The Samford softball team came away winless in four games this weekend as hosts of this year’s Samford Scramble.
The round-robin competition also included Mercer, who finished the weekend undefeated, and Eastern Illinois, which won two and lost two.
“We learned more things that we need to get better at to be successful,” Madison Dickey said. “We’re getting closer as a team and there are just a few things that we have to get better at to win the close games.”
On Saturday, the Bulldogs lost games to Eastern Illinois 4-1, and 6-2 against Mercer.
In game one for the Bulldogs, Eastern Illinois spurted out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning and Samford was never able to recover.
The Bulldogs’ key offensive production came in the bottom of the fifth inning. Eastern Illinois’ Stephanie Maday walked three Bulldogs and allowed one hit as a Rachel Bickert walk brought freshman utility player Caroline Seay home.
Eastern Illinois scored two more runs in the sixth inning. Misha Aldridge, the Bulldogs’ junior pitcher, sustained the loss for Samford.
In the Bulldogs’ second game of the weekend, Mercer scored all six runs consecutively, including two home runs in the third and fourth innings.
After Mercer went up 6-0 in the fifth, freshman infielder Abby Adams hit a solo home run to avoid the shutout. Bickert, a freshman infielder, scored sophomore outfielder Arica Dykes with a walk to close out scoring for the game.
Robyn Harmon, the Bulldogs’ senior pitcher, got her second loss of the season as Kassie Bailey earned the win for Mercer.
On day two, the Bulldogs dropped a 3-1 decision to Eastern Illinois, and lost an extra-innings contest to Mercer, 7-4.
The Panthers got off to another fast start, this time scoring their three runs in the first inning.
In the fourth inning, the Bulldogs were led on offense by two players named Adams. Abby Adams hit a double and was brought home by an Alex Adams single to make the score 3-1.
Throughout the rest of the game, defense dominated and the last three innings were scoreless.
In the final game of the Scramble, Samford again fell into an early three-run hole, but fought back with runs by Bickert, Seay and Dickey.
After seven innings, the game remained tied at three and Mercer started the eighth inning with a runner on second due to extra-inning rules.
Mercer took advantage of the situation, scoring four runs in the top of the inning. The battered Bulldogs took the plate hoping to mount another comeback.
Harmon hit a double to score Bickert in from second base but was cut off trying to reach third shortly thereafter. The out was the last for the Bulldogs and made the final score 7-4.
“There were many things that we learned this weekend that we can improve on,” Dickey, a freshman utility player, said. “We have to get better at stringing our hits together to get runs in. We also have to improve on our defense and limit the amount of mistakes that we make.”
Nicole Bobrowski took the loss pitching in relief for the Bulldogs. Starting pitcher Aldridge finished with a no-decision.
The Bulldogs next take the field on Wednesday at Jacksonville State. They return home on March 10 to open the SoCon season against Georgia Southern.
“Each day at practice we learn something new from our coaches and during our games we can see the team starting to put everything we have learned together,” junior outfielder Madeline Baker said. “Once that happens we will be unstoppable.”