"Kasey really stepped up big for us this weekend," said Mississippi State head coach Kathy Arendsen. "She and Coach (Bo) Reid worked hard on her preparation and she came through. It was great to see her outstanding work ethic pay off. Her ability to locate her knuckleball was a key to her success because Arizona never seemed to be able to adjust to it. Some credit needs to be given to our catchers as well, they did a great job behind the plate."
Although facing the pressure of being tabbed as the Bulldogs top pitcher, Whitehead handled the role incredibly this past weekend, hurling a career-high six strikeouts in a 7-1 thrashing of 17th-ranked Southwest Texas State in the season opener on Friday. She allowed just one earned run in seven innings of work, surrendering just three hits and one walk.
She followed up the showing with an outstanding relief performance less than four hours later, hurling three innings of no-hit ball and striking out two in a 12-4 defeat of Texas Tech in five innings. In a 11-hit, 12-run fifth inning rally for the Bulldogs, it was Whitehead's towering three-run homer that put the finishing touches on the eight-run mercy rule.
Although making a name for herself in the opening two games, Whitehead turned in a career performance against top-ranked and defending national champion Arizona Saturday afternoon, scattering eight hits and striking out four Wildcats in a 7-1 victory. She also tallied a 1-3 day at the plate, scoring a run after an infield single in the second inning.
"God has just totally blessed me this week," said the senior Roswell, Ga., native. "That made the pressure a lot easier to handle. My teammates are amazing and the way that they played in that game and rallied behind me was incredible. I am blessed to have the opportunity to have teammates, as well as great friends, like them."
Whitehead currently leads the Bulldog staff with a 3-0 record and a 0.71 ERA. She struck out 15 batters in 19.2 innings of work in the Fiesta Bowl Tournament and surrendered just three walks. She is also one of six MSU players batting above the .300 plateau with a .364 average (4-for-11, HR) with four RBIs and three runs scored.