BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The UNCG softball team took an early lead but Samford came back to win the series finale, 11-3, in six innings Sunday at the Bulldog Softball Field.
The Spartans sit at 12-15, 2-4 in the SoCon on the season while Samford improves to 22-8, 2-3 in SoCon action.
Mollie Hanson improves to 12-5 after throwing a complete game allowing three earned runs on four hits. Sophomore Lacey Leary (Norwood, N.C./Spartanburg Methodist) suffered the loss after giving up six earned runs on eight hits.
The Spartans took an early lead when sophomore Danielle Vega (Rialto, Calif./Aquinas) blasted her third home run of the season to left field to make it 1-0 UNCG.
UNCG added to its lead in the second inning as sophomore Nicole Thomas (Irvine, Calif./Northwood) roped her team-leading seventh home run of the season to give the Spartans a 2-0 advantage.
The Bulldogs scored an unearned run in the second inning after a fielder’s choice led to a run to cut UNCG’s lead to 2-1. With one out, Callie Brister singled to left field and Rachel Bickert walked to start the threat for Samford. Senior Raeanne Hanks (Rainier, Ore./Rainier Senior) got Caroline Seay to strikeout swinging but Abby Miranda walked to load the bases. Megan Dowdy hit a groundball in the infield that led to Samford’s first run coming home off a fielding error.
Samford took the lead with a six-run fourth inning off six hits to lead 7-2. Leary took over in the circle for Hanks to start the inning. The Bulldogs loaded the bases after two walks and a single from Shelby Scott. Brister earned a sacrifice fly to left field to tie the game at 2-2. Seay and Dowdy had RBI singles to push the lead to 4-2. Abby Adams had the big blow with a bases clearing three-run double.
The Spartans scored a run in the fourth inning off a two out RBI single from junior Dominique Madruga (San Diego, Calif./Cathedral Catholic). Sophomore Lindsay Thomas (Irvine, Calif./Northwood) scored from third after a one out double to right field.
The Bulldogs added an insurance run in the fifth inning off a bases loaded walk from Brister to give Samford an 8-3 lead. Samford put runners on after an error and a single from Adams to start the frame. After a groundout, Hannah Taylor walked to load the bases. Nicole Thomas relieved Leary in the circle and induced a force out for the second out. Brister picked up her second RBI of the game with the walk.
In the sixth inning, Samford ended the game with three runs, including a game ending two run double from Shelby Scott.
UNCG heads back to Greensboro for a single game against North Carolina A&T Wednesday, Mar. 26 at 6 p.m. at the UNCG Softball Stadium.
Be sure to follow all updates about the UNCG softball team on www.uncgspartans.com or on twitter @UNCGsports/@UNCGsoftball.