STARKVILLE, Miss. - The 22nd-ranked Mississippi State softball team (12-5) put together four multi-run innings and rallied behind a three-hit pitching gem as the Bulldogs finished off a doubleheader sweep of visiting Oakland (2-9) with a 10-1 game-two win in five innings."> STARKVILLE, Miss. - The 22nd-ranked Mississippi State softball team (12-5) put together four multi-run innings and rallied behind a three-hit pitching gem as the Bulldogs finished off a doubleheader sweep of visiting Oakland (2-9) with a 10-1 game-two win in five innings.">

No. 22 'Dogs sweep Oakland in a twinbill

<img src="http://www.genespage.com/images/01filepicture/softball.jpg" align="left" width="205" height="166"> STARKVILLE, Miss. - The 22nd-ranked Mississippi State softball team (12-5) put together four multi-run innings and rallied behind a three-hit pitching gem as the Bulldogs finished off a doubleheader sweep of visiting Oakland (2-9) with a 10-1 game-two win in five innings.

Sophomores Blaire Brown and Jennifer Jessup each turned in 2-for-3 showings at the plate to pace the Bulldogs, with Jessup cashing in on two RBIs and a pair of runs scored. Lindsay Nelson (2-for-4) turned in the only other multi-hit performance of the game. Three different players recorded hits for the Golden Grizzlies.

Starter Melissa Massey (2-2), who has come on to fill highlight reels as of late, worked her second complete game of the season, allowing just three hits and striking out seven, to notch the victory. Oakland starter Nicole Marzano (0-4) allowed seven hits and seven runs in three and one-third innings of work to take the loss for the Golden Grizzlies.

The Bulldogs wasted no time lighting up the scoreboard, utilizing a pair of first inning errors by the visitors to plate a pair of unearned runs in the bottom of the first. The Bulldogs pushed their lead out to 4-0 on the shoulders of another error by Oakland and a sacrifice fly by Kellie Wilkerson.

The Golden Grizzlies cut into a 6-0 lead in the top of the fourth on a Christine Schulte groundout to third base, but State plated a run on an RBI double by Tyeah Patterson in the bottom of the fifth, then used a two-run single by Jessup in the bottom of the sixth to put the 8-run mercy rule into effect.

In the opener of the doubleheader, State plated a pair of runs in both the fourth and fifth innings and rode the shoulders of a four-hit shutout from starter Kasey Whitehead to post a 5-0 blanking of the visiting Golden Grizzlies.

Brown turned in a pair of RBIs on a 2-for-3 clip at the plate, with Brooke Best (1-for-3) adding two more on a two-run double in the fourth. Five other players recorded hits for the Bulldogs. Third baseman Ericka Burns paced the Grizzlies with a 2-for-3 showing at the plate.

Whitehead (6-3) worked all seven innings, scattering just four hits and striking out three, to turn in her first shutout of the campaign. Oakland starter Julie Anderson (1-1) allowed five earned runs in four and one-third innings of work to take the loss.

The Bulldogs took a quick 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first on a wild pitch by Anderson, then pushed their lead out to 3-0 in the fourth on Best's two-out hit. State added a pair of insurance runs in the fifth on Brown's two-run double down the left field line to provide the final.

Mississippi State will return to action this weekend when they travel to Tallahassee, Fla., for the four-team Sunshine Classic hosted by Florida State University. The Bulldogs will open up their portion of tournament play against Kansas at 7 p.m. CT on Friday evening and will wrap-up round-robin play on Saturday against both No. 18 Florida State at 11 p.m. and Kansas at 3 p.m. The semifinals and championship game of the tournament will be played on Sunday.

Game 1 - #22 Mississippi State 5, Oakland 0
Oakland 000 000 0 - 0 4 1
Mississippi State 100 220 x - 5 7 0
Anderson, Utecht (5) and Piar; Whitehead and Waterman. W - Whitehead (6-3). L - Anderson (1-1).

Game 2 - #22 Mississippi State 10, Oakland 1 (5 Innings)
Oakland 000 100 - 1 3 3
Mississippi State 222 112 - 10 12 1
Marzano, Utecht (4) and Piar; Massey and Brown, Waterman (5). W - Massey (2-2). L - Marzano (0-4).


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