Birmingham, Ala. – Ambree Muller delivered an RBI double to score Stephanie Field in the top of the eighth inning and Meaghan Houston retired Samford in order in the bottom of the frame to give Furman a 4-3 victory over the Bulldogs as the Paladin claimed the rubber game of their three-game series on Sunday at Samford Softball Field.
The win improved the Paladins to 27-25 overall and 10-11 in Southern Conference play. Furman will open play in the 2013 SoCon Softball Championships on Wednesday in Greensboro, N.C., as the No. 5 seed and will face No. 4 seed UNCG at 7:30 p.m.
After Kayla Shaffer's two-out, RBI single tied the game for Samford in the bottom of the seventh, Field opened the top of the eighth with a single up the middle. She moved to second on a groundout and came home as the eventual winning run when Muller laced a two-out double into the left-centerfield gap off of Bulldog pitcher Shelby Scott.
Houston, who allowed three runs on nine hits in a career-long eight-inning performance, closed the door on the Bulldogs to improve to 9-7 in the circle. The Fort Worth, Texas, native fanned three batters without issuing a walk in eight innings.
Samford grabbed a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning as Callie Brister drove in the first run with a groundout to shortstop and Alex Adams doubled to left to plate the second.
Furman delivered an immediate answer in the fourth. Lauren Collier drew a one-out walk and Muller worked a base on balls with two outs. Natalie Clemmons lined a double just inside the third base bag to drive in two runs before Hannah Pace notched a single to right-center to score Clemmons with the go-ahead run.
Scott suffered the loss for Samford to fall to 5-15. She allowed four runs on seven hits in eight innings while walking four and striking out two Paladins.
Field collected two hits for the Paladins while four Bulldogs registered a pair of hits.
Fans can follow live stats of Furman Softball at this week's SoCon Softball Championships by logging onto www.FurmanPaladins.com. Inning-by-inning updates will also be provided through Twitter by following @FurmanSoftball.