BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ---- The Samford softball team jumps back into Southern Conference play this weekend as it plays host to Georgia Southern Saturday and Sunday at Bulldog Field. The series is part of an eight-game homestand for the Bulldogs which will wrap up next Thursday with a non-conference doubleheader.
Samford trails Georgia Southern in the all-time series, 6-14. The last time the two teams met was in the Southern Conference Tournament last season in which the Eagles dashed the Bulldogs' chances of a championship game appearance with ninth-inning triple to go ahead, 4-3. In the 2009 regular season, the Eagles took two out of three in the mid-season conference series.
The Samford-Georgia Southern series goes back a long way to the second year of the Bulldog Softball program. The Eagles were the Bulldogs' second opponent in 1988 and GSU swept Samford in the two-game series. Samford lost four in the next two years and it was not until 2001 that the teams would meet again. The Bulldogs won the first game in 2001, 2-1, in ten innings before losing the second one by the same score.
Samford (11-25, 2-10 SoCon) comes off a midweek doubleheader in which it dropped both games to Ole Miss, 7-3 and 3-1. Since the Bulldogs had last weekend off, it has been two weeks since they faced a conference opponent. On Easter weekend, Samford was on the road at the College of Charleston in a series in which the Bulldogs dropped the first two contests before winning the third.
Amy Gonzalez and Alex Adams lead all Bulldog starters in hitting. Gonzalez boasts a .282 batting average and is second on the team in stolen bases with 11, just behind Aaren Fisher who leads the category with 16 on the year. Adams has a batting average of .267 and still leads her team in doubles and home runs with six each.
Stephanie Royall leads all active pitchers with a 2.59 ERA and a 6-7 record on the year. In 78.1 innings of play, she has 33 strikeouts and has pitched five complete games including three shutouts. She holds opponents to a .252 batting average.
Georgia Southern (20-19, 6-5 SoCon) comes off a midweek series at Georgia Tech in which the Yellow Jackets swept the Eagles, 14-2 and 5-4. The second game was the fifth consecutive loss for the Eagles after being swept by conference leader Chattanooga last weekend.
Nina Iduate leads the Eagles with a .442 batting average, only missing one game so far this season. She boasts 25 runs on a team-leading 57 hits and 11 stolen bases. Megen Smith follows with a .317 batting average and a team-leading 13 home runs. Her slugging percentage is .717 and she has 30 RBI on the year.
Brianna Streetmon, a SoCon March Pitcher of the Week, leads the GSU pitchers with a 1.71 ERA and a 14-7 record in the circle. She has pitched 16 complete games, 147.0 innings and four shutouts and has earned two saves. She boasts 121 strikeouts on the year, well over half of the entire pitching staff's total. She holds opponents to a .213 batting average.
All games of the Georgia Southern series will be broadcasted live locally on Samford's radio station, 91.1 FM WVSU, and online at www.samford.edu/wvsu. Fans can also watch online for FREE via live streaming at www.samfordsports.com. A full recap and results will be available on www.samfordsports.com upon the completion of each day's action.
*** SAMFORD BULLDOGS ***