No. 5 LSU takes series with 4-0 win over 'Dogs

BATON ROUGE, La. - Fifth-ranked LSU (21-7, 6-2 SEC) got a two-run home run in both the fourth and fifth innings to rally behind a strong pitching performance as the Tigers defeated injury-depleted Mississippi State (19-14, 2-4), 4-0, in the rubber game of the three-game set Wednesday afternoon at LSU's Tiger Park.

Three different players recorded base hits for Mississippi State, with shortstop Jennifer Jessup pacing the trio on a 1-for-2 day at the plate. Trena Peel paced the Tigers with a pair of RBIs on a 2-3 day, including a home run in the fifth.

Mississippi State starter Melissa Massey (3-6) struck out one and scattered six hits, but took the loss for the Bulldogs after allowing four earned runs. Kasey Whitehead surrendered two hits in the final two innings of work to get the no decision. LSU starter Britni Sneed (11-4) struck out eight and allowed just three hits to nab the victory for the Tigers.

The Bulldogs were playing without the services of three-time all-American Kellie Wilkerson (sprained ankle) and sophomore Lindsay Nelson (concussion). Both were injured in State's 8-7 extra-inning victory over LSU Tuesday evening, but are expected to be ready for the Bulldogs' three-game series at No. 21 Georgia this weekend.

State got a baserunner aboard with its first at bat of the ball game, then used a sacrifice to move Jennifer Nelson into scoring position with one out. However, Sneed retook control of the inning, getting Iyhia McMichael on a groundout to third base and Tyeah Patterson on a swinging strikeout to retire the sides. Sneed retired the next nine Mississippi State batters in order before either team lit up the scoreboard.

Massey, who pitched strong in the opening three innings of the contest, gave up a one-out single to Julie Wiese in the fourth, then a two-run dinger to Tessa Lynam that gave LSU a 2-0 lead heading into the fifth. LSU got a leadoff single from Aleshia Perry in the fifth, then a two-run homer from Peel with the Tigers' second at-bat to extend their lead out to 4-0. Whitehead allowed two singles in relief, but got out of the jam when Brooke Best, Jennifer Jessup and Kate Jaspers combined to turn MSU's conference-leading 16th double play of the campaign.

Following a leadoff single, State moved Jessup into scoring position in the sixth, but Sneed retired Patterson on a swinging strikeout to end the threat.

Mississippi State will return to action this weekend when the Bulldogs travel to Athens, Ga., for a three-game set with red hot Georgia Bulldogs (28-2, 4-2) at the UGA Women's Athletic Complex. The two will open their series with a 1 p.m. ET Saturday doubleheader and close out the set with a 2 p.m. single game on Sunday. Sunday's series finale is set to be regionally televised by SEC-TV.

#5 LSU 4, Mississippi State 0
Mississippi State 000 000 0 - 0 3 1
LSU 000 220 x - 4 8 0
Massey, Whitehead (5) and Brown; Sneed and Reeves. W - Sneed (11-4). L - Massey (3-6). Save - None. HR: LSU - Peel, Lynam.

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