Vann Stuedeman (Gene Swindoll, Gene's Page)

In the second game of a three-game series, Arkansas defeated MSU 5-4

Mississippi State softball dropped game-two 5-4 as the Arkansas Razorbacks evened the series at one game apiece.

The Bulldogs are now 33-15 overall and stand at 8th place in the conference at 7-10.

“We have to win that game,” Mississippi State head coach Vann Stuedeman said. “We went away after the second inning. After Sarai (Niu) hit her home run, we weren’t productive offensively and that’s disappointing.”

Arkansas jumped on top with a 3-run home run to centerfield by A.J. Belans in the top of the first inning.

Carolina Seitz continued her hitting-streak, responding with a 2-RBI to left centerfield and Calyn Adams singled to center field, bringing Seitz home to tie it in the bottom half of their first.

Sarai Niu put the Bulldogs ahead with a solo home run in the bottom of the second. It was Niu’s first home run of the season and her fourth as a Bulldog.

“It was very much needed and long overdue,” Niu said, “It felt good being able to finally recognize a pitch and do what I know I can do. I’ve been missing a lot of pitches this seasons and haven’t been hitting them out.”

Mississippi State held the lead until the sixth inning when Arkansas tied it up, then saw the Razorbacks jump ahead with another run in the top of the seventh.

The Bulldogs collected nine hits, with Niu and second baseman Bevia Robinson both having a two-hit game.

Bulldog starting pitcher Holly Ward threw 6 innings, allowing four runs (three earned) while striking out six. Alexis Silkwood threw the final inning, allowing one run on three hits while striking out one. She took the loss for the Bulldogs.

The Mississippi State Bulldogs will play the finale of the three-game series against No. 24 Arkansas Monday night. If they win, they will earn their third straight SEC series.

“I expect them to be Bulldogs and come back ready to go and fight hard,” Coach Stuedeman said. “We can let the grind dull us or we can let the grind sharpen us so hopefully we’ll come back ready to go tomorrow night.”

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