News from MSU Media Relations--Mar. 18, 2012.

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

Women's Golf
GAINESVILLE, Fla. - In its 10th appearance in the SunTrust Gator Women's Invitational, the Mississippi State women's golf team posted the program's lowest score ever in the event with a 926.

The Lady Bulldogs' final-round 307 is the third-best round of the spring slate, while Friday's first-round 304 is the second-best.

Host-Florida edged No. 2 Alabama by one stroke to claim the team title while Florida State Seminole Maria Salinas carded a 4-under-par 66 on Sunday to claim the individual title.

After getting off to a shaky start, freshman Ally McDonald recaptured her focus and turned in a team-best 1-over-par 71 in the final round. She missed the Top 25 for only the second time in her young career.

Fellow freshmen Rica Tse and Elena Warren each turned in 232's in the event. The trio of freshmen is currently ranked ninth-best in the nation in GolfStat.com's Freshman Impact Rankings. This marks the first event the three freshmen have place first, second and third on the Maroon and White leaderboard.

Sophomore Mary Langdon Gallagher and senior Perry Katherine Furr turned in a 238 and 245, respectively, to complete the Lady Bulldogs' card.

Mississippi State returns to action March 26 in the John Kirk/Panther Intercollegiate at Eagles Landing Country Club in Stockbridge, Ga. In last year's event, Gallagher posted a 3-over-par, fifth-place finish, while the team notched a Top 10 card.


Softball
Baton Rouge, La. - Both teams had three hits, six walks and a stolen base apiece, but it was LSU (19-8, 4-1 SEC) that produced runs in a 4-0 victory over Mississippi State Sunday afternoon at Tiger Park. The Bulldogs end their spring-break road trip with a 17-12 overall record, including a 3-7 mark inside the Southeastern Conference.

"When we get great hitting, great pitching and great defense all in the same game, everybody better watch out," head coach Vann Stuedeman said. "We tried to do a few different things with the lineup today. We will keep mixing it up until we find the magic lineup."

The three hits by MSU came from redshirt senior Brittany Bell (1-for-3), junior left fielder Jessica Cooley (1-for-3) and redshirt sophomore Erin Nesbit (1-for-3). Bell's triple in the sixth to right field was the third three-bagger of the Floridian's career.

Junior left-handed pitcher Stephanie Becker (9-5) suffered the loss after giving up three runs (one earned) on three hits and four walks in 3.2 innings. The Chicago southpaw struck out three, while fellow junior lefty Kylie Vry replaced her with 2.1 hitless innings, giving up a run on two walks. Tigers' pitcher Rachele Fico (9-4) picked up the win in a complete-game three-hit shutout, striking out two and issuing six walks.

LSU plated its first run of the day in the bottom of the second. After Becker recorded two outs on seven pitches, Tigers' second baseman Rikki Alcaraz drew a walk on four pitches. Catcher Lauren Houston advanced her teammate to second on an infield single to shortstop. With a runner on first and second, third baseman Tammy Wray hit a comebacker to Becker. The sharp hit bounced off Becker's glove in the circle and rolled to first base. Becker sprinted to pick it up and when she did came into contact with Wray running to first, as the ball flew into the air and landed further down the line in foul territory. The chaos on the first-base line allowed Alcaraz to score, giving the home team a slim 1-0 lead.

The Purple and Gold extended its lead to 3-0 with a two-run fourth inning. Designated player Ashleigh Kuhn led off the frame with a single to right field. Becker struck out Dylan Supak for the second time Sunday, but then issued a second walk to Alcaraz. Houston once again singled to shortstop, loading the bases for the Tigers. After a popout by Wray to Shape at second, nine-hole hitter Heidi Pizer drew a 3-1 walk to drive Kuhn in and double LSU's lead. The final run of the inning came when Ashley Applegate hit a sharp grounder that Nesbit mishandled at short, resulting in an error and a run scored. Vry then replaced Becker, getting Blades to groundout to Lenahan at third for the final out of the fourth.

Manufacturing an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth, LSU scored its final run of the game when Applegate drove in Alex Boulet on a groundout to Shape at second base.

Now that the seven-day, five-game road trip is over with, Starkville's team returns home to the MSU Softball Stadium for a Twitter Tuesday contest against non-conference foe UAB on March 20 at 6:30 p.m. CT. Live audio and video streaming of the game will be available online to HailStateTV subscribers (www.HailState.com/hstvlive).

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


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