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Furman Outlasts Samford In Series Finale, 6-4

Marissa Guimbarda hammered two home runs and drove in four runs in Furman's 6-4 win at Samford on Sunday.
Marissa Guimbarda hammered two home runs and drove in four runs in Furman's 6-4 win at Samford on Sunday.

Birmingham, Ala. -- Marissa Guimbarda belted two home runs and fellow sophomore Mackense Greico tossed a complete game to lead Furman to a 6-4 victory over Samford in the finale of a three-game Southern Conference softball series Sunday afternoon at SU Softball Stadium in Birmingham, Ala.

With the game tied 1-1, freshman Natalie Morgan led off the second inning with a solo blast to left field, her first career home run, to give the Paladins (10-22, 2-4 SoCon) a 2-1 lead. Cammy Pereira and Greico reached on two-out singles to keep the inning alive and Guimbarda upped the Furman advantage to 5-1 with a three-run, line drive homer off the top of the left-center field wall.

Timberlyn Shurbutt's solo homer and Hannah Trombley's RBI single in the bottom of the third trimmed the Paladin lead to 5-3, but Guimbarda's solo clout to right-center in the top of the fifth, her SoCon-leading 12th roundtripper of the season, increased the Furman lead to 6-3.

Samford's Whitney Hinton cut the margin to 6-4 with a one-out blast in the bottom of the fifth inning, and a walk and two singles loaded the bases for the Bulldogs (15-23, 4-2 SoCon). Amanda Fleming fielded Ashlyn Barnes' bases loaded grounder to second base and fired home to cut down the lead runner before she squeezed Merritt Cahoon's two-out pop up to end the threat.

Greico (2-9) worked around leadoff walks in the sixth and seventh innings to shut the door and earn her second career victory in the circle. The right-hander from Aberdeen, Md., held Samford to four runs on seven hits over seven innings.

Guimbarda and Greico each collected two hits at the plate, while Casey Bigham and Sarah Windham each added a single and base on balls for the Paladins.

Annalyn Yantis, who allowed five runs on five hits over two innings in the circle, suffered the loss for Samford. Shurbutt and Hinton both homered and scored two runs for the Bulldogs, while Trombley went 2-for-3 with two RBIs.

Furman returns home to Pepsi Stadium to host defending SoCon champion UNCG in a three-game series next weekend. The series begins with a 1 p.m. doubleheader on Saturday. Admission is free.