News from MSU Media Relations--Mar. 11, 2012.

The latest sports news from the MSU Media Relations Department...Softball, Men's Tennis, Women's Tennis and Men's Golf.

Softball
Starkville, Miss. - Mississippi State dropped a 5-0 decision to No. 7 Georgia Sunday afternoon in the rubber game of a three-game series at the MSU Softball Stadium. The Maroon and White ends its first week of Southeastern Conference play with a 15-9 overall record (1-4 SEC), while Georgia improved to 21-3 on the year (2-1 SEC).

"Georgia's Erin Arevalo pitched phenomenal today," head coach Vann Stuedeman said. "We had a good gameplan entering the game, so we have to really tip our hat to her for the second day in a row."

Sophomore center fielder Jessica Offutt recorded half of MSU's hits, going a perfect 2-for-2, while junior first baseman Shelby Fisher (1-for-2) and sophomore third baseman Sam Lenahan (1-for-3) each knocked singles to the outfield.

Junior left-handed pitcher Kylie Vry fell to 4-3 in 2012, starting her first game on the rubber since Feb. 26 vs. No. 12 Michigan. The southpaw surrendered four runs (three earned) on five hits and two walks in 3.0 innings pitched. Senior lefty Lindsey Dunlap kept State in the game with 2.1 scoreless innings of relief, while junior left-hander Stephanie Becker pitched the final 1.2 innings, giving up a run on two hits. Arevalo (8-1) picked up the win for Georgia after striking out nine in a complete-game effort.

Georgia jumped on the board first with three runs in the second. Center fielder Tess Sito led off the top of the second with a double down the left-field line and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Third baseman Gracie Goulder came up after a Vry strikeout and singled to her position to knock Sito in. Up 1-0, Goulder stole second and advanced to third on a swinging strikeout by Vry. Georgia put runners on the corners when nine-hole hitter Anna Swafford walked on a full count. Returning to the top of the order, left fielder Niaja Griffin drove in both Goulder and Swafford with a triple down the right-field line.

The visitors from Athens would add to their lead with a run in both the third and the seventh. Sito scored her second run of the day in the top half of the third to make it 4-0, and UGA plated its last run of the weekend with an RBI single in the seventh by designated player Ashley Razey.

Starkville's team will open up the road portion of its SEC schedule starting Tuesday with a 3:30 p.m. CT doubleheader at South Carolina. Live audio streaming of the game will be available online to HailStateTV subscribers (www.HailState.com/hstvlive).

For more information regarding MSU's SEC road opener, follow the team on Twitter at @MStateSB and like the team at Facebook.com/MStateSB.


Men's Tennis
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Mississippi State's 12th-ranked men's tennis squad (12-4, 3-1 SEC) concluded a tough SEC road weekend with a 4-3 victory over the No. 19 Tennessee Volunteers (8-9, 1-3 SEC) on Sunday.,P. As the winner of the Blue Gray National Tennis Classic (played in March) was to be determined by the winner of this match, the Bulldogs would fight to earn the victory and the crown.,p. Clinching the match for the Bulldogs Sunday was 27th-ranked Artem Ilyushin in the top spot, where he rallied from a set down to lift State to victory in a key comeback win. Dropping the first set 6-4, Ilyushin would battle back to take the second 6-3 and send the match to a third. Taking an early 2-0 lead, Ilyushin pushed his lead to 5-2 and served out to down his 36th-ranked Volunteer foe, Libietis, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.,P. Ilyushin has now won six matches against opponents ranked in the top-40.

The day began with MSU taking the opening doubles point.

MSU's duo of George Coupland and Ilyushin ousted UT's pair of Jarryd Chaplin and Brandon Fickey in an early 8-5 decision on court 2. However, the Vols would quickly answer as the 19th-ranked duo of Mikelis Libietis and Hunter Reese downed No. 23 Louis Cant and Malte Stropp of MSU 8-5 in the top spot, leaving the doubles clincher in the third position.

Battling at No. 3 for MSU was the duo of Zach White and Ethan Wilkinson. Facing UT's pair of Bryan Swartz and Edward Jones, both teams held serve until the MSU duo was able to hold at 7-6 and break the Vols to take the match 8-6 and the doubles point for MSU.

Swinging to singles play, Tennessee would put up a fight as they took four out of six first sets from the Bulldogs.

The first to finish was MSU's White where he quickly downed his Volunteer foe Taylor Patrick, 6-2, 6-3 on court 6, extending State's lead to 2-0.

Tennessee's Jones would answer with the Vols' first point of the day, ousting MSU's 41st-ranked Coupland in the fifth spot 6-3, 6-4, closing the gap to 2-1. Evening the match for UT was Chaplin as he downed MSU's 37th-ranked Cant 6-4, 6-3 on court 4.

Battling in the No. 2 position for MSU was junior James Chaudry as he claimed a grueling match to regain the lead for State with a 6-4, 6-3 triumph over UT's 95th-ranked Reese. That set up Ilyushin's match-clinching victory at No. 1.

With the final match in a third set on court 3, MSU's 75th-ranked Stropp was battling Chaplin of Tennessee. Dropping the first set 6-3, Stropp would fight back and take the second 6-4. With both sides holding serve to 5-5, Chaplin would hold to 6-5 and break to take the match 6-3, 4-6, 7-5.

MSU will now take a couple of weeks off until the team resumes play against the ninth-ranked Gators of Florida on Friday, March 23, at 5 p.m. ET in Gainesville, Fla.


Women's Tennis
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State Lady Bulldog tennis dropped Sunday's match against No. 8 Tennessee in a 7-0 decision on the MSU campus.

With the setback, State fell to 4-7 overall, 0-4 in conference play. UT improved to 11-5, 2-2.

Tennessee took an early 1-0 lead after posting victories at all three doubles positions. Jesse Grace and Natalie Pluskota began UT's doubles dominance with an 8-1 victory against Roseline Dion and Petra Ferancova on court three.

State would give a stiff challenge on courts 1 & 2 before UT claimed 8-5 wins. On court one, No. 10 ranked Brynn Boren and Sarah Toti defeated MSU's No. 44 Alexandra Perper and Olesya Tsigvintseva 8-5. Tennessee posted an 8-5 victory on court two as well, as Joanna Henderson and Kata Szekely took down Ekaterina Iakovleva and Naomi Tran of MSU.

A 6-1, 6-1 singles win against MSU's Iakovleva at the No. 2 position for No. 35 ranked Boren put the Lady Vols ahead 2-0. Tennessee maintained command from there, posting consecutive victories on courts three, four, and five. At the No. 3 position, #37 Szekely took down Tsigvintseva 6-1, 6-3. On court four, Toti defeated Tran 6-0 in the first set. Tran battled back from a 4-0 deficit in the second set, trailing by only 4-3 at one point, but Toti was able to diffuse Tran's efforts, clinching the overall Tennessee victory by winning the second set in a close 7-5 decision.

Ferancova competed closely with UT's Henderson, but was unable to secure the victory, falling 6-4, 7-6 at the No. 5 position. Perper started her match on court one with an impressive 6-2 score in the first set against No. 28 Natalie Pluskota. Perper dropped the second set 6-2, and Pluskota took a close third set 7-5 putting the Lady Vols up 6-0. On court six, Dion fell 7-5 in a closely contested first set against Grace of Tennessee, but Grace was able to seal the Lady Vols' 7-0 sweep, winning the match 7-5, 6-3.

The Lady Bulldogs will resume competition with two consecutive matches in New Orleans this week. MSU will face Tulane at 2 p.m. Tuesday, March 13, followed by a match against the University of New Orleans at 2 p.m. Friday.

Updates for these matches can be followed via twitter at @mstateWT.


Men's Golf
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - For the first time since 2007-08 and only the seventh time the program's history, the Mississippi State men's golf team posted its seventh-consecutive Top 10 finish.

With a final round 4-under-par 280, MSU finished its climb into the Top 10 at the Seminole Intercollegiate hosted by Florida State at the Southwood Golf Club. The 280 is the Bulldogs' lowest round this spring and second-lowest of the season.

Florida State overcame a five-stroke deficit to claim the tourney title by one stroke over eighth-ranked Georgia Tech.

Chad Ramey used a 4-under-par 67 to post his fifth Top 25 of the season. Ramey climbed from 42nd-place after the first round into a tie for 15th during the final two rounds.

John Darden followed just behind Ramey with a 3-under-par 68, while Fletcher Johnson finished with a 219. Alex Rowland and Clay Bounds rounded out the Bulldog leaderboard with 222's.

Brooks Koepka turned in a 9-under par 204 to claim individual honors for the event.

Fans can also follow Mississippi State golf on Twitter @mstateMG and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mstateMG.


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