News from MSU Media Relations--Mar. 17, 2012.

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

Women's Golf
GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Facing one of the fiercest fields in collegiate golf, the Mississippi State women's golf team completed second-round action at the SunTrust Gator Women's Invitational at the Mark Bostick Golf Course with a 315 on Saturday.

Second-ranked Alabama and No. 23 Florida are currently tied atop the tourney leaderboard at 17-over-par 577. The host team used a tournament-best round of 283 to pull even with the Crimson Tide during the second round. 10th-ranked Georgia trails the pair of teams by five strokes for third.

South Florida Bull Christina Miller stole the top spot on the individual leaderboard from Emilie Burger of Georgia with her second-round, 3-under-par 67. The sophomore and Ole Miss-transfer holds a two-stroke, 136-138, lead over Burger.

For the Lady Bulldogs individually, freshman standout Ally McDonald refocused and turned in a 76 on day two to bring her tourney total to 154. Fellow freshmen Rica Tse and Elena Warren also have carded 154's thus far in the event.

Mary Langdon Gallagher and Perry Katherine Furr have tallied a 158 and 163, respectively.

Sunday's final round is set to begin at 7 a.m. with live stats available through HailState.com.

Don't forget to stay connected through the Bulldogs' Facebook and Twitter pages at facebook.com/mstateWG and @mstateWG.


Men's Golf
LAREDO, Texas. - Behind Chad Ramey's 11th-place, 221 clip, the Mississippi State men's golf team turned in its eighth-consecutive Top 10 finish of the season. The Bulldogs carded a 296 during the final round of the Border Olympics at the Laredo Country Club to secure a seventh-place finish.

Only six other MSU squads have posted eight straight Top 25's in as many tournaments in Maroon and White history, with the last coming to begin the 2004-05 season. The eight Top 25's also ties for the best in the SEC this year.

Ramey turned in his fourth-straight Top 15 finish and his sixth Top 15 of season. It is his best finish of the spring slate, and the sophomore entered the weekend with the SEC's eighth-best active scoring clip.

Senior Alex Rowland notched his sixth Top 25 card of the season, tying Ramey for tops on the team. The Houston native's finish is his best since winning the Mobile Bay Intercollegiate on Feb. 21.

John Darden, Clay Bounds and Fletcher Johnson turned in a 230, 234 and 235, respectively, to round out the Bulldogs' tournament card.

Lamar claimed the team Border Olympics crown and the individual title. The team's 6-over-par 870 claimed a five-stroke win over No. 31 Baylor while MJ Daffue turned in a 5-under-par 213 to win individual honors.

Mississippi State puts it Top 10 streak on the line when it returns to action April 2 in Madison, Miss., at the Reunion Golf and Country Club for the Ole Miss-hosted BancorpSouth Reunion Intercollegiate. Currently only three previous Bulldog teams have earned a Top 10 finish in nine straight events.

Don't forget to stay connected through the Bulldogs' Facebook and Twitter pages at facebook.com/mstateMG and @mstateMG.


Softball
Baton Rouge, La. - In a stark contrast from Friday's game where 17 total runs were scored, runs came at a premium Saturday afternoon at Tiger Park, as Mississippi State fell to LSU by a 3-1 margin. The loss made MSU 17-11 overall and 3-6 inside the Southeastern Conference, while the host Tigers improved to 18-8 (3-1 SEC) on the year.

"LSU was able to get some timely hits," head coach Vann Stuedeman said. "We out-hit them, 8-5, but they were more efficient with their offense. The bottom line was that they were able to string a few hits together in the third inning."

Starkville's team recorded three more hits than the Tigers, but left 10 Bulldogs on base compared to the LSU's four. Senior catcher Ka'ili Smith and junior left fielder Jessica Cooley led the Bully bats by going 2-for-3 each. Also collecting hits for the Maroon and White were sophomores Sam Lenahan (1-for-3), Heidi Shape (1-for-4) and Jessica Offutt (1-for-3), as well as junior first baseman Shelby Fisher (1-for-4).

Junior left-handed pitcher Stephanie Becker pitched another complete game for MSU, but fell to 9-4 on the season after surrendering three runs on five hits and a walk. The Chicago southpaw struck out six, but was out-dueled by LSU's Brittany Mack (8-4), who picked up the win after fanning 10 Bulldog batters and giving up just one run on eight hits over seven full frames.

For the second-consecutive day, the Bulldogs scored in the first inning. Smith led off the game by pinching a single through the left side of the infield for the game's first base knock. Fisher moved her teammate over to second when she drove it on the ground through the right side of the Tigers' infield. With two on and no outs, senior designated player Brittany Bell pushed them over a base with a sacrifice bunt to the third baseman. That brought up Lenahan, who just like Friday night drove in a run with a first-inning RBI single up the middle. Mack gave up another one-bagger in the inning to load the bases, but was able to get out of the jam with her first two strikeouts of the day.

After scoring eight runs in the third inning Friday, the Tigers responded yet again in the third frame, starting with catcher Lauren Houston getting hit by a pitch. After Becker forced nine-hole hitter Heidi Pizer to flyout to left, right fielder Ashley Applegate singled up the middle on a full count to put runners in scoring position. Baton Rouge native Jacee Blades loaded the bases for LSU with a bunt down the first-base line. The Purple and Gold would take the lead for the first time Saturday when a passed ball allowed Houston to score and Applegate and Blades to advance. The Tigers had two in scoring position for Alison Falcon, who drove a ball deep down the left-field line. Cooley extended her body for a diving catch, but the ball missed the mitt by inches as Falcon notched a bases-clearing double for a 3-1 home lead.

The Bulldogs put the tying run at the plate in the top of the fourth, fifth and sixth, but could not even the score. State's best opportunity to even it up came in the top of the sixth, when MSU had the go-ahead run at the plate with two outs. Offutt extended her career best and current team-high hitting streak to seven games with an infield single. Smith then reached for the third time on St. Patrick's Day with a 2-2 base on balls. Two Bulldog runners stood on the bags as Fisher stepped to the dish as the potential fourth run for the Maroon and White. After falling behind 1-2, Fisher battled Mack with three-straight foul balls. The junior eventually succumbed to the All-American pitcher with a flyout to Applegate in right, ending the threat for the visitors.

Free audio streaming of Sunday's 1 p.m. series finale will be available through HailStateTV at www.hailstate.com/hstvlive.

For more information regarding MSU's series in Cajun Country, follow the team on Twitter at @MStateSB and like the team at Facebook.com/MStateSB.


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