Blazers softball tabbed fifth in Conference USA preseason poll


DALLAS – Heading into head coach Jimmy Kolaitis’ second season at the helm of UAB softball, the Blazers were picked to finish fifth in the Conference USA preseason poll. 

UAB welcomes 10 newcomers to the field this season, including five transfers and five freshmen. UAB added a pair of SEC transfers in KK Crocker and Macey Petrey during the offseason. Crocker, an Auburn transfer, joins the Green and Gold with two years of eligibility after sitting out the 2019 season. Crocker appeared in 39 games for the Tigers in 2018 with 26 hits in 77 at bats and a .338 batting average. Petrey comes to UAB from Mississippi State where she made 25 appearances and five starts for the Bulldogs. 

The Blazers also gain NJCAA Female Student Athlete of the Year Amy Woodham to the bullpen this season. Woodham spent two seasons at Chipola College where she recorded 36 wins and only one loss over two seasons with 253 total strikeouts. 

Freshmen Gabi Apiag, Jaycee Cook, Sam Bean, Chloe Bahruth and Kendall Jennings all look to contribute to the new look of UAB softball this season.

UAB tied for eighth in C-USA in conference wins (8) last season and finished sixth in the West Division, narrowly missing the conference tournament. 

The Blazers return eight starters including C-USA All-Freshman Team member Faith Hegh, who lead UAB with a .357 batting average off 55 hits and 21 RBI. Also returning is Second Team All-Conference honoree, Sierra Frazier. Frazier’s six home runs and 34 RBI as a freshman paced the Blazers in 2019. Emily Kachel and Sarah Cespedes return to the circle with plenty of experience as both pitchers combined for 187.1 innings and 12 of the Blazers 19 wins last season. 

The UAB softball season is only two weeks away as the Blazers will take the field in Atlanta, Ga. on Feb. 6 for the Buzz Invitational at Georgia Tech. The Green and Gold home opener is slated for Tuesday, Feb. 18 at 5 p.m. against Samford in the second annual Teal Game for ovarian cancer awareness.

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