Holly Ward (Gene Swindoll, Gene's Page)

Bulldogs Drop Game 1 In SBW Opener

Starkville, MS - To kick off Super Bulldog Weekend, the Mississippi State Bulldogs softball team dropped game-one, 3-0, in the three-game SEC weekend series against the South Carolina Gamecocks in front of a crowd of 621 fans at Nusz Park.

With the loss, the Bulldogs dropped to 27-13 overall and 2-8 in the SEC, while the Gamecocks improved their record to 23-14 and 3-9 in SEC action.

The Bulldogs had a difficult time establishing their offensive presence Friday night against South Carolina's Nickie Blue, who gave up five hits in the complete-game performance.

Mississippi State head Coach Vann Stuedeman talked about the lack of offensive production.

"The best two stats in softball are on base percentages and RBIs," said Stuedeman said. Mississippi State could generate very little of either during the seven-inning affair.

The offensive highlight for the Bulldogs was the two-hit performance by Calyn Adams.

"I'm talking to (Mississippi State hitting coach) Rickettes before I go up there everytime," Adams said. "We're just trying to see the ball and hit it."

And newcomer Bevia Robinson made her mark for the Bulldogs, recording a base hit, a walk and two stolen bases. Robinson said her performance comes from following the team's aggressive approach.

"I get on and I give my teammates behind me an opportunity to get me around," said Robinson. "I just use my speed to steal a base."

Stuedeman said she is trying to get Robinson to see better pitches after a rough performance in the past games.

"In the last ten games, she's 3 for 30," Stuedeman said. "I'm trying to get her back in her groove."

On the mound, Holly Ward pitched the complete-game performance, allowing three runs (two earned) on eight hits and one walk while tallying five strikeouts.

Two Bulldog errors also contributed to the loss.

"I think we have all of the right people in all the right places (on defense)," Stuedeman said. "I believe in all these kids. I think they're pressing a little bit in making a routine play too big."

Adams said the team looks forward to playing game-two after Friday night's loss.

"I know the rest of our team is going to come out stronger tomorrow," Adams said. "Hopefully we can get two wins the rest of the weekend. We're sticking to the gameplan and attacking the pitches and then we will see what happens."

The Bulldogs and Gamecocks resume their weekend series with game-two on Saturday at 12 p.m.


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