CULLOWHEE, N.C. ---- The Samford softball team grabbed two Southern Conference wins Saturday as it swept the doubleheader from Western Carolina on the road. In 12 innings, Samford posted 19 runs on 23 hits to WCU's four runs on eight hits. Samford won the first game, 10-4 and the second by a score of 9-0 in five innings. The Bulldogs improve to 16-30 overall and 7-13 in league play while the Catamounts fall to 10-39 overall and 2-17 in the SoCon.
In game one, Samford got on the board quickly in the first inning. Katie England doubled and advanced to third base on the throw from right field. Then Amanda Barrs laid down a sacrifice bunt to drive in England and put the Bulldogs up, 1-0.
Western Carolina took over the lead in the bottom of the second when Shemika Scotten singled and advanced to second on the throw to drive home Kristen Gay and Missy Wills. However, Samford would rally to take the lead back in the top of the third after Aaren Fisher doubled to drive in Amy Gonzalez and Amanda Jordan doubled to score Fisher and Barrs. The Bulldogs led, 4-2, after three innings of play.
Samford added another run in the fourth when Fisher doubled and advanced to third on the throw to bring home Gonzalez, and then put up five runs in the fifth inning to take a 10-2 lead. The first run of the fifth inning was scored when Rachael Reeves grounded out to the shortstop with the bases loaded to score Jordan. Kayla Shaffer then reached first base on an error while Anna Kimbrell scored to make it a 6-2 game. Gonzalez reached first base on a fielder's choice while Tessa Frates scored from third, and then Katie England reached on a fielder's choice while Shaffer scored.
The Bulldogs took the 10-2 lead on the second out of the fifth inning. As Barrs struck out swinging, England stole second base, Fisher stole third and Gonzalez stole home. The Bulldogs plated five runs on two hits in the fifth inning.
The Catamounts scored one in the bottom of the fifth when Haley Pace homered to lead off the inning and one in the sixth on a double by Danielle Reese, but it would not be enough as Samford would go on to win the first game, 10-2.
Gonzalez and Jordan led the Bulldogs in the first game. Gonzalez went 3-for-4 with three runs and one RBI while Jordan when 3-for-5 with one run and two RBI. Fisher was 2-for-4 with one run and two RBI while England and Kimbrell also had one hit and one run each.
Kayla Burris (2-2) earned the win after taking over in the pitcher's circle in the second inning. She gave up just two earned runs on five hits and struck out two batters in 5.1 innings of play. Stephanie Royall started the game and pitched one and two-thirds inning, giving up two earned runs on three hits while walking three batters.
Gay led the Catamounts, going 2-for-3 at the plate with two runs. Six other WCU players had one hit each while Scotton had two RBI and Pace and Reese had one each.
Amber Steinhardt (7-14) took the loss for the Catamounts, giving up four runs on four hits while walking one batter and striking out two in 2.1 innings. Katie King finished the game and gave up two earned runs on six hits while striking out four batters and walking three.
In the second game, Samford plated three runs quickly to take the lead first for the second time of the day. With one out in the top of the first, England got a base-hit and then advanced to second base on a passed ball. Barrs then singled and advanced to second on the throw and then advanced to third as England came in to score the first Bulldog run. Jordan then singled up the middle to drive home Barrs before Kimbrell reached first base on an error while Jordan scored the third run of the inning.
England led off the third inning with her fourth home run of the season to put the Bulldogs ahead 4-0 and then Samford took a 9-0 lead in the top of the fourth as it put together another five-run inning.
In the fourth, Fisher singled with one out and then stole second to get into scoring position. England doubled to center to score Fisher before Barrs singled and then stole second base. Jordan singled to drive in England and then Shaffer got a base-hit to bring home Barrs. Still with one out on the board, WCU changed pitchers but Kimbrell would get Samford's sixth hit of the inning and drive in Jordan to extend the Bulldogs' lead to 8-0. Reeves then drove in what would be the final run on a double and advance to third before getting thrown out at home.
England led the Bulldogs in the second game, going 3-for-3 at the plate with three runs and two RBI. Jordan was 2-for-2 with two runs and two RBI while Kimbrell also went 2-for-3 with one RBI. Eight of nine Bulldogs had at least one hit, with four grabbing multiple hits in the game.
Barrs (3-14) pitched her first shutout along with Burris, giving up just four hits and striking out two batters in five innings of play.
Four Catamounts had one hit each including Jordan Fulton, Scotten, Reese and Robyn Burnette. King (2-22) took the loss after giving up eight earned runs on nine hits in 3.1 innings of play. Chere Monday pitched one and two-thirds innings and gave up just two hits while walking one batter.
The Bulldogs will go for the series sweep Sunday in the series finale at 11 a.m. CDT. A full recap and results will be posted on www.samfordsports.com upon the completion of the game. Fans can follow live stats through links at www.samfordsports.com.