Despite winning the second game, the Bulldogs were unable to come out victorious in their rubber match against Furman this weekend.
“We hoped to sweep the series, but only came away with one win,” senior infielder Robyn Harmon said.
Furman won the first game in Greeneville, S.C. in convincing fashion, as an early lead converted into an 8-3 victory for the Paladins.
Samford put up the first run of the series in the top of the first inning and after three scoreless innings, the Bulldog pitching staff gave up five runs to Furman in the bottom of the fourth.
In the top of the sixth sophomore outfielder Arica Dykes hit an RBI, scoring Madeline Baker in from third base. The score brought the Paladins’ lead down to 5-2.
Furman added three runs in the bottom of the inning, putting the game, by all practical purposes, out of the Bulldogs’ reach.
However, Samford continued to battle. A sacrifice fly by Alex Adams sent sophomore infielder Julianne Surane to the plate to cut Furman’s lead to five in the final inning.
The Bulldogs were in position to cut the Paladin lead to one with the bases loaded and two outs, but a chopper to shortstop ended the game and Samford was unable to convert.
The second game was a different story, as it was the Paladins who took an early lead but were not able to sustain it.
Sophomore pitcher Nicole Bobrowski earned her first win of the season and Harmon, playing in her first series in nearly a month led the Bulldogs offensively with two RBI.
Furman scored the first two runs of the game, taking a 2-0 lead into the fourth inning. In the top of the fourth, though, Harmon drove in Madison Dickey for the first Samford run of the game.
The Bulldogs’ offensive success continued into the fifth inning, as Dykes, Dickey and Adams all scored runs to make the score 4-2.
Defense prevailed the rest of the way as Misha Alrdidge obtained her second save of the season.
“We won the second game and had a good opportunity to win the last game,” Harmon said. “It would have won the series for us, but we fell short right at the end.”
A two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth proved the difference in a tough-fought game three as Furman came away with the series win.
Harmon drove Dickey in for the third time in the series to create a 1-0 first-inning lead for the Bulldogs. A failed steal attempt by Samford ended the inning, negating an Abby Adams run that would’ve made the lead 2-0.
Furman converted a fielding error in the bottom of the fifth to take a 2-1 lead. Dickey scored another run in the sixth inning; this time hit in by Abby Adams, which tied the score at two.
Furman’s Hannah Pace converted the winning score, hitting a home run with one on base. The Bulldogs went three up, three out in the top of the seventh, securing the victory for the Paladins.
The series gives Samford a 4-11 record in the SoCon and improves Furman’s conference record to 6-12.
“The plan right now is to try to move up as far as we can in the standings so it will help our draw in the tournament bracket,” Harmon said. “During our last three conference weekends we want to put ourselves in the best position for tournament play.”
The Bulldogs will play a game at Alabama State on Wednesday night before returning home for a series against conference foe Chattanooga this weekend.