You did really well this weekend, winning both games both days.
"We made progress the first weekend. We got some of the young kids experience more than anything. I think that will help us down the road."
Mississippi Valley, almost the identical score and you did the same thing you did last night, you got a quick start and tailed off again.
"It was the same thing we talked about last night. I think we need to do a better job of having more of a killer instinct. When we get somebody down, we need to go ahead and bury them and finish them off. That's just inexperience and youth to some extent. But I thought we had better at-bats today. We hit some good shots that were right at people and they made some nice plays."
Two of your freshmen did really well this weekend. Pitcher Ragan Blake who won 1 game and saved another one, allowed no runs on 3 hits and no walks, while striking out 13. Courtney Bures, who you played at shortstop, second base and right field, was 7-for-15 with a double, a triple and 7 RBI.
"Ragan had a perfect game through 4 and 2/3 and gave up a hit to that last batter. We were going to let her go 5 and then bring in Sara (Hickerson) the last two. But it's a big adjustment coming from high school to the college. And it will be another big adjustment going into the SEC in the spring. But both of them are tremendous athletes and tremendous ballplayers. Ragan has been off to a little bit of a rocky start in practice, so it was good to see her come in and have some success this weekend. I was very pleased with the way she threw. I think that will boost her confidence a little bit because she has been getting knocked around pretty good in practice.
"Courtney is a tremendous athlete. She has a good arm, a good swing, puts the bat on the ball and hits line drives. She's not hitting with a lot of power right now, but I think she has the potential to hit for some power. She is going to be our next All-American and our next national team player. She has that kind of ability. "
Through one weekend is the team playing about like you expected and is anyone playing better than you expected?
"Courtney (Bures) is doing better than I thought. It's a tough adjustment for a freshman, but she had a great weekend. But, overall, I think we are about where I thought we would be. We need to improve at the plate. We don't have a lot of power on this team, but we have a lot of speed and can make some things happen on the bases. I was very pleased with our pitching. I didn't expect it to be so dominating. Everybody came out and threw great."
You played four games this weekend and four games next weekend. How many games does the NCAA allow you to play in the fall?
"There is no limit in the fall, although these games count against our 56 game limit. If we play 50 of them in the fall, then we can only play 6 in the spring. The thing in the fall is they don't count toward your record, so obviously you don't want to play too many of them in the fall. The way we count games is a little different than baseball. Ours count as one game a day when you play in a tournament. Since we had more than one team here this weekend, it was just two games. And it will count as 2 games next weekend even though we are actually playing 8 games. In the spring, most of our tournaments are three-day tournaments where we are playing two games a day, so it only counts as three (games). However, that is about to change. Soon, it is going to go to where each game counts as one game."
That will probably end your fall game schedule, won't it?
"I hope it doesn't. I hope they will still give us 3 or 4 dates to play in the fall because it is really beneficial to us to play in the fall. But you never know what the NCAA is going to do."
Individual highlights from the 4 games
Mary Ann Swindoll is the editor of Dawgs' Bite, Powered by GenesPage.com, the source for Mississippi State sports on TheInsiders.com sports network. You can contact her by email at email@example.com.
(Game 1) STARKVILLE, Miss. Four different players turned in two hits apiece, and the Mississippi State Softball team got a pair of multi-run innings for the second-straight outing, as the Bulldogs easily dispersed of Mississippi Valley State for the second time in as many days with a 6-0 victory Sunday afternoon at the MSU Softball Field.
Rookie Courtney Bures drove in a pair of runs to lead the multi-hit quartet on the day, but she was joined in the highlights by Jennifer Jessup, Tanelda McDonald and Katie Johnson, all of whom turned in 2-for-3 hitting lines. McDonald scored twice on the day as well. Valley's Erica Davis accounted for two of the three total MVSU hits on three trips to the plate.
MSU starter Stephanie Comeaux worked four strong innings, striking out four and allowing just a trio of hits to pick up the win, while senior Melissa Massey worked the last three innings of the contest and struck out a pair to notch the save. Deanna Baker saddled the loss for the Delta Devilettes after allowing six earned runs on 11 hits.
McDonald and Johnson started a second inning rally with consecutive singles before Hayle Guess laid down a perfectly executed suicide squeeze attempt to bring McDonald in from 60 feet away. Following an RBI single from Callye Williams, as well as a follow-up single by Blair Geddings, Amory native Keri McFarling moved a pair of runners into scoring position on a sac hit to set the table for Bures who laced a single to the outfield to plate both runners for the 4-0 lead.
State continued the onslaught in the third inning, getting a leadoff triple from Jessup, before a RBI single from the bat of McDonald. Johnson reached base safely and moved the runner to third for Callye Williams, who hit a hard shot to the shortstop that was good enough to plate McDonald from third.
(Game 2) STARKVILLE, Miss. Mississippi State put together a trio of multi-run innings to rally behind a gem of a pitching performance from freshman Ragan Blake as the Bulldogs easily moved past visiting Copiah Lincoln Community College, 8-1, in the nightcap Sunday evening at the MSU Softball Field.
Courtney Bures drove in a pair of runs and tallied three hits on four trips to the plate, and senior Jennifer Jessup scored once on a 2-for-2 hitting line with a walk, to pace the Bulldog offense, while Nakita Boyce scored twice on a 1-for-3 night at the plate. Angie Davis (1-for-3) broke up a perfect game bid by Blake with a two-out single in the fifth, but Stacy Smith helped the Lady Wolves scratch the scoreboard on a pinch-hit solo homer off of Sara Hickerson in the top of the sixth.
Blake, who picked up her first win of the fall season on Saturday against Mississippi Valley State, struck out nine and retired the first 14 batters she faced before Davis' single in the waning moments of the fifth inning ended her hopes for a perfect outing. Hickerson struck out two and allowed a pair of hits over the last two innings of the game to collect the save. Emily Horne took the loss for the Lady Wolves after allowing eight runs on 11 hits and a trio of walks over her complete game.
An RBI single by Callye Williams, along with a crucial throwing error by Co-Lin catcher Megan Bateman, brought two runs across the plate in the second, before State would add three more in the third on a two-run pinch-hit single from Tanelda McDonald, as well as a RBI knock from the bat of Bures.
Smith's solo shot to the gap in leftfield helped trim the Co-Lin deficit to just four runs, but MSU would answer with another three-spot in the bottom of the sixth, highlighted by run-scoring hits from Bures (double) and Katie Johnson.
Mississippi State will return to action on Saturday afternoon when the Bulldogs begin their final weekend of Fall competition with a pair of contests. The Bulldogs will battle Delta State in a 3 p.m. game before taking on Gulf Coast CC at 5 p.m. The Maroon and White will complete Fall competition on Sunday afternoon, battling Gulf Coast at 3 p.m. and West Alabama at 5.
Source: MSU Media Relations