On April 8, the ETSU softball team traveled to Birmingham, Alabama, to face Samford in a three-game Southern Conference series. The Bucs competed in a doubleheader on Saturday and one game on Sunday.
ETSU came into the series on a two-game winning streak, getting their first two conference wins over Mercer.
Samford came into the series with a three-game winning streak in the conference. For the Bucs, coming into the first game of the series, their record was 16-17, while Samford’s record was 14-24.
Going into the game Head Coach Brad Irwin felt the team’s offense was going to have to score.
“Offensively we need to make better adjustments so the key for us is to get our bats going,” Irwin said. “We have done well staying ahead of the pitch count when pitching. If we continue that we should be successful.”
In the first inning of the series, the Bucs went scoreless while Samford scored first in the bottom of the first when Abbie Miranda hit a double to bring a run home.
After the first inning, the Bucs trailed 1-0. In the second inning, both teams did not score a run with the Bucs still trailing 1-0 going into the third inning.
At the top of the third inning, the Bucs bats still could not get going, failing to put a runner on base and ultimately going scoreless in the inning.
In the bottom of the third Samford got their second score of the game with bases loaded. Madison Couch was hit by a pitch to bring in a run.
Madison Ogle (Maryville, Tenn.) was able to strike out the next batter to leave three runners on base. The Bucs were not able to come back from the two-run deficit losing game one of the three-game series 2-0.
With the loss, the Bucs dropped their overall record to 16-18 and 2-2 in conference play.
In game two of the doubleheader, the Bucs got off to a better start after going scoreless in eight straight innings. The Bucs scored two runs in the second inning when Taylor Carter (Brazil, Ind.) singled to left field to advance Nikki Grupp (Jacksonville, Flor.) to third base and bring Tiffany Laughren (Erwin, Tenn.) for a score to give the Bucs a 1-0 lead.
Grupp scored on a sacrifice fly to give the Bucs a 2-0 lead going into the third inning. Samford responded scoring two runs in the third and one run in the fourth inning. In the fifth inning, Samford scored two more runs from a home run to give them a 5-2 lead going into the sixth. The Bucs were not able to overcome the deficit, losing 5-2.
On Sunday the Bucs offense finally got going, beating Samford 6-1.
With the win, the Bucs record improved to 16-19.