STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State junior shortstop Courtney Bures was one of 50 players named to the USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year Watch List announced Tuesday by the Amateur Softball Association.
Bures is the second Bulldog to be named to the list, as Iyhia McMichael earned the honor prior to her junior and senior seasons. She also joins McMichael in being named to the preseason census twice, as she was named to the list prior to last season.
A first team All-American as a freshman, Bures led MSU with a .346 (62-for-179) batting average last year with 20 extra base hits and 37 RBI. The Haymarket, Va., native also added 16 multiple hit games, nine multiple RBI games, six game-winning RBI and five game-winning runs.
"This honor is a tribute to the success that she's had her first couple years," said MSU head coach Jay Miller. "Hopefully it gives a little inspiration to both her and her teammates as we begin our season."
Mississippi State will open the 2007 campaign, Feb. 9-11, when they host the Bulldog Round Robin. MState will battle Iowa State and Purdue February 9, before facing Kennesaw State and Iowa State February 10. MSU will close out the tournament on February 11 against Purdue.
The Bulldogs return 15 letterwinners, including eight position starters and four pitchers, off of last season's squad that finished 33-28. State was recently selected to finish fifth in the SEC West in a preseason poll of the league's coaches.
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State head softball coach Jay Miller announced the signing of pitcher Kelsey Nurnberg, Monday afternoon. Nurnberg will join the team for the spring 2007 semester.
Nurnberg, a 6-0 pitcher out of Ankeny, Iowa, spent last year at Daytona Beach Community College. Last year for the Falcons, Nurnberg went 33-11 with 272 strikeouts in 303 innings. She also had a 1.02 ERA.
Last year, the Ankeny, Iowa native was named an NFCA NJCAA Division I Third Team All-American, as well as First Team All-Region. She also was Second Team All-State and First Team All-Conference. Nurnberg ranked first in Florida with 33 wins and 272 strikeouts.
As a senior at Ankeny High School, Nurnberg was a member of the Class 4A All-District Team, as well as Second Team All-State. The previous season, she was the Class 4A Special Mention Pitcher, a member of the I.G.C.A. Central All-District Team, and CIML Second-Team All-Conference.
"Obviously, we're excited to have Kelsey join our program," said Miller. "I feel she gives us a lot more depth on our pitching staff. Combined with our offensive and defensive strengths we already have, I feel she gives us a lot more chances to be successful this spring."
The Bulldogs open the 2007 campaign February 9-11 when they host the Bulldog Round Robin.