Feb. 19 C-USA Softball Notebook
Feb. 19, 2013
IRVING, Texas - Conference USA softball teams get their chance to take down some of the top teams in the country this week when UAB hosts No. 1/2 Alabama and No. 24/24 Tulsa faces No. 6/6 Texas at the Texas Invitational in Austin, Texas. The Golden Hurricane enter the national polls this week after claiming three wins against top 25 opponents last week, pushing its season record to 4-1 against ranked foes.
UAB and Alabama will square off Tuesday in Birmingham, Ala., for the Blazers' home opener. A sellout crowd is expected, with standing room only available. The Crimson Tide are the third ranked opponent for UAB this season. UAB defeated then-No. 16 Washington in its season opener, marking the highest-ranked team it has defeated in school history.
Tulsa looks to improve upon its newly acquired national ranking at the Texas Invitational. The Golden Hurricane will play Utah State, Lamar and host Texas in the marquee pairing of the tournament. Tulsa boasts victories against ranked opponents North Carolina, Hofstra and two wins against Florida State.
UCF, winners of five straight games, will head to Clearwater, Fla., for the annual NFCA Lead-Off Classic. The Knights will face Indiana, Fordham, DePaul, Southern Illinois and Massachusetts. Prior to the NFCA Lead-Off Classic, UCF will play a nonconference tilt against No. 23/23 Florida State Wednesday. In other league action, East Carolina (5-3) will host its final home tournament of the season Feb. 24-26 when it welcomes Lehigh, Fairfield and Notre Dame to Greenville, N.C.
KNIGHT MOVES: UCF has won its last five games after dropping its first five to start the season. The five-game win streak is the longest of the season for a C-USA school. Last season, the Knights put together the two longest winning streaks in the league, posting 12 consecutive wins from Feb. 15-March 10 and capturing 10 straight from March 18-April 11.
GRAND SLAMMIN': Four C-USA players hit grand slams during tournament action last week, including Mackenzie Sher of Southern Miss (2/16 vs. Jacksonville State); Kristen McGrath of UAB (2/16 vs. Eastern Kentucky); Farrah Sullivan of UCF (2/17 vs. Buffalo) and Alanna Leasau of UTEP (2/15 vs. South Dakota St.). League players hit 17 grand slams in 2012.
This Week's Schedule:
TUNE IN: Conference USA softball is on the air! Here's this year's Fox Sports Net regular season television schedule: 3/10 - UAB at UCF; 3/17 - East Carolina at UAB; 3/30 - UCF at Tulsa; 4/7 - Marshall at Houston. Check your local listings for channel numbers. The C-USA Softball Championship final will air live on CBS Sports Network from Tulsa, Okla., May 11.
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