BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Samford softball team built a 4-0 lead after three innings, but eventually fell to Western Kentucky, 7-4 in eighth innings Tuesday afternoon at the Samford Softball Field.
In the loss for Samford, Shelby Maze went 3-for-4 at the plate. Hannah Trombley went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI. Abby Sweeney drove in two runs in a 1-for-2 performance.
Taylor DeCelles (1-7) pitched the final 4.0 innings of the game, giving up six runs on five hits to take the loss in the circle for the Bulldogs. Grey Adams started the game for Samford, tossing 4.0 innings, allowing one run on two hits.
For Western Kentucky, Taylor Proctor and Haylee Towers both went 2-for-4 with an RBI. Jordan Mauch went 1-for-3 with a home run and one RBI. Brittany Vaughn went 1-for-2 with a double and two RBI, driving in the eventual game-winning runs in the eighth inning.
Kathryn Downing (10-2) earned the win in the circle for Western Kentucky, tossing 7.1 innings, giving up four runs on eight hits. Towers earned her first save of the season for the Hilltoppers, pitching the final two-thirds of an inning without allowing a hit.
Samford jumped on top early with two runs in the bottom of the first inning, and two more in the third inning to grab the early 4-0 lead. In the first inning, Trombley doubled down the left-field line to drive in Maze and Madison Couch for the game's first two runs. In the third inning, Sweeney singled up the middle to drive in Maze and Couch for a four-run Samford lead.
Western Kentucky plated a run in the fourth inning and two more in the sixth to cut the Samford lead to 4-3. The Bulldogs held the one-run advantage heading into the seventh inning. In the top of the seventh, Mauch led the inning off with a solo home run to left field to knot the score at 4-4 and force extra innings.
In the top of the eighth inning, with two outs, Tommi Stowers and Mauch walked to start the rally for the Hilltoppers. Vaughn then doubled to drive in Stowers and Mauch to give the Hilltoppers a 6-4 lead. Proctor then singled to drive in Vaughn for a 7-4 WKU advantage.
Samford was unable to score in the bottom of the eighth, and Western Kentucky came away with the 7-4 win.
With the loss, Samford falls to 7-18 so far this season. Western Kentucky's record improves to 17-9 with the win.
Samford will return to action on Saturday, March 18, when the Bulldogs begin play in the UT Martin Tournament. The Bulldogs will take on Western Illinois at 10 a.m., and UT Martin at 12:30 p.m., on both Saturday and Sunday.