Bulldogs, Cassady play to play UAB on Wednesday, Western Carolina this weekend
The Samford Bulldogs Softball team currently sits at a record of 15-14 roughly halfway through the season and before conference play begins.
The Bulldogs are 4-2 in their last six games and 4-0 at home over the stretch. In total, the Bulldogs have a dominating record of 7-2 at home.
Since 2014, Samford has finished in the top four of conference play all but one year, with a conference title in 2016. They will look to convert this consistency in the top four to consistency in the top spot as coach Kimball Cassady begins her Samford coaching career this year.
Coach Cassady spent the past 11 years at Birmingham-Southern posting a record of 319-126-1 (.716) during her time there. She will look to continue the success started at Samford for years to come.
Switching the focus to the diamond offensively, the Bulldogs are led by a three-headed monster in grad transfer Mary Katherine Tedder, senior Timberlyn Shurbutt and freshman Sarah Squillace. Among qualifiers, these three rank 1-3 in OPS respectively, with Tedder leading the way with a ridiculous 1.165 OPS on the year.
Tedder ranks second in RBIs with 22, only one behind Shurbutt’s 23. Squillace leads the team in hits (35) and runs (21).
Simply put, Squillace gets on base and Shurbutt or Tedder brings her home.
On the defensive side of the ball, freshman McKenzie Newcomb leads the way on the mound for the Bulldogs. She has a record of 11-7 in 20 appearances with over 106 innings pitched. Her 11 wins rank second out of all SoCon pitchers. Most impressively, her WHIP is .99, which is a measure of how many walks and hits a player allows per inning pitched.
Newcomb is one of three Samford pitchers to have taken the mound this season with sophomore Jordan Walters and freshman Jordyn Partain also registering appearances.
The Bulldogs are young on the mound with these three. If they can develop over the course of the year through practice and playing time, the pitching staff of the Bulldogs should become a strength moving forward.
Last weekend, the Bulldogs began their conference schedule with three wins over Mercer. Both the Bulldog bats and arms were too much for the Bears to handle, as Samford outscored Mercer 22-4 on the weekend.
Samford’s next game will be a mid-week road matchup with hometown rival UAB. The game will take place on Wednesday, April 6 at 6 p.m. The Bulldogs will then take on Western Carolina this weekend at home for their second SoCon series of the year.
The Bulldogs have lost their last six games against the Blazers, but perhaps new leadership with Cassady will give the Bulldogs their first victory over rival UAB since 2016.