BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The Samford University softball completed its second-straight SoCon series sweep with a 5-4 comeback victory over Chattanooga on Sunday, April 3, at the SU Softball Stadium. The win marks the first time that the Bulldogs have swept the Mocs in three-game series while also jumping out to the program's best start in SoCon play at 6-0.
"I'm really happy for the seniors." Head Coach Mandy Burford said. "This is the first time we have ever swept UTC in a three-game series but tip your hat to Jennings (8-6). She is really, really good; she can mix both sides of the plate and her off-speed is really good too but I thought we did a good job battling at the plate for all six innings."
Samford (21-15, 6-0 SoCon) rallied for three runs after falling behind 4-2 in the top of the fourth inning when Amanda Beltran hit her second home run of the day for the Mocs (19-19, 2-4 SoCon). The three-run shot was Beltran's follow up to her solo home run she hit in the second inning.
Two seniors led the charge in the deciding sixth inning as senior Megan Dowdy roped her third hit of the contest right back up the center of the Chattanooga defense with one out. Sophomore Shelby Maze put down a SAC bunt to put Dowdy in scoring position with two outs which allowed senior Callie Brister drive in Dowdy in the next at-bat.
"Meg (Megan Dowdy) and Cal (Callie Brister), you can't say enough about them, they had six hits combined on seven at-bats and drove in four of the five runs we scored." Burford said. "In the bottom of the sixth I think they were just determined to only have to go out and get three outs in the seventh. That's A-B-C softball - get on, get over and hit them in - that's what we want, Cal got a 3-1 count and she knew she didn't have to blast it over the fence. She knew she could just hit a ground ball of the middle to score Meg."
Brister put the Bulldogs on top in the bottom of the first inning on her seventh home run of the season. The Tuscaloosa, Alabama native unleashed on a ball that carried over the wall in left field to give Samford the initial 2-0 lead over Chattanooga.
The comeback rally started with two outs in the bottom of the fourth inning as freshman Kelsey Royalty put down a beautiful bunt single right in front of Chattanooga catcher Anyssa Robles. Dowdy lined up the very next pitch from Jennings and smacked a double for her 6th RBI of the week to pull the Bulldogs to within a run.
Royalty ended the day 1 for 3 at the plate with one run scored to go along with a pair of outstanding catches in left field that surely helped limit the Chattanooga offense.
Sophomore Shelby Maze tied up the contest 4-4 with an RBI single in the next at-bat to score Dowdy from second.
Redshirt-senior Mollie Hanson (13-7) tallied her sixth Southern Conference victory of the season as she picked up all-three wins over the weekend against the Mocs in two starts and one relief appearance.
The Dothan, Alabama native only allowed four runs on four hits while striking out six Chattanooga batters in comparison to only one walk.
Brister ended the day going 3 for 4 at the plate with three RBIs and one run scored in the effort.
The Bulldogs hit the road for their next SoCon series as the team will travel to play Furman University on April 9-10.