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Softball rewrites UAB record book
The UAB softball team took the city, state, and nation by surprise after its Louisville and Florida regionals run. Team 14 continued the softball program that coach Marla Townsend literally built on the Southside.
Year number four of having an on-campus stadium has successfully translated into four consecutive seasons playing in the NCAA regionals.
The program has gone from the emotional highs of being excited on selection day to winning a regional and to the lows coming off of two close games that could have easily put the green and gold in Oklahoma City. A series of one run losses to the second ranked Florida Gators sent the Blazers home from the WCWS. Lannah Campbell put the Blazers in great position to take the first game but a pair of untimely walks and hits by the Gators in the bottom of the seventh inning allowed a rally to come back and grab game one.
The lack of hitting cost the Blazers in game two as they fell to the Gators 2-1 in a hard fought game with Anna Kimbrell coming just six inches away tying the game in the bottom of the seventh but it hit the top of the fence and ended up being a double but no one else was able to come up in the clutch this time for UAB as they fell UF.
Coach Townsend started the softball program fourteen years ago and having to play at an unappealing George Ward park. Now recruiting comes down to facility appeals and the level the entire state plays at.
UAB was among South Alabama, Jacksonville State, and Alabama playing in the NCAA regionals.
The Blazers finished with a school record of 40-19 and won their first conference championship. A dominant 19-4 conference record, on top of a no-hitter and a perfect game from junior pitcher, Leigh Streetman, A lot of first’s came for this team, but looks to continue under Townsend.
“I told the girls that they can be that Cinderella team that advances to the Super Regionals and that everyone in the nation is talking about. They beat the game, and even when things weren’t going our way, we didn’t let it affect us mentally. We stayed focus throughout,” Coach Townsend said of UAB’s run of taking down Louisville and UCLA.
This 2013 UAB softball team may pave the way for other UAB sporting teams into having their own on-campus stadium . The Barons also help dignify that sports on the Southside are supported and bring a buzz to the likes of UAB basketball, UAB softball, and the Birmingham Barons