Hanson & Dowdy Sweep; Burford Coach of the Year
Softball Falls In SoCon Championship RoundThe fourth-seeded Samford softball team fell in the championship round of the 2017 Southern Conference Tournament by a score of 6-0 to the third-seeded ETSU Bucs Saturday afternoon at Frost Stadium. Read More
Mandy Burford recently wrapped up her sixth season as the head coach of the Samford softball team. Burford was promoted to head coach in 2012 after serving as an assistant coach in 2011.
The 2017 team produced a second-straight appearance in the Southern Conference Tournament championship game. After falling in the first round to Mercer, Samford reeled off three-straight wins over Chattanooga, UNCG and Mercer to reach the title game for the second-straight season. After the tournament, Samford’s Grey Adams, Madison Couch, Shelby Maze and Kelsey Royalty were named to the All-Tournament team.
Maze, the 2017 team’s center fielder, set a school record and led the nation with 90 hits. She also led the SoCon in batting with an impressive. 423 average. Maze was named first team All-SoCon and third team NFCA All-Region at the conclusion of the season. Maze was joined on the first team All-SoCon squad by teammates Couch and catcher Abby Sweeney. Additionally, infielder Whitney Hinton was named to the SoCon’s All-Freshman team.
Burford, 2016 SoCon Coach of the Year, took the Bulldogs to new heights in 2016 as she led the program to its first ever NCAA Championship Tournament appearance with a trip to the Tuscaloosa Regional and eventually ended the season with a school record 40 wins. Samford recieved the Southern Conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament after the team had secured its first ever SoCon Tournament Championship as well as winning the SoCon regular season title with a 15-3 SoCon record.
Rachel Fox enters her first season as the pitching coach for the Samford softball program. “I am very excited to welcome Rachel into our Samford Softball family,” Burford said. “I am proud of all of the accomplishments of our team and staff over the past seven years and I think Rachel will not only be able to continue those traditions, but also take us to another level. Samford is a special place and I believe Rachel will be the perfect fit. Her knowledge of the game both playing and coaching combined with her high character and faith will make her fit right in at Samford.”
Fox is an extremely accomplished pitcher at both the collegiate and professional levels. She helped lead her team to a World Championship with her professional softball team, the Scrap Yard Dawgs.
Collegiately, Fox spent two seasons as the ace of the Texas A&M pitching staff. During her senior campaign she tossed 182 strikeouts in 232 innings of work as the Aggies’ Friday/Sunday starter, while recording a 3.14 ERA and a 23-14 record in 37 starts and 46 appearances, with four saves and six shutouts. As a Redshirt Junior, Fox tossed 123 strikeouts in 158.1 innings of work with a 3.54 ERA and a 15-11 record in 30 starts and 34 appearances. While with the Aggies, Fox led the squad to two NCAA Regional appearances in two seasons with the program.
Chandler Brooks begins her first season as an assistant coach on the Samford softball staff.
“Chandler brings a wealth of knowledge and playing experience at the highest level and she will have an immediate impact on our team,” Burford said. “Chandler’s competitive nature and desire to win will be a major asset for all of the players on our team. She has been a winner in everything she attempted to accomplish and I can’t wait for her to join our staff.”
Brooks played softball at Alabama from 2014 to 2017. During her time with the Crimson Tide, she helped the team to three Women’s College World Series appearances, and the 2014 team earned an SEC title.