Mississippi State's Lady Bulldog tennis team posted its sixth win of the season Wednesday, notching a 4-1 triumph over the Lady Blue Raiders of Middle Tennessee (6-7). The match was forced indoors and off the MT campus due to weather conditions, played at the Nashboro Village Athletic Club in Nashville.
MSU (6-6) took the early 1-0 lead, posting wins on all three courts to snatch the doubles point. Lady Bulldog freshman Georgiana Patrasc paired up with veteran Petra Ferancova to notch the first doubles win at the No. 2 position, blanking MTSU's Carla Nava and Yuiri Nomoto in an 8-0 decision.
Mississippi State's No. 46 ranked pair of Alexandra Perper and Naomi Tran clinched the doubles point with an 8-4 win at the top spot against the Middle Tennessee duo of Irina Constantinide and Nayara Moraes. Roseline Dion and Sarai Flores closed out the doubles sweep with an 8-6 win against MTSU's Flavia Nagayama and Alexandra Torres on court 3.
State did not back down in singles either.
MSU's Perper extended the Lady Bulldog lead to 2-0, beginning singles play with a 6-4, 6-2 victory on court 2 against MTSU's Nomoto. Middle Tennessee got its lone point of the afternoon next, as Lady Blue Raider Moraes took down Ferancova of MSU in a 6-1, 6-4 decision at the No. 4 position.
Naomi Tran then raised the MSU lead to 3-1 with a hard-fought 7-5, 6-4 win on court 3 against Nagayama of MTSU. Georgiana Patrasc clinched the win for the Lady Bulldog squad with a 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 victory at the No. 1 position against Irina Constantinide of MTSU.
Once the match was clinched, play on courts 5 and 6 was suspended.
"The girls put forth a solid effort in a scrappy win today," said head coach Daryl Greenan. "We didn't play our best tennis but we fought hard enough to come out on top."
State will now return to SEC play this weekend, meeting No. 13 Vanderbilt on Friday and No. 38 Kentucky on Sunday, both on the road. Updates will be available through twitter @mstateWT and hailstate.com.
Wrapping up a weeklong spring break road trip, the 17-6 Mississippi State softball team travels to Charleston, S.C., for three non-conference games. The Bulldogs will take on College of Charleston Thursday, March 14, in a doubleheader starting at 3 p.m. CT, before concluding its four-game road trip with a single game at Charleston Southern at 12 p.m. CT on Friday, March 15.
The Bulldogs have never faced College of Charleston (11-7) in softball, but are 2-0 all-time against Charleston Southern (5-16). State defeated the Buccaneers by scores of 19-2 (five innings) and 5-1 in Starkville at the Bulldog Classic on March 7-8, 2008.
Stuedeman's squad is coming off its 10th-straight non-conference victory, a 7-2 triumph at Jacksonville State Tuesday night. The Bully Bombers pounded out seven runs on 10 hits, tallying season highs with three doubles and nine walks. Ranking 10th in the country in stolen bases per game, five of MSU's nine starters stole a base. In the circle, senior left-hander Stephanie Becker struck out 11 batters in 4.0 innings of work to pick up her fifth victory of the 2013.
Leading the way on offense for the Maroon and White is junior Sam Lenahan, who is hitting .362 with 19 RBIs thanks in part to seven doubles and five home runs. The Lawrenceville, Ga., native is top 15 in the country in walks per game with a team-high 23 base on balls, and has tapped the dish 12 times. In road games alone, the right-handed slugger is mashing the ball at a .464 clip with an .857 slugging percentage.
Pitching wise, MSU is anchored by the dynamic duo of junior right-hander Alison Owen and the lefty Becker. Owen, already a two-time SEC Pitcher of the Week this season, is 9-3 thanks to the NCAA's best strikeout-to-walk ratio (115-to-3). Becker, who is top 20 in the country in strikeouts per seven innings, is 5-1 on the year with a 2.66 ERA.
Starkville's Team returns home next Wednesday to finish its home-and-home against nationally-ranked Louisiana-Lafayette. First pitch is slated for 6 p.m. at the MSU Softball Stadium. Admission is free for those that can attend, but for those that cannot, live video and audio streaming of the game will be available online to HailStateTV subscribers (www.HailState.com/hstvlive).
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.
A day removed from winning the first tournament of his Mississippi State career, junior Chad Ramey earns Southeastern Conference Player of the Week honors.
"Quite an honor for Chad to receive this award, because the SEC is without a doubt the strongest conference in the country in men's golf," Coach Clay Homan said.
The Fulton, Miss., native picked up his first-career win at MSU with his 3-under par, 213 at the Tiger Invitational. The 3-under-par was three strokes ahead of second-place Niclas Carlsson of Auburn. Ramey improved his score by one stroke each round at Grand National (72+71+70).
The dominance from Ramey spilled over to the rest of Homan's squad, giving the No. 36 ranked Bulldogs a win over the field at Opelika, Ala., by seven strokes. The victory by Ramey and the Bulldogs came against five other ranked teams, including two SEC squads (Auburn and Kentucky).
"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.
The win also marked the fourth top-five finish for Ramey. Five of his seven tournaments this season have resulted in top-10 performances or better. Ramey is 468-99-18 on the year.
The last Bulldog to win SEC Player of the Week honors was former golfer Alex Rowland, after taking home the victory at the 2012 Mobile Bay Intercollegiate.