STARKVILLE, Miss. - A record Mississippi State softball players collected NFCA All-America scholar-athlete awards, while the team itself finished in the top 20 among Division I schools and in the top half among Southeastern Conference institutions, in an announcement released Thursday by the softball organization. MSU's previous high was eight in 1998.
Callye Williams earned the individual accolade for the third consecutive season, becoming just the sixth Bulldog to earn the honor at least three times. Michelle Kinney and Katie Johnson were honored for the second consecutive season, while Sammie Jo Bailey, Hayle Guess, Sara Hickerson, Lindsay Hunley, Gina McCloud and Kelli Miller took home the laurel for the first time. State's 3.330 team GPA recorded during the 2005-06 academic year ranked 18th among all Division I schools, behind only with the University of South Carolina (4th, 3.463 GPA) and the University of Florida (16th, 3.350) among SEC squads.
"It is a tribute to our student-athletes and the hard work they put in both academically and athletically," said MSU head coach Jay Miller. "To have nine ballplayers earn NFCA Academic All-America is a tremendous honor. It is a tradition we want to continue here at Mississippi softball."
The Mississippi State softball team has long carried a rich tradition of academic success. Since 1997, the Bulldogs have sent 106 student-athletes to academic honor roll accolades and 46 of its own to NFCA academic scholar-athlete accolades. As a team, the Bulldogs have consistently finished with one of the country's top 45 team grade point averages, including top 18 finishes in each of the past five seasons.
STARKVILLE, Miss. - The Mississippi State University women's basketball team hosts Mississippi Valley State on Sunday afternoon in a 2 p.m. contest at Humphrey Coliseum. The 11th meeting between the in-state rivals marks the first contest for both schools since the Thanksgiving holiday break.
MSU leads the overall series with Mississippi Valley 8-2. State's last meeting with the Delta Devilettes was on Dec. 20, 1999 with MSU taking a 106-36 win. The 70-point victory is the second largest margin of victory in Lady Bulldog history. Both of Valley's wins have come in Itta Bena.
Entering Sunday's contest, Mississippi Valley is 2-0 on the year.
Despite dropping a 67-60 decision to Belmont on Monday night, the Lady Bulldogs continue to hold a 10-point scoring advantage of their opponents. Leading the scoring attack for MState is junior Imesia Jackson. In three games played, Jackson averages 14.7 points per game, while bringing down 6.7 rebounds per contest. Behind Jackson, sophomore Robin Porter averages 10.3 points and 6.7 rebounds.
In other statistical categories, freshman Alexis Rack posted eight assists in the Belmont game to add to her assist total for the season and up her average to 3.7 per game. Rack's Belmont performance ranks fifth on the freshman single games assist list. Sophomore Marneshia Richard leads the Lady Bulldogs with 2.7 steals per game, while Porter brought down five steals against Belmont to join former MState standout Tan White at fifth on the single games steals list for sophomores.
Following Sunday night's contest, the Lady Bulldogs continue their seven-game homestand on Thursday, Nov. 30 when MState welcomes Florida State of the Atlantic Coast Conference.