BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The UNCG softball team split a pair of games against Samford Saturday at the Bulldog Softball Field. Spartans won game one 3-2 but fell 10-5 in game two against the Bulldogs.
The Blue and Gold sit at 12-14, 2-3 in the SoCon on the season while Samford is 21-8, 1-3 in SoCon action.
UNCG 3, Samford 2
In game one, the Spartans used two great defensive plays to seal the victory in the seventh for UNCG.
With the Blue and Gold leading 3-2, junior Dominique Madruga (San Diego, Calif./Cathedral Catholic) made a game-saving diving play at second base for the second out. Caroline Wilder singled to centerfield but sophomore Allison Geiner (Raleigh, N.C./Middle Creek) nailed Callie Brister at the plate to end the game giving UNCG the victory.
Sophomore Nicole Thomas (Irvine, Calif./Northwood) picked up the win in relief throwing four innings and allowed just three hits with one strikeout. Grey Adams took the loss to fall to 6-2 on the season after allowing three runs on two hits.
Sophomore Lindsay Thomas (Irvine, Calif./Northwood) paced the Spartans going 2-for-3 with a key two-run single in the contest.
UNCG took a 1-0 lead after a RBI double from senior Katelyn Bedwell (Surrey, B.C./Elgin Park) in the first inning. Geiner started the game with a single to centerfield. Classmate Danielle Vega (Rialto, Calif./Aquinas) sacrificed Geiner to second. Bedwell picked up her 19th RBI of the season with the RBI double off the left field wall.
In the bottom of the third, Samford scored two runs on three hits to take a 2-1 lead. Abbie Miranda singled to right field to start the frame for the Bulldogs. With one out, Wilder singled up the middle to tie the game at 1-1. Samford loaded the bases with a walk and a single before Hanks got Callie Brister to strikeout swinging. With two outs, Abby Sweeney worked a walk to push the Bulldogs ahead 2-1.
The Spartans rallied in the fourth inning scoring two runs on a clutch two-run single from Lindsay Thomas. UNCG started the inning with back-to-back walks forcing Samford to change pitchers as Mollie Hanson relieved starter Grey Adams. Freshman Tory Wright (Potomac Falls, Va./Dominion) sacrificed the runners to second and third with one out. Thomas picked up her 11th and 12th runs batted in of the season with the single to centerfield.
Samford 10, UNCG 5
In game two, Samford used a nine-run fourth inning to even the series at 1-1 with a 10-5 victory against the Spartans.
Samford is 8-0 this season when they hit two or more home runs after hitting three in game two against the Spartans.
Mollie Hanson threw a complete game earning the victory but UNCG got nine hits and five runs in the loss. Senior Raeanne Hanks (Rainier, Ore./Rainier Senior) took the loss after throwing three innings and allowed six earned runs on five hits.
Vega and Bedwell each finished with two hits to lead the Spartans at the plate.
The Spartans took an early lead after back-to-back doubles from Vega and Bedwell in the first inning. Bedwell earned her 20th RBI of the season to give UNCG a 1-0 advantage.
UNCG added an insurance run on a sacrifice fly from Vega in the third inning. Madruga doubled to left center to start the inning. After a Geiner single, Vega lined a RBI sacrifice to centerfield to make it 2-0 Spartans.
In the bottom of the third, Abby Adams launched her 11th home run of the season to cut the lead to 2-1 with two outs.
The Bulldogs broke open the game with a nine run fourth inning with two home runs from pinch hitter Shelby Scott and a grand slam from Caitlin Bice. Samford had eight hits in the frame to pull ahead 10-2.
Down to their final three outs, the Spartans responded with three runs in the fifth off four hits to cut Samford’s lead to 10-5. Vega got the rally started with a single up the middle with one out. Bedwell followed with a single to put runners on first and second. After an error, Wright lined a RBI single through the infield to score Vega to make it 10-3. Lindsay Thomas earned a RBI off a sacrifice fly to centerfield and sophomore Lacey Leary (Norwood, N.C./Spartanburg Methodist) picked up an RBI single for the third run of the inning.
The Blue and Gold couldn’t push any more runs across going down in order in the seventh inning.
UNCG returns for the final game of the series Sunday, Mar. 23 at 2 p.m. eastern time at the Bulldog Softball Field.
Be sure to follow all updates about the UNCG softball team on www.uncgspartans.com or on twitter @UNCGsports/@UNCGsoftball.