Morgan Bell (Gene Swindoll, Gene's Page)

Mississippi State captured their first SEC series

With their 5-2 Sunday afternoon win over South Carolina, Mississippi State softball won their first SEC series, improving to 29-13 overall and 4-8 in the conference.

Head coach Vann Stuedeman talked about her team’s first SEC series win.

“Coming from behind shows the grit of your team and the belief that they have in one another,” said Stuedeman. “Just really proud of the grind and toughness in the Sunday outcome.”

The Super Bulldog Weekend finale was played in classic comeback fashion, with seven hits and five runs in the final five innings.

After a shaky start that saw South Carolina jump out to a 2-0 lead after 2.5 innings, Mississippi State’s offense responded in the bottom of the third with a single run and three runs in the fourth that was highlighted by a 2-run home run blast by Morgan Bell.

“It was well struck and very big time in the game,” said Stuedeman. “It put us back on top. I hope (the home run) gave her confidence to continue because she’s really a great hitter.”

‘It definitely felt good,” said Bell, who was 1-of-3 with two RBI. “That was one of the good ones. I’ll remember it a while.”

The Bulldogs closed out the scoring with a single run in the sixth inning.

On the mound, the Bulldogs showed versatility with Cassady Knudsen and Alexis Silkwood changing in and out throughout the game.

Knuden, who earned the win, performed well on the mound, giving up just one hit and one walk while striking out seven in three innings of work.

“Hats off to Cassady, Silkwood and Holly (Ward) to juggle that going in and out,” said Studeman. “That takes some mental toughness right there.”

Stuedeman hopes that the series win inspires the team going forward.

“We need to win series,” said Stuedeman. “This was a must win situation. I thought it took the whole team to do it. That’s fun when everyone’s contributing. A lot of grit, guts, mental toughness and fortitude.”

With the win, the Bulldogs moved to 9th place in the conference. The Bulldogs will play again when they travel to Athens, Georgia to play the Georgia Bulldogs next weekend.

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