During a three game series against the Western Carolina Catamounts this past Saturday, Samford senior Shelby Maze broke the school’s record for most career hits.
The school’s previous record was 274 but it was no surprise Maze was on pace to breaking that record after earning 2015 SoCon Freshman of the year, 2016 Second Team All-SoCon, and 2017 First Team All-SoCon. Not to mention leading the nation with 90 hits her junior season.
It was the bottom of the sixth inning when Maze connected with the pitch that put her on top of the record board. It was her 275th time getting on base. A moment she will never forget.
“It’s really exciting knowing that my name will be at the top of that list. It’s always exciting to finish on a high note.” said Maze in an interview this past Sunday.
Maze has been around the sport of softball her entire life. Her father, Shawn Haze, is the head coach for the Mortimer Jordan High School softball team, which is renowned as a prestigious school for softball. She played under her father for four years, which has contributed a huge role in the player she has become today.
When asked how her father responded after hearing the news of her new accomplishment, she expressed the joy he had when she told him.
“He was excited and proud of me. He has always been the tough one and expected the best from me so he really tried not to get too excited. But I could tell he was proud,” she said
Maze is a leader of this softball team. Even as a fan in the bleachers, one is able to tell that there is something special about the way she plays the game of softball. She is constantly lifting up her teammates, she does not hang her head when she commits an error, and her focus on the field is incredibly visible.
After the game where Maze had broken the record for most career hits, Mandy Burford, head coach for the bulldogs, publicly commended Mazevia Twitter.
She wrote, “A true leader is one who can raise the level of play of those around her, while holding them to a higher standard. Shelby Maze isn’t just etching her name in record books, she will be remembered forever for her grit, determination and leadership! So so proud!”
When asked if she could explain how hard she has worked to get where she is today, she didn’t hold back on how important it has been in her career.
“I am lucky to have coaches and trainers that have pushed me to my limits and beyond when I didn’t think it was possible,” she said. My drive and hard work put in was because they believed in me and made me believe that I could be the best.”
As her final season is coming to an end, and although she will miss the sport of softball greatly, Maze said it is her softball family that she will miss the most.
“They are truly my sisters and have made my last four years amazing,” said Maze.
Johnny McGinley, Sports Writer
[photo courtesy of Sam Chandler]