Nelson (1-0) worked the first five innings of the contest, striking out five Bruins while allowing just a pair of hits, to earn the victory. Wilkerson struck out four in the last two innings of relief to earn her first save of the campaign and the 19th of her career.
State wasted no time in lighting up the scoreboard, utilizing a pair of first-inning hits before Krystal Tillman brought Jaspers across the plate on an RBI single up the middle. State got runners aboard in each of the next four innings before utilizing Nelson's RBI in the sixth to provide the final.
In the opener of the twinbill, State got plenty of offense and a combined no-hitter from three of its pitchers as the Bulldogs cruised to a 11-0 victory over the Bruins in five innings.
Iyhia McMichael (2-for-2, 3 RBI, 3 runs) and Jennifer Nelson (3-for-3, 3 runs) combined to score more than half of Mississippi State's runs, with six other Bulldogs collecting base hits. McMichael (2) and Nelson (3) also tallied five of State's eight stolen bases in the contest.
Kasey Whitehead (4-0) struck out a pair in two innings of work before giving way to newcomer Melissa Massey, who held her own inside the circle in her first collegiate appearance. Tillman, normally an outfielder who was making her first appearance at pitcher for the Bulldogs, struck out one in the fifth to finish the contest.
The pitching feat marked the fourth no-hitter in school history and the first combined no-hitter by any Bulldog team. MSU's eight stolen bases against Belmont in the opener ranks second all-time. The Bulldogs used three walks and three hits in the opening inning to take a quick 5-0 lead, then tacked four more runs onto its lead in the second frame on two more walks and four more hits. McMichael plated Nelson on an RBI triple in the fifth, then crossed the plate one batter later on Jennifer Waterman's hit through the right side.
Mississippi State will return to action Friday afternoon when the Bulldogs suit up to host the 2002 MSU Bulldog Classic at the Mississippi State Softball Field. Southern Miss and Southern Illinois will open tournament action in an 11 a.m. tilt on Friday, before giving way to a pair of MSU games. State will open up its portion of tournament play in a 1 p.m. contest against Southern Illinois and a 3 p.m. contest against Colorado State.