'Dogs Rout Penn State, Earn 4th Straight Win

STARKVILLE, Miss. – Picking up where they left off after a Saturday sweep, Mississippi State bats erupted as the Bulldogs defeated Penn State 10-2 in five innings on Sunday at the MSU Softball Field, sealing the three-game sweep. MSU (13-1) used 9 hits and impressive performances from sophomore third baseman Caroline Seitz and sophomore pitcher Alexis Silkwood to overpower the Nittany Lions (6-7).

“I am proud of how we handled the weather and the third game of this series. I really appreciate the fans that braved the elements with us,” said Bulldog skipper Vann Stuedeman.

After Penn State scored a run in the top of the first, the Bulldogs responded with a bloop RBI single over the head of the Penn State second baseman by Seitz. The hit sent sophomore Katie Anne Bailey home from second base and knotted up the score at 1-1 after one inning.

The Bulldogs continued their attack in the following inning. Silkwood started by reaching first on a hit-by-pitch and then stealing second, her first steal of the year. Back-to-back doubles by junior Kayla Winkfield and sophomore Amanda Ivy scored two runs for the Bulldogs before a wild pitch allowed Ivy to score from third base, pushing the MSU lead to 4-1 after two.

The Nittany Lions would earn another run in the top of the fourth, making the score 4-2. State answered by batting through the order and with the help of doubles from Seitz and Silkwood, the Bulldogs plated six runs in the bottom of the fourth to increase their lead to 10-2.

“Mackenzie Toler was solid once again as she had six strikeouts in 2.1 innings. Everyone in the line-up got a hit or got on base, highlighted by Caroline [Seitz] and [Kayla] Winkfield, both going two-for-four with four RBIs combined,” stated Stuedeman. “Silkwood was big for us both in the circle and offensively, hitting a bases-loaded double scoring three to give us a run rule opportunity headed in to the top of the fifth.”

With an eight run lead through five innings, Mississippi State would win the game by run rule.

Bulldog pitcher Silkwood moved to 9-0 on the season with her 2.2 inning performance, giving up three hits and one unearned run. With her two strikeouts today, Silkwood increased her season total to 66 strikeouts, second best in the SEC.

Marlaina Laubach (2-2) took her second loss in as many days. Laubach surrendered four runs, in 1.1 innings pitched, while striking out one Bulldog batter.

The Bulldogs will travel to Birmingham to take on the UAB Blazers at 6 p.m. on Tuesday for a midweek tune-up before participating in the Citrus Classic in Kissimmee, Fla the following weekend.

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