BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Samford softball team earned two wins to take the series victory over Western Carolina Sunday at the Samford Softball Field. Sunday’s first game was a resumption of Saturday’s second game, with Samford earning a 7-2 win. In the final game of the series, the Bulldogs picked up a 14-6 victory in five innings.
“I thought everything until the last inning was just perfect today,” Samford head coach Mandy Burford said. “I was proud of them for putting it together, and hopefully we’re getting hot at the right time.”
In Sunday’s first game, the teams resumed Saturday’s second game, which was suspended with one out in the sixth inning with Samford leading, 7-2. The sixth and seventh innings went quickly and the Bulldogs secured the five-run victory.
In that game for Samford, Lexie Higgins homered and drove in three runs in a 1-for-2 performance. Ashlyn Barnes and Shelby Maze both went 2-for-3 with an RBI. Annalyn Yantis (4-10) pitched 5.1 innings, giving up two runs on six hits to earn the win in the circle.
For Western Carolina in Sunday’s first game, Madison Armstrong and Shaina Reed both went 2-for-2 with an RBI. Armstrong’s run came on a solo home run. Kinsey Liscio (2-7) tossed 4.0 innings, giving up five runs on five hits to take the loss for the Catamounts.
In the final game, Samford plated 14 runs on 15 hits on its way to a 14-6 win in five innings. Madison Couch homered twice and drove in five runs, going 2-for-3 to lead the Bulldogs at the plate. Whitney Hinton also had a home run, driving in three runs and going 2-for-2. Maze went 3-for-4 with an RBI, while Barnes went 3-for-3 with an RBI. Ryan Brzozoski and Kathryn Jackson also had two hits each in the win.
Freshman Emily Barnett (2-1) pitched 4.1 innings, giving up four runs, just three earned, on seven hits to earn the win for the Bulldogs.
“I thought Emily did a great job,” Burford said. “Three or four people were really hot at the plate, but I thought one-through-nine they were hard to get out.”
Samford jumped out to a huge early lead with five runs in the first inning and three more in the second to take an 8-0 lead. Hinton’s three-run homer did the majority of the damage in the first inning. Higgins and Hannah Trombley also drove in a run each for Samford in the first. In the second inning, all three runs came on Couch’s home run to left field.
The Bulldogs added six more runs in the fourth inning to push their lead to 14-0. In the fourth, Couch hit a two-run homer, her second of the game. Julianna Cross also drove in two runs in the inning, while Barnes and Maze drove in a run each for Samford in the fourth inning.
Western Carolina came back with six runs in the top of the fifth inning. Samford, however, was able to hold off the Catamounts and secure the 14-6 victory.
With the wins, Samford improves to 14-30 overall and 4-4 in Southern Conference play. Western Carolina falls to 10-26 overall and 1-8 in league play.
Samford will step out of conference play to host Austin Peay in a doubleheader Wednesday. The first game is scheduled to start at 4 p.m. at the Samford Softball Field.