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GREENSBORO, N.C. – UNC Greensboro softball (17-11, 1-1 Southern Conference) split a doubleheader against Samford (12-22, 1-1) in the SoCon-opener for both teams with a 9-0 victory (five innings) and a 5-2 loss. Stephanie Bryden (12-5) threw a one-hit shutout with nine strikeouts and just one walk and retired the last 10 batters in the first game of the day.

The Spartans scored all of their runs in two innings. In the first, Makenna Matthijs led off with a single through the left side followed by a walk by Delaney Cumbie. Marisa Sholtes then hit her team-high seventh homer of the year to centerfield.

The other six runs came in the third inning. Gabi Howard led off with a single to second base, and Kayleigh Willis walked. After a fielder’s choice by Katie Stettler and walk by Kamryn Graves to load the bases, Bryden hit a two-RBI single down the left field line. Melanie Darges followed with an RBI-double to centerfield. Matthijs then hit her own two-RBI double to centerfield. The final run was scored on an RBI-single to left field by Cumbie.

In the next game, Samford grabbed a lead it would never relinquish with a run in the second inning following two throwing errors. The Bulldogs added a pair of runs on a two-run homer to centerfield with no outs in the third inning.

The Spartans responded with two runs in the bottom of the inning. Matthijs led off with a homer to left field. Cumbie doubled to left field, and Sholtes singled through the right side. Howard brought home Cumbie with a sac fly to centerfield.

The Bulldogs scored their final runs on a two-run homer to left field with no outs in the next inning.

The Spartans left five baserunners on in the final four innings of the game and finished with eight in the game.

UNCG and Samford play the rubber match Sunday at 1 p.m.

News and Notes

- With 416 career strikeouts, Bryden now ranks tied with Winn Hazlegrove (1992-95) for fifth all-time in program history, moving ahead of volunteer assistant coach Alicia Bazonski at 412.

- Bryden also ranks 10th in program history with her 41st career win.

- Sholtes hit a homer in her first at-bat for the third time in a four-game span.

- Matthijs and Sholtes both went 3-6 on the day with three RBI’s each.

- Bryden went 2-3 in the first game, and Darges, Cumbie and Howard also all had two hits with Cumbie drawing two walks.

- Kylie Bouplon started the second game and went 2.1 innings with two earned runs, six hits and a walk with three strikeouts. Stiltner finished the game and allowed two runs, two hits and one walk with three strikeouts.

-- UNCG –