Tide Softball At UAB Before Bama Bash

The Alabama softball team is getting closer to home. The second-ranked Crimson Tide of Coach Patrick Murphy started the season with a series in Mobile. Bama then moved on to a tournament in Auburn. Next up Alabama wraps up its season-opening road show with a Tuesday game at Alabama-Birmingham.

So far has been very good for Alabama. The Tide is 7-0 going into the 6 p.m. Tuesday game against UAB in Birmingham. The Blazers are 5-5.

This weekend the Tide will finally get to Rhoads Stadium for the Bama Bash.

softball team (7-0) will wrap up its road trip to start the season with a midweek contest against instate foe UAB (5-5). The Crimson Tide will meet the Blazers on Tuesday, Feb. 21, with first pitch scheduled for 6 p.m., at the UAB Softball Field.

Alabama swept its three games at the SEC/ACC/Big XII Challenge this weekend in Auburn. Alabama opened the tournament with a 12-9 victory over No. 20 Georgia Tech on Friday. UA then downed Virginia Tech, 7-3, on Saturday and was slated to play No. 4 ranked Oklahoma afterwards but inclement weather canceled the top-five match-up. Alabama closed out its stay with a Sunday morning 3-1 victory over No. 15 Oklahoma State.

Senior Cassie Reilly-Boccia carried Alabama to three wins over the weekend at the SEC/ACC/Big XII Challenge. The New York native led the team in six offensive categories, including: a .667 average, six hits, seven RBI, a 1.000 slugging percentage, a .692 on base percentage and two walks. Reilly-Boccia got the tournament started off in impressive fashion as she batted 4-for-4, drove in three runs and reached base five times against Georgia Tech. The four hits was a career high. She then drove in three more, reaching base in her first two at-bats in the win against Virginia Tech. Reilly-Boccia then hit her first home run of the season when she belted a solo shot off the scoreboard in a 3-1 win over Oklahoma State.

UAB enters the week with a 5-5 record after finishing 2-3 at the Hillenbrand Invitational in Tucson, Ariz. The Blazers earned wins over Southern Utah (2-0) and North Dakota (9-8), dropping the three games to Arizona (7-0), and Western Kentucky (3-2, 6-0) twice. UAB is hitting .234 as a team and pitching at a 2.88 clip. The Blazers have been outscored 38-29 while opponents are hitting .262 and sport a 2.11 ERA. Individually Mandy Lowman leads the team with a .455 average, two home runs and five RBI. Kristen McGrath has provided the punch with a team-best three home runs and six RBI. In the circle, Leigh Streetman has tallied the most starts, posting a 1-2 record and a 3.46 ERA. She has struck out 28 in 26 1/3 innings while opponents have hit .280 against the sophomore. UAB returns 15 letterwinners and seven starters to a team that finished 39-19 overall and third in C-USA with a 17-6 record. Head coach Marla Townsend is in her 14th season and has posted a 348-360 record.

The two teams will be meeting for the 11th time with Alabama holding a perfect 10-0 advantage. The two programs last played each other on Feb. 22, 2011, at the UAB Softball Field with the Tide earning a 3-0 win. UA scored three seventh inning runs and used a one-hit, 14 strikeout gem from Kelsi Dunne to escape with the victory. Senior Jennifer Fenton enters the game with a .353 lifetime average against the instate foe, tallying a double, triple, home run and three RBI while stealing two bases. Fellow senior Jazlyn Lunceford has batted .364 with three RBI and has stolen two bases.

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