News from MSU Media Relations--Apr. 28

The latest sports news from the MSU Media Relations Department...Softball, Track & Field, Men's Tennis, Men's Basketball and MSU Alumni Assoc./Bulldog Club.

STARKVILLE, Miss - Mississippi State says thank you to seniors Ali Bainbridge, Courtney Nesbit and Chelsea Raines this weekend as the Bulldog softball team wraps the 2011 home campaign with a three-game Southeastern Conference series against No 21 LSU beginning Friday at the MSU Softball Field

Friday's opener is set for a 5 p m first pitch, and the first 25 youth fans have the opportunity to take part in the Friday Night Kid Fan Zone

Each participant will receive a free t-shirt and pom-pom, and they will also get to assist with retrieving foul balls and leading the fans in cheers

The Bulldogs will host White Out The Tigers at 1 p m on Saturday, with the first 100 fans receiving a free Mississippi State t-shirt A free pizza from Old Venice will be awarded to the Fan of the Game

Sunday's game is scheduled for a 1:30 p m first pitch and will be broadcast live by SportSouth Prior to the game, the Bulldogs will honor the three seniors as they play on the MSU Softball Field for the final time

The Dawgs enter the weekend 23-26 overall and 9-13 in SEC play following last Saturday's 3-2 upset of No 4 Tennessee in Knoxville

State has been outstanding at home this year, entering the series against LSU (32-15, 13-9 SEC) with a 17-4 ledger at the MSU Softball Field

The Bulldogs need the seniors to continue their banner offensive seasons as the team continues its quest to earn a spot in the 2011 SEC Tournament in Oxford

Bainbridge currently leads the Dawgs with a 362 batting average, 13 doubles and 45 runs scored She also tops the squad with 19 stolen bases while tying for the team lead with her personal-best four triples

The Vestavia Hills, Ala , native, who has not missed a start in her four-year career, will wrap her Bulldog career ranked in the top 10 in nine offensive categories

Nesbit has set personal bests in batting average ( 318), home runs (8) and RBI (40) while matching a career best with nine doubles Her home run and RBI totals both lead the team

The Acworth, Ga , native's 13 career round-trippers are tied with teammate Ka'ili Smith for ninth in MSU history Nesbit has been stellar defensively, posting a 988 career fielding percentage that is tied for third in school annals

Raines, an Ackerman, Miss , native and Holmes Community College product, went from appearing in five games in 2010 to starting 48 of the team's 49 games this year

She has tallied a 273 batting average, 10 doubles, a triple, six home runs and 26 RBI Her home run and RBI totals are the third-most on the squad

Track & Field
PHILADELPHIA, Pa - Mississippi State opened the 117th running of the prestigious Penn Relays at Franklin Field on Thursday by qualifying in both the women's 4x100- and 4x400-meter relays, while Talisha Lee and Haley Greenwell turned in Top 10 performances after setting school records in the 400-meter hurdles and 5,000-meter run, respectively

Following a rain delay, Greenwell, a sophomore from Collierville, Tenn , had the best finish of the day for the Lady Bulldogs, turning in a time of 16:21 63 to place 5th

Lee, a senior from Las Vegas, was clocked at 59 55 to break her own mark of 59 96 set earlier this season at the Louisiana Classics

Also finishing in the Top 10 was the 4x400-meter relay quartet of Jody-Ann Muir, Brittany Covington, Taneisha Baker and Rochelle Farquharson with a time of 3:39 77 to finish 8th en route to qualifying for the Championships of America division finals It was the top time of the year for the Lady Bulldogs in this event

Also qualifying was the 4x100-meter relay team of Racquel Farquharson, Richesa McCaleb, Baker and Muir at 45 86, the 16th top time of the day

In field events, Rochelle Farquharson finished 8th in the long jump at 19-4, while Favian Cowards finished 16th in both the shot put (41-6) and hammer throw (157-1 )

Action resumes on Friday at 9 a m with the men's 400m hurdles

STARKVILLE, Miss - For the fifth-consecutive week, the Mississippi State men's track and field team is ranked nationally, this time coming in at No 18

The Bulldogs are one of seven SEC ranked in the Top 25, while two-time defending national champion Texas A&M remains No 1

The men have athletes ranked in the Top 25 in eight different categories, with true freshman James Harris posting the highest ranking at T3rd in the high jump The women, while not in the Top 25 as a team, are ranked in a season-best eight events Jessica Merriweather paces the Lady Bulldogs at T11th in the high jump

The men's 4x400 squad of Harris, O'Neal Wilder, Daundre Barnaby and Tavaris Tate is No 5, while the 4x100 team of Kendall May, D'Angelo Cherry, Garren Hendricks and Tate is No 9

In the 100m dash, Cherry is 8th and Hendricks is No 44, while in the 200m dash Tate is 36th, followed by Hendricks and Harris at 41st and 48th, respectively In the 400m dash, Tate leads the way at No 20, while Harris is No 4 and Barnaby No 32

Rounding out the Bulldog rankings are Marcus Jackson in high jump at T17th, Emanuel Mayers in the 400m hurdles at No 18 and Ed Wesela in the shot put at T34

However, Mayers, an All-American, had his season come to an abrupt end following surgery last Friday to repair nerve damage in his right foot

As for the Lady Bulldogs, Richesa McCaleb is T17th in the 200m dash, while Taneisha Baker is No 32 in the 400m dash Haley Greenwell finds herself No 26 in the 10,000m run, while in the 100m hurdles, Keisha Wallace is T45th, followed by Talisha Lee at T48th

In the 4x100 relay, the team of Taneisha Baker, Jody-Ann Muir, Keisha Wallace and McCaleb is No 29 Rounding out the rankings is Rochelle Farquharson in the long jump (T27) and triple jump (30)

MSU hopes to improve on its rankings this weekend at the historic Penn Relays in Philadelphia, Pa The meet runs April 28-30

Men's Tennis
STARKVILLE, Miss - Mississippi State's men's tennis team has produced a tremendous amount of success this season and that was evident in the release of the 2011 All-Southeastern Conference teams Wednesday, as five Bulldogs earned league honors, Malte Stropp was tabbed SEC Freshman of the Year and head coach Per Nilsson was named Coach of the Year in the league

When combining the All-SEC and All-Freshman teams, State's five honorees tied Georgia for the most representation on Wednesday's all-league squads

"I'm extremely proud of what our team has accomplished this season, and these honors are very indicative of those accomplishments" Nilsson said "I am humbled to have been named Coach of the Year by my peers, but I also want to give a lot of credit to our assistant coach, Matt Hill He deserves as much credit as I do for our success "

Three veteran Bulldogs earned Second-Team, All-SEC honors as juniors George Coupland, Artem Ilyushin and Louis Cant were all named to the squad for their play this season

Coupland and Ilyushin have split time at the #1 and #2 singles positions for MSU this spring and teamed to form one of the nation's top doubles teams as well Coupland, currently ranked 59th nationally in singles, has defeated three ranked singles foes this year, two in the top 40 and one in the top 5 Ilyushin, ranked 63rd presently, has defeated six top 80 singles foes in 2010-11, one in the top 15 In doubles, the duo went 12-4 together this year, including a perfect 5-0 mark in the SEC

Cant, now ranked 83rd in the country, has been ranked as high as 38th in singles this year The Brugge, Belgium, product holds the second-best winning percentage on team in singles dual matches (15-4, 790) and was an impressive 9-2 in the SEC at the No 5 position this season He has won 10 of last 11 singles matches and is also currently ranked 39th in doubles with Malte Stropp

State was the only team in the conference to have two members of the SEC All-Freshman team, with Stropp and Zach White earning the honor Stropp was also named the SEC Freshman of the Year

The Dusseldorf, Germany, native Stropp has been one of top rookies in nation in 2011 A four-time SEC Freshman of the Week, he is 24-5 in singles, 16-2 in dual matches, and was a stellar 9-1 in SEC play this season, playing mainly at the No 4 position He has been ranked as high as 89th in the country in singles and 33rd in doubles with Cant The rookie has MSU's best winning percentage in dual matches ( 889) and has won his last 11 contests in a row Stropp also clinched a team-best four matches for State this season, including MSU's big home wins over #4 Tennessee and rival Ole Miss

White, from Niagara Falls, Canada, is 11-7 at the No 6 spot for State this season, including an impressive 8-3 in the SEC in his first season in the league He clinched two matches for MSU this spring (SEC road wins at South Carolina & Auburn) and is finishing the season strong, having won eight of his last 11 contests for the Bulldogs

Nilsson, in his fourth season as State's head coach, has led Mississippi State back to familiar territory in 2011 The Bulldogs, which are primed for their 20th selection to the NCAA Championship (to be announced May 3), have posted their best record overall (13-8) and in the SEC (8-3) since 1998's NCAA semifinal team went 21-5 and 9-2 in the league Seven of MSU's eight losses this season have come to teams currently ranked among the nation's top 10

Under Nilsson's guidance, MSU also claimed its first SEC Western Division crown (since the league went to divisions in 2002), finishing two matches better than its nearest competition in the division State has also been ranked as high as 19th nationally this spring, the best by the program since 2005

Nilsson himself was four-year letterwinner (1991-94) for the Bulldogs and was a member of State's 1993 SEC Championship team and the Bulldogs' 1994 NCAA semifinalist squad He was assistant coach at Pepperdine when the Wave won the 2006 national title

Men's Basketball
STARKVILLE, Miss - Applications are now being accepted for this summer's boys basketball camps at Mississippi State

Two different sessions are being offered, and both will be conducted by 14th-year Bulldogs coach Rick Stansbury, along with his assistants and several former and current players

The first session for boys grades 5-12 is set for June 5-8 and is for both overnighters and day campers The second session is a day camp only for boys grades 1-6 from June 20-23

Session I is designed for players who are becoming serious about basketball The $290 tuition includes instruction, lodging and meals, and each camper will receive a T-shirt and camp basketball The day campers will receive two meals each day (lunch and dinner) and will go home each night at the conclusion of camp activity The cost is $250

Session II focuses on teaching the fundamental skills and introducing basic game strategy The $160 tuition includes instruction, daily lunch, a free T-shirt and a camp basketball Camp will begin at 8:30 a m and end at 4 p m

Additional information can be obtained online at www mstateathletics com/camps or by calling 662-325-3800

MSU Alumni Assoc./Bulldog Club
STARKVILLE, Miss - The Mississippi State University Alumni Association and Bulldog Club have announced their schedule for the 2011 BancorpSouth Road Dawgs Tour set to begin on May 9 Head football coach Dan Mullen will headline the 12-stop tour, which will include visits to nine Mississippi cities and a trio of stops in Tennessee and Georgia

The annual circuit is an opportunity for university and athletic department officials to visit fans throughout the region This year's tour will begin with lunch in Brookhaven on Monday, May 9, and concludes with a dinner on Friday, May 13, in Atlanta, Ga

A full schedule of events, with details and contact numbers, can be found on the Alumni Association website at alumni msstate edu


May 9--12 noon--Brookhaven, Miss--Poppa's Restaurant--$10
May 9--6:30 p m --Biloxi, Miss --Biloxi Yacht Club--$15 / $5 12&under
May 10--7:30 a m --Lucedale, Miss --Miss Gulf Coast CC--$10
May 10--12 noon--Ellisville, Miss --Howard Industries HQ--$15
May 10--6:30 p m --Meridian, Miss --Kahlmus Auditorium--$10 / $5 10&under
May 11--12 noon--Vicksburg, Miss --Vicksburg Convention Center--$12
May 11--6 p m --Greenville, Miss --Greenville Golf and Country Club--$25 / $15 12&under
May 12--7:30 a m --Columbus, Miss --Columbus Country Club--$10
May 12--12 noon--Tupelo, Miss --BancorpSouth Center--$15 / $10 12&under
May 12--6 p m --Memphis, Tenn --Memphis Botanical Garden--$12 / Children Free
May 13--11:30 a m --Nashville, Tenn --The Phoenix Room at Bound'ry--$20 / $10 10&under / Free for 5&under
May 13--7 p m --Atlanta, Ga --The Defoor Centre--$25 / $10 12&under

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