STARKVILLE, Miss. - Twelve 2010 NCAA Tournament participants, including half of the Women's College World Series field, highlight Mississippi State's 2011 softball schedule that was announced this week.
The Bulldogs open the season with a road trip to the Sportco Kickoff Classic in Las Vegas. State begins play against Illinois-Chicago and host UNLV on Feb. 11 before meeting 2009 national champion and 2010 WCWS participant Washington on Feb. 12.
"We have a great non-conference schedule that will prepare us for the SEC," Mississippi State ninth-year coach Jay Miller said. "Anytime you play in the SEC, it's going to be tough. It will be challenging for us, but it will give us an opportunity to build power points for consideration for the NCAA Tournament."
After closing the season-opening tournament against UC Riverside and UIC, Miller's squad begins a 24-game home slate by taking on Louisiana Tech, Butler and Southern Illinois in the Feb. 18-20 Bulldog Round-Robin.
Mississippi State hosts the first of two meetings with Southern Mississippi on Feb. 23, followed by an April 6 in Madison, Miss.
MSU closes February with a trek to Kennesaw, Ga., for the Phyllis Rafter Memorial. During the three-day tournament that begins Feb. 25, State will meet Bowling Green, Mercer and Purdue along with host Kennesaw State.
Following a March 2 trip to NCAA participant UAB, State hosts the Bulldog Classic March 4-6. The Dawgs will welcome Memphis, Mississippi Valley State and 2010 NCAA Regional participant Texas A&M to the MSU Softball Field for the event.
The Dawgs' meeting with MVSU is one of three during 2011. State travels to Itta Bena on April 12, and the Delta Devilettes come back to Starkville for an April 19 single game.
Mississippi State opens SEC action March 9, hosting South Carolina in a doubleheader beginning at 4 p.m. Two days later, Miller's squad travels to Tuscaloosa, Ala., to face NCAA Tournament teams North Carolina and Florida State in the SEC/ACC Challenge hosted by Alabama.
The Bulldogs' first road conference action comes March 16 with a midweek doubleheader against 2010 World Series qualifier Florida.
State gets its first taste of the new SEC series format March 18-20 when Arkansas comes to Starkville for a three-game series. Weekend conference series this season will consist of single games on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
MSU returns from a March 25-27 trip to Kentucky to host defending SWAC champion Alcorn State (March 29) and Ole Miss (April 1-3).
The Bulldogs will be a part of Super Bulldog Weekend festivities this season, welcoming Auburn for an April 8-10 SEC Western Division battle.
The April 19 meeting with MVSU sits between weekend conference series at defending SEC champion Alabama (April 15-17) and NCAA participant Tennessee (April 21-23).
MSU closes the home slate against LSU (April 29-May 1) before concluding the regular season with a May 6-8 series at WCWS participant Georgia.
TULSA, Okla. - Qualifying action was concluded for the Mississippi State men's tennis team on Wednesday at the ITA All-American Championships in Tulsa, Okla.
In the Bulldogs lone match of the day, true freshman Malte Stropp's steady advancement at the collegiate tennis championship event was halted with a two-set setback to No. 59 nationally ranked Ryan Thacher of Stanford, 6-3, 6-1, in the third and final round of qualifying. The loss means Stropp is done at the ITA All-American Championships and will not advance to the main draw where teammate and 38th-ranked Louis Cant has already qualified based on his national ranking and last season's efforts.
Cant will serve up in the main draw Thursday in singles and the Bulldog tandem of George Coupland and Zach White will compete in the main draw for doubles. Results will be made available at www.mstateatletics.com.
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Special start times have been established for Mississippi State's three weekend scrimmages at Dudy Noble Field in connection with Parents Weekend Oct. 8-10 on the MSU campus.
The Diamond Dogs will play a scrimmage game Friday at 3 p.m., Saturday at 10 a.m., and, to accommodate travel plans for departing guests, at 10 a.m. Sunday. The scrimmages are open to the public with no charge for admission. Fans are reminded that bleacher seating down the foul lines will be available this fall at Dudy Noble Field while the stadium's main grandstand remains closed during an ongoing seat replacement project.
The MSU Baseball Dugout Club will hold its annual fall gathering with a post-scrimmage meal at 12:30 p.m. in the Bryce Griffis Boardroom adjacent to the stadium. Members of the baseball foster parent program will also be in attendance at the midday meal.
For additional information on the Parents Weekend scrimmages and Saturday's Dugout Club luncheon, contact the MSU Baseball Office (662-325-3597).