No. 3 Bama softball travels to Birmingham to play UAB - Montgomery Alabama news.

No. 3 Bama softball travels to Birmingham to play UAB

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The No. 3/7 ranked Alabama softball team (10-0) will be traveling north to take on in-state rival UAB at the UAB Softball Field.  First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. in Birmingham. The game will start a 12-game, two-week road trip for the Crimson Tide.


Alabama swept another tournament this past weekend by claiming the BAMA Bash title, to improve to a perfect 10-0 on the season.  On Friday, the Tide won its doubleheader with a victory over Louisville, 10-2 (5), and a win over UT-San Antonio, 13-5, in six innings.  Freshman Jackie Traina batted 4-for-5 on the day with a pair of home runs and five RBI.  Junior Cassie Reilly-Boccia batted 5-for-7 with four RBI while the Crimson Tide plated 23 runs, collected 31 hits and smacked five home runs on the evening.

The following day, Alabama senior pitcher Kelsi Dunne gave up just one hit and struck out 13 in five innings to lead the Tide to a 9-0, five-inning win, over Syracuse.  The Tide's next matchup proved to be tougher as Alabama had to rally from a five-run deficit to defeat Louisville, 9-8.  Sophomore Keima Davis hit her first two career home runs, including the go-ahead shot to secure the win for UA.  On Sunday afternoon, Alabama scored 20 runs on 14 hits to post a 20-5 conquest of Syracuse in five innings.


The Tide opened the home portion of its 2011 schedule by scoring 61 runs over the course of five games, earning four of the five wins via the run-rule.  Alabama erupted for 14 home runs, with nine different players going yard over the weekend. Jackie Traina finished the tournament as the BAMA Bash MPV, leading the team with a .667 (8-for-12) average, three home runs and 10 RBI.  Cassie Reilly-Boccia and Kelsi Dunne also earned all-tournament honors. Reilly-Boccia is hitting a .593 (14-for-24) on the year, with four home runs and 15 RBI.  Dunne is a perfect 5-0 thus far with a 0.53 ERA, and has thrown four complete games.  On the season, the Crimson Tide has now outscored its opponents 108-21, and has crushed 24 home runs.  Alabama has scored 10 or more runs on four different occasions and eight or more, eight times this season.


The UAB softball team fell to Indiana, 8-2, Friday in its USF Tournament opener at the Eddie C. Moore Complex. Kate Armstrong led the Blazers, going 1-for-3 with two RBI, while Caley Walden hit 1-for-3 with one run. UAB's bats came alive in its nightcap Friday as the Blazer softball team downed USF, 6-2.   On Saturday, the Blazers prevailed in a defensive battle, blanking Mississippi, 3-0.  The matchup between the Blazers and the Rebels featured solid defense and pitching, with both teams combining for six hits, three of which occurred in the final two innings. Later that afternoon, UAB pitcher Lannah Campbell tossed an outstanding game, and led the Blazer softball team in an aggressive battle that resulted in extra innings against No. 25 DePaul, but the Blazers fell 1-0 to the Blue Demons in the bottom of the eighth.  On the final day, Catherine Douglass blasted an RBI-double in the sixth to break a scoreless game and spark the UAB softball team's 2-0 blanking of Fordham to conclude the USF Tournament.  UAB went 3-2 on the weekend, and now stands at 5-5 on the season. As a team, the Blazers are hitting .252 and pitching at a 1.90 clip. Opponents are hitting .180 and have had success in the circle, sporting a 2.53 ERA. UAB finished 37-22 in 2010 and bowed out in the NCAA Tuscaloosa Regional.


UAB:  Kelsi Dunne struck out a career-high 17 batters to spoil the UAB Softball Stadium opener last season, leading the Crimson Tide to a 7-3 victory.  The 17 punchouts was the second most in school history at the time. Eleven years to the day that Alabama opened the Alabama Softball Complex against UAB, the Tide came back after trailing 3-1, heading into the fifth inning.  Alabama bounced back with a four-run fifth and added two more in the sixth to earn that win. This will be the 10th time the Tide and Blazers have faced each other, with Alabama remaining a flawless 9-0 against UAB.

Alabama sophomore outfielder Kayla Braud has set the table atop the Crimson Tide lineup since the moment she stepped on campus. The Eugene, Ore., native is once again playing at her All-American level as she enters Tuesday's contest on a 19-game hitting streak. Braud has tallied at least one hit in all 10 games thus far in 2011 and ended the 2010 campaign on a nine game hitting streak. The 19-game streak ties the third longest in school history as she has equaled the mark set by Brittany Rogers in 2008. Jordan Praytor's 25-game hitting streak (2006) and Kelly Kretschman's 35-game (1998) streak lie ahead for Braud.

With the hot start at the plate to start the 2011 campaign, the Crimson Tide lead the Southeastern Conference in 10 statistical categories. Offensively, the Tide leads the circuit in: batting average (.436), slugging percentage (.767), on base percentage (.531), runs scored (108), hits (120), RBI (102), home runs (24), total bases (211) and stolen bases (41).

Numerous Alabama individuals currently pace the league in several categories. Cassie Reilly-Boccia and Jackie Traina lead the league in batting average with identical .583 marks. Kayla Braud sits atop the conference in runs scored (17), hits (17) and stolen bases (16). In the circle, Kelsi Dunne leads the league in opposing batting average (.092) and ranks second in ERA (0.53) and strikeouts (44).


The Crimson Tide will go back into tournament mode as it heads to Tampa, Fla., for the USF Fairfield Inn and Suites Tournament.  Alabama's first game will be against Illinois State on Friday at 11:30 a.m. CST.


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