What are your thoughts about the two victories today?
"I was a little disappointed in our pitching the first game. We gave up to many hits. (MSU's pitching gave up 10 hits the first game.) Offensively, we did a good job, both games, putting runs on the board. The first game, (Delta State) got a run in the first inning and we came right back with a couple, then took them out of the ballgame after that. I felt good the way we swung the bats, really up and down the lineup. Defensively, we played good, not great, but good defensively. The last game we had all freshmen and sophomores out there. We had four freshmen in the infield and two in the outfield and the rest were sophomores. I thought they came out and competed very well. Melissa Massey and Stephanie Comeaux did a great job on the mound, especially Stephanie. She has been struggling with consistency in the past. That is something that we have been working on in practice. She came in and didn't made a bad pitch. She made every pitch work and dominated in the circle."
Your freshman pitcher, Ragan Blake gave up a home run in the first game. Do you think she got a little rattled after that?
"I think she did a little. But Ragan was sick all week and was out a couple of days from practice and hasn't eaten much. So I don't think she was as strong as she would have liked. But she is going to have to realize (college) is a little different than high school. You make a bad pitch and they are going to hit it out of the ballpark. That's where consistency comes in and Stephanie (Comeaux) went through that last year. It's part of freshmen growing up and learning how to adjust."
How do you see Ragan as a pitcher in college, as a power pitcher or a finesse kind of pitcher?
"Ragan is not a power pitcher. She's not the kind of kid that is going to blow the ball by people. She will get her share of strikeouts because, as a rise ball pitcher, you are going to strike out more than a drop ball pitcher. She throws a good rise ball, a good curve, good changeup and spots the ball very well. That will win ballgames for her."
What pitch did the batter hit the home run on against Ragan?
"It was on the rise that didn't rise that much."
Hayle Guess had a great doubleheader, going 7-for-7.
"She struggled a little bit last weekend, but she came in and worked a lot on her hitting this week. It's nice to see that pay off. These kids work really hard and you like to see them get rewarded for that."
Overall, what are your thoughts about your pitching and hitting after seeing your team play six games this fall?
"I think we are a lot stronger on the mound than we have been the past couple of years. We don't have the power, offensively, that we've had the past couple of years, but we are a little quicker. I think we can do some things offensively that we haven't done in the past. I feel real good where we are right now. We've had a great fall, so far. Hopefully, we can finish out Sunday with a couple of more ballgames."
You had 30 hits today. Was it more your hitting or the pitching you faced?
"Obviously, it is a lot tougher when you get in the SEC. You are talking about top 20 type teams in the country. Seven or eight of them are in the SEC, so, obviously, it is a different level than when you play Division-II schools or junior colleges. That will be a difference, but these are the same schools that we play every fall. We are swinging the bats well and having quality at-bats. That is a good sign no matter who is pitching."
Who is pitching for you Sunday?
"We are going to split games (Sunday). Ragan (Blake) is going to start the first game and Kelli (Miller) will finish. I think Stephanie (Comeaux) will start the second game and Sara (Hickerson) will finish."
Individual highlights from the 2 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Game 1) STARKVILLE, Miss. Mississippi State surrendered an early 1-0 lead, but responded with a trio of multi-run innings to break the game wide open, as the Bulldogs got the best of visiting Delta State in an offensive exhibition, 9-2, Saturday afternoon at the MSU Softball Field.
Sophomore Hayle Guess (3-for-3, 3 R) and junior Callye Williams (3-for-4, 2 RBI) both tallied three-hit days at the plate to lead five players with multi-hit hitting lines. Jennifer Jessup drove in a pair of runs and scored twice on a 2-for-4 plate tally, while fellow senior Tanelda McDonald continued an outstanding Fall season by also driving in a pair and scoring once on a mirror image day at the plate. Birmingham native Katie Johnson collected a RBI and scored twice as well.
Lauren Lasuzzo smacked a solo home run in the top of the fifth to provide 50 percent of DSU's total run output, but the Lady Statesmen got a 3-for-4 showing from Meredith Coleman (RBI) to provide their offensive highlight reel.
MSU starter Kelli Miller picked up her second win of the Fall season after striking out three and allowing seven hits in four innings of work. Rookie Ragan Blake worked the final three innings of the outing, surrendering three hits and one earned run, to grab her second save of the Fall. Delta State starter Laura Dixon took the loss for DSU after allowing two runs on four hits and a walk in the first two innings.
Delta State got a leadoff single from Lindsay Cordell in the first, then pushed the run across two batters later courtesy of a triple from the bat of Alyse Hasty. However, MSU answered in their half of the inning, using RBI singles from McDonald and Johnson, to take a 2-1 lead into the second.
State pushed their lead out to 5-1 with a three-run third inning, then blew the game wide open with three more runs in the fourth that was highlighted by a two-run triple from Williams. Lasuzzo's solo shot in the top of the fifth would cut State's lead to six, 8-2, but the Bulldogs answered with a run of their own in their half of the sixth on a RBI groundout from Allison Meyer.
(Game 2) STARKVILLE, Miss. Hayle Guess churned out the first four-hit performance for Mississippi State in more than a year to help lead the Maroon and White's second consecutive 15-hit attack that spawned a trio of multi-run innings as the Bulldogs easily cruised by Mississippi Gulf Coast CC, 13-0, Saturday evening at the MSU Softball Field.
Guess finished off a perfect day at the plate with four more hits in the nightcap, marking the first 4-for-4 hitting tally for a Bulldog since March 13, 2002. Having also scored three runs, the Moss Point native led a quintet of MSU players with multi-hit nights, including rookie Lindsay Hunley who drove in a trio of runs on a 2-for-4 outing.
Nakita Boyce (2-for-3, 2 R), Melissa Massey (2-for-4, 3 RBI) and Amory native Keri McFarling (2-for-2, 3 R) also produced multi-hit nights for the Maroon and White. Shelley Lavender and Emily LeBlanc managed the only hits for Gulf Coast.
MSU starter Melissa Massey won her second game in as many weekends after striking out five and allowing just two hits in four innings of work before giving way to a dominating performance by sophomore Stephanie Comeaux the rest of the way out. Comeaux picked up her first save of the Fall after striking out seven in three hitless innings of work.
LeBlanc saddled the loss for MGCCC, allowing seven earned runs on seven hits and one walk through the first three innings of the game.
"That was the best I have seen (Stephanie) Comeaux throw since she got here," said Mississippi State head coach Jay Miller. "She has been struggling with consistency, but I didn't see it tonight. She came in and just dominated. I was happy with the fact that we were able to finish both teams off today as well. We didn't see the pitching we will see in the Spring, but I was pleased with the way we came through at the plate today."
Massey helped her own cause with a two-run single through the left side that keyed a six-run second inning for the Bulldogs in the second, then cushioned State's lead out to 7-0 with a RBI double in the third. The Maroon and White would get a pinch-hit RBI single from Sara Hickerson, as well as a sac fly from freshman Courtney Bures, in the fourth to push its lead out to 9-0 and then hit cruise control the rest of the way out.
MSU would get run-scoring hits from Hunley (two-run single), Guess (RBI double) and newcomer Michelle Kinney (RBI single) to provide the final.
The Bulldogs will return to action on Sunday when they close out their Fall competition with a pair of games. MSU will take part in a rematch with MGCCC at 3 p.m., before battling West Alabama in the nightcap at 5. Both games are set to be played at the MSU Softball Field and admission to all 2004-05 MSU Softball home games is free.
Source: MSU Media Relations