Olivia Golden (Gene Swindoll, Gene's Page)

MSU falls in one-run battle against No. 18 Ole Miss

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – In the first round of the 2017 SEC Tournament, the ninth-seeded Mississippi State Bulldogs (36-20) fell in a grueling 2-1 battle to the eighth-seeded Ole Miss Rebels (37-18) Wednesday night in Knoxville.

The Bulldogs were led by Emily Heimberger and Olivia Golden on the offensive side of things, while Alexis Silkwood paced State in the circle. Heimberger tallied her sixth multi-hit game of the year, going 2-for-3 at the plate. Golden was responsible for MSU’s lone run of the game as she hit a solo shot to right center in the second, giving her an RBI in six straight games and at least one hit in six of her last seven contests.

Cassady Knudsen earned the start for MSU, giving way to Silkwood after 1.2 innings of work. Silkwood threw 4.1 innings, striking out three and allowing just three hits with no runs.

Ole Miss struck the first blow, as the Rebels got an RBI single to take a 1-0 lead. The Bulldogs wasted no time in responding, as Golden tied things up in the top of the second with her sixth homer of the season.

In the home half of the second the Rebels would score the game-winning run, as a second RBI single gave Ole Miss a 2-1 lead. From there, the game turned into a pitcher’s duel.

Ole Miss would threaten in the third, but Silkwood slammed the door on the Rebels to keep it to a one-run game.

The Bulldogs would get a runner on in the seventh, with Emily Heimberger reaching on an Ole Miss error, but nothing more, as the Rebels held on for a 2-1 victory.

MSU will now wait to find out where it will head for the postseason. The field of 64 will be revealed on the NCAA Division I Softball Selection Show on Sunday, May 14 at 9 p.m. CT. The selection show will be nationally televised on ESPN2.

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