Samford softball has started a rigorous nonconference slate slow, as they currently sit at 2-7 overall. Despite the rough start, the team has shown glimpses of progress and talent that has them poised for SoCon competition.
Samford opened their season with a 1-0 victory over Seton Hall, as they rode Preseason Pitcher of the Year McKenzie Newcomb’s seven shutout innings to victory. Gwynnie Hornibrook hit an RBI single in the fifth inning, which was all the Bulldogs needed to beat the Pirates.
The subsequent matchup against Seton Hall was canceled, and the Bulldogs then lost three straight games. Two of those losses came to the Southern Miss Golden Eagles, who clipped the Bulldogs 3-0 and 3-2. Samford also lost to Ball State 5-3 before edging out an 8-7 victory over the Cardinals in the next game. The Bulldogs walked off Ball State thanks to a bases-clearing double from Merritt Cahoon.
Since the come-from-behind victory over Ball State, the Bulldogs have lost four straight games. All of those losses have been decided by one run. Most recently, the Bulldogs lost 3-2 to The University of Alabama, the No. 7 team in the country. The Bulldogs were up 2-0 in the game after a throwing error by Alabama brought in two runs, but Jordyn Partain gave up two runs that Tide capitalized on after being down 2-1.
Despite the recent slide, Samford’s players remain confident in their team, especially in the pitching department.
“I think we are strongest in our pitching staff,” Sarah Squillace said. “We have two of the best pitchers in our conference with Jordyn Partain and McKenzie Newcomb.”
Adding to the positivity, Newcomb said, “I feel like the team chemistry is very strong, and I would describe it as a family bond. We always have fun together; there’s never a dull moment.”
For the players, the hope remains that Samford softball can use a challenging nonconference slate to play better in SoCon competition. The Bulldogs’ next matchup comes Friday, Feb. 24, when they play host to Southern Indiana.
Staff Writer (Sports)