Alabama softball team preparing for UAB

The University of Alabama Crimson Tide softball team is preparing to play the UAB Blazers Tuesday in Birmingham, Ala., after sweeping a five-game tournament at Florida Gulf Coast University to win its second tournament of the year.

The Crimson Tide is undefeated so far in 10 games this season, a little less than half of the 26 straight wins the team had at the beginning of last year. The Blazers enter the game against the Tide with a 6-3 record. Each of the Tide’s wins has come during either the UNI-Dome Classic or the LaQuinta Inn and Suites Tournament at FGCU. The game against the Blazers will be the Tide’s first matchup not included in a tournament.

Head coach Patrick Murphy said the team is looking for a great atmosphere as the team faces another state school in an exciting matchup.

“Every time we play them, there’s a championship atmosphere,” Murphy said. “I think UAB will play a tremendous game. We always have a great time with them.”

Alabama leads the series with UAB, winning 12 in a row, but the Blazers pitching staff will be a challenge for the Tide in this matchup, Murphy said. The team has left-handed and right-handed pitchers as well as players who have a variety of skills.

The depth of the Blazers’ pitching staff gives the team the ability to switch pitchers every other inning, Murphy said. This will force the Tide to make quick adjustments if new pitchers are brought into the game, he said.

Murphy said he is looking for improvement offensively in Tuesday’s game. The players need to put the ball in play more on offense, the head coach said. The team has left runners on first and second base without batting them in, which Murphy said will improve as the team adjusts to playing games.

“Once everyone kind of settles in and gets to see more live pitching the offense will get to play for bigger innings,” Murphy said.

The game against the Blazers will be the Tide’s first showing in Alabama. The team’s first game at home was canceled due to the possibility of inclement weather on Tuesday, Feb. 12. The game will be played at the UAB Softball Field in Birmingham, Ala., where all regular bleacher seats have been sold out. The first pitch is set to be thrown at 6 p.m.

The Tide’s first home game will be Friday, Feb. 22 against Western Illinois in the team’s first game of the Easton Bama Bash. The Tide has not lost at home in a tournament since 2010.

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Swimming and diving team advances to SEC championships, focuses on personal goals