affair. The two teams will meet under the lights on Feb. 19, with first pitch slated for 6 p.m., at the UAB Softball Field.
LAST TIME OUT
The top-ranked Alabama softball team continued its dominance during tournament play, claiming its 11th straight title, after winning the FGCU/LaQuinta Inn and Suites Tournament with five wins this past weekend. Alabama outscored the competition, 25-6, and batting .302 while pitching at a 0.60 clip. The Tide hit four home runs and stole 10 bases. In the circle UA held opponents to a .125 average and struck out 51 in 35 innings pitched. Sophomore Danae Hays led the Tide over the weekend, hitting .600 (6-for-10) with two runs, a double, home run and six RBI. Junior Kaila Hunt provided the punch with two home runs, four doubles, six RBI and a .538 average. Junior Jackie Traina and sophomore Leslie Jury sported unblemished 0.00 ERAs and earned two wins apiece. Traina struck out 26 in 16 innings and held opponents to a .145 average while Jury fanned 16 in 14 innings and held opposing batters to a meager .104 average.
The Last Meeting
March 4, 2012
No. 1 Softball Takes Easton Alabama Invite Title
The top ranked Alabama softball team used timely pitching and clutch hitting to score four unanswered runs to knock off UAB, 4-1, in the finale of the Easton Alabama Invite Sunday afternoon at Rhoads Stadium. With the win the Crimson Tide improve to 17-0, tying the third best start in school history. UA swept through the tournament, going 4-0 on the weekend.
WHO TO WATCH
Alabama junior All-American Kaila Hunt powered the Crimson Tide to five more wins this past weekend at the FGCU/LaQuinta Inn and Suites Tournament in Fort Myers, Fla. Hunt batted .538 (7-for-13) with four doubles, two home runs, six RBI and six runs. Six of her seven hits in the tournament went for extra bases as the Evans, Ga., native slugged a team-high 1.308. In her four starts, Hunt collected at least an extra base hit and a run in each. Against FGCU, Hunt batted 2-for-3 with a double and a home run. In the tournament finale against Southern Illinois, the All-American went 3-for-3 with three runs and four RBI on the strength of two doubles.
The Blazers enter the week with a 6-3 overall record after going 3-1 at the Kennesaw State Classic this past weekend. UAB earned wins against Eastern Kentucky (6-1), SIUE (7-6) and IUPUI (3-0) before dropping the finale, 2-0, to Tennessee-Martin. On the year the Blazers are batting .291 with nine home runs and 10 stolen bases. In the circle, UAB pitches at a 3.05 clip and has held opposing batters to a .207 average. UAB hurlers have struck out 75 in 62 innings pitched. Individually, Kristen McGrath leads the squad with a .419 average (13-for-31), adding a team-high four home runs and 11 RBI. In the circle, Lauren Webster leads the UAB pitching staff with a 1.86 ERA while adding a 2-1 record and 23 strikeouts in 19 1/3 innings pitched. Leigh Streetman leads the team with a 4-2 record and has the most appearances (6) and innings pitched (23 2/3). UAB returns 15 letterwinners and four returners to a team that went 37-22 in 2012. Head coach Marla Townsend is in her 14th season and sports a 386-80 career record.
Alabama leads the series with instate foe UAB, 12-0. The two programs met twice last season with the Tide earning an 8-1 victory on Feb. 21 in Birmingham and a 4-1 win in the Easton Alabama Invite on March 4. Jackie Traina improved to 10-0 on the season with a win in relief while Courtney Conley and Lauren Sewell went deep for the Tide in the win at home.
Alabama has historically gotten off to fast starts and the 2013 campaign is no different as the Tide enters the week with a perfect 10-0 record. UA has started the season better than 5-0, nine times and has gotten off to at least a 10-0 start, nine times. The Tide has eclipsed the 20-win plateau three times, setting a school record with a 27-0 start in 2001. UA started 25-0 in 2007. Last year the Tide raced out to a 26-0 start.
Alabama enters the Easton Bama Bash this upcoming weekend with a 262-65 overall regular season tournament record. The last loss for Alabama came from Louisiana-Lafayette in the Citrus Classic on March 4, 2011. The Tide sports a strong 106-16 overall home tournament record. Alabama has not lost at home in a tournament game since March 6, 2010, when it fell to No. 7 Michigan, 4-2. Since that loss Alabama has strung together a 23-game win streak for home tournaments.
ALABAMA IN THE SEC
The Crimson Tide lead the Southeastern Conference in strikeouts (89) and rank in the top three in doubles (3rd, 15), stolen bases (3rd, 30), steal attempts (3rd, 31), wins (2nd, 10), and least amount of home runs allowed (2nd, 2).
INDIVIDUALLY IN THE SEC
Individually in the SEC freshman Haylie McCleney leads the conference in hits (21), ranks second in batting average (.600), and stolen bases (11) while ranking third in total bases (33). Kaila Hunt ranks third with four home runs while Kayla Braud ranks third with eight stolen bases. In the circle, Jackie Traina ranks third in ERA (0.23), strikeouts (50), and earned runs allowed (1) while leading the league in least amount of home runs allowed (0).
NEXT TIME OUT
Alabama will host the Easton Bama Bash Presented by Drash this upcoming weekend. The Crimson Tide will welcome Western Illinois, Iowa and Winthrop. A total of 10 games will be played this weekend at Rhoads Stadium with the Tide slated for five. UA will open tournament play on Friday, Feb. 22 against Western Illinois at 4 p.m.