For 54 holes, Mississippi State and junior Chad Ramey dominated the field at the Grand National Golf Course, both capturing a win from the Tiger Invitational.
The No. 41-ranked Bulldogs turned in a 889, 9-over-par to run away with the Tiger Invitational crown on Tuesday, beating out five other ranked squads. State won at Grand National by seven strokes.
MSU lost to No. 21 Auburn at the Mobile Bay Intercollegiate, but this time around the Bulldogs caught the Tigers' tail; two tiger tails to be exact, as State held off Memphis and host Auburn to win at Opelika. The win improved the Maroon and White to 74-25-1 on the year.
"This was a super win for our program," Coach Clay Homan said of the victory. "When you can go to Auburn and beat them on their home course says a lot about what kind of team we are developing into. I'm so proud of the maturity level of this group, because it wasn't easy today. We had to battle for 36 holes under some very tough conditions."
The win from Grand National was the Bulldogs second on the year, giving coach Homan nine career-event wins at MSU. Homan is now in first-place all-time in career wins, passing former coach Greg Martin.
Fulton, Miss., native Ramey picked up his first-career win at MSU with his 3-under par, 213.
"It was just a matter of time before Chad got his much-deserved first win. This will only be the first of many wins for him, because he is a complete player," Homan said of the junior's play.
Ramey overtook the top spot after finishing tied for sixth on Monday, but the Bulldog righty climbed up the leader board on Tuesday to capture his first tournament win. The junior knocked in 13 birdies on his way to victory.
Fellow juniors Joe Sakulpolphaisan and Axel Boasson both posted a top-15 performance. Sakulpolphaisan has a team leading seven top-25 finishes on the year after his 8-over-par, 224 14th-place performance. Boasson turned in a 7-over-par, 223 to finish with a 10th-place tie.
Rounding out the Maroon and White scoring from the Tiger Invitational was senior Robi Calvesbert and sophomore Fletcher Johnson. Calvesbert turned in a 13-over-par, 229 from Opelika to finish tied for 35th. The Tupelo, Miss., native Johnson fired off a 24-over-par, 240 at the Grand National course, finishing toed for 71 overall.
Homan's squad will head south to Tallahassee for the Seminole Intercollegiate to wrap up their spring break on March 15-17.
Live stats will be available through HailState.com. Fans can also follow the men's golf program through Facebook at facebook.com/mstateMG and on Twitter at @mstateMG.
Mississippi State senior left-hander Stephanie Becker showed why she leads the Southeastern Conference in strikeouts per seven innings, fanning 11 batters in a 7-2 victory at Jacksonville State Tuesday night. The Bulldogs improved to 17-6 and won their 10th-consecutive non-conference game, while the host Gamecocks dropped to 13-10 on the year.
"I was pleased with the way our offense came out and tallied double-digit hits," Head Coach Vann Stuedeman said. "We need to continue this momentum as we head east to Charleston (S.C.) and maintain our focus on this spring break road trip."
Becker earned her 10th starting assignment on the year at University Field, moving to 5-1 on her senior campaign with masterful performance inside the circle. The lefty struck out 11, walked two and surrendered only two base hits. Jacksonville State starter Hilary Phillips, who entered the game 3-0 with a 1.33 ERA, took her first loss of the season with four runs allowed on six hits and four walks in 1.2 innings of work.
Just like Sunday vs. No. 12 LSU, both leadoff hitter Jessica Offutt and two-hole hitter Heidi Shape recorded multiple hits. Offutt set the table with two base knocks and a run scored, while Shape went 2-for-3 with two runs and a walk. Junior Sam Lenahan also had multiple barrels, finishing 2-for-3 at the dish with a double, RBI and a walk.
State wasted no time scoring in the top of the first, which started when Offutt slapped an infield base hit. After stealing second on the first pitch to Shape, Offutt moved to third on a perfect bunt single which died right in front of the JSU catcher. The two runners advanced one base each on an error by the Gamecocks' third baseman, allowing junior Logan Foulks to take first and load the bases. On a full count, Lenahan roped a single up the middle to score Offutt. Following the first out of the game, Shape sprinted home on a passed ball by Phillips, sliding safely under the tag to make it 2-0 in favor of the Maroon and White.
The Bulldogs plated two more in the second thanks to a two-out rally, doubling their lead to four runs. With two gone, Shape singled up the middle on a 2-0 count and entered scoring position on a Foulks single between second base and shortstop. With a pair on the base paths, Lenahan worked a full count for the second-straight at-bat and then walked. The bases were juiced for senior Jessica Cooley, who drove in the third run of the game on a base on balls. Redshirt junior Erin Nesbit followed it up with a bases-loaded walk of her own to end the scoring in the second.
Freshman Loryn NIchols added one more run for the visitors in the top of the fifth. The California native went opposite way on the 10th pitch of her at-bat and immediately stole second for her eighth stolen base of the season. Offutt put her on the hot corner with a groundout to third, before Nichols tapped the dish on a passed ball thrown to Shape.
Jacksonville State plated its only two runs in the bottom of the fifth frame thanks to a Bulldog error and a wild pitch.
Stuedeman's squad tacked on two more runs in the top of the sixth courtesy of a trio of doubles by Lenahan, Nesbit and sophomore Briana Bell.
Starkville's Team travels next to beautiful Charleston, S.C., for the conclusion of its four-game spring break road trip. The Bulldogs play a doubleheader at the College of Charleston starting at 3 p.m. CT on Thursday, March 14, before wrapping up the roadstand Friday, March 15, as the Maroon and White play at Charleston Southern at 12 p.m. CT.
For live in-game updates of MSU's games in Charleston, follow the program on Twitter at @MStateSB. For pictures, like the team on Facebook at Facebook.com/MStateSB and visit the team's Instagram account at MStateSB. For pregame and postgame video, check out MSU's official YouTube channel at YouTube.com/HailState.
Mississippi State Lady Bulldog tennis (5-6) will continue its current five-match road swing Wednesday, taking on the Lady Blue Raiders of Middle Tennessee (6-6) in a contest beginning at 2 p.m. CT on the MT campus.
MSU fell in two consecutive matches to No. 62 Tennessee and No. 9 ranked Georgia in the team's first weekend of SEC road play. Although MSU went 0-2 on the weekend, several Lady Bulldogs notched closely contested matches against impressive opponents.
Georgia Patrasc and Alexandra Perper continue to lead the top of the MSU lineup. The rookie Patrasc is 6-5 in dual matches this spring while Perper is 5-5. Another newcomer, Sarai Flores, is 5-3 in her initial campaign. Perper and Naomi Tran, ranked 46th nationally in doubles, led State in doubles with a 6-2 mark at the No. 1 position.
Middle Tennessee took down Southern Mississippi in a 6-1 decision in the team's last competition on Sunday. Senior Yuiri Nomoto has represented MTSU at the No. 1 position for the majority of the 2013 season, holding a 4-8 record at the top spot. In doubles play Carla Nava and Nomoto pair up to hold the No. 1 doubles position for the Lady Blue Raiders. The duo holds a 4-7 record on the season.
Following Wednesday's action, State will return to SEC play this weekend, meeting No. 13 Vanderbilt on Friday and No. 38 Kentucky on Sunday, both on the road.
Updates for this match will be available through twitter @mstateWT or through hailstate.com.