News from MSU Media Relations--February 11

The lastest sports news from the MSU Media Relations Department...

Women's Tennis
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State (2-1) rallied from a set down in a pair of singles matches to pull out a three-set victories and go on to a 4-2 win over visiting Troy (1-2) Saturday afternoon on the MSU campus. Singles was played first in the contest.

Lady Bulldogs Renee Joseph and Elna de Villiers both claimed three-set wins to break a 2-2 deadlock in the match and hand MSU the win. Joseph, after losing a first-set tiebreaker 11-9, battled back strong, not dropping a game in the final two sets for a 6-7(9), 6-0, 6-0 win. De Villiers then clinched the State victory, coming back from falling 6-2 in the first set to claim close 6-4 and 7-5 margins in the remaining sets.

The teams traded straight-set wins at the No. 2 and 6 positions to open the day. Lady Bulldog freshman DeAndra Saddler came out strong against her Trojan opponent, Nicole Shaw, claiming her first collegiate dual match 6-3, 6-0 at the No. 6 position. State's Daniela Juskova fell 6-1, 6-2 to Troy's Annabelle Bares at No. 2.

The Trojans then took a 2-1 lead when MSU's other freshman, Valeriya Makarycheva, fell 1-6, 6-2, 6-3 to Troy's Stephanie Viera. But State evened the match with a solid 6-3, 6-3 victory at court No. 1 by Martina Banikova over TU's Rawia Elsisi.

"It was a big win today. I am really proud of the girls. Elna [de Viliers] and Renee [Joseph] came from a one-set deficit and pulled it out. Troy is a really good team and it just went our way today. The cards fell the right way for us."

Next up for the Lady Bulldogs will be a road trip to South Alabama this Thursday, Feb. 15. The match is slated to begin at 11:00 a.m. CT. MSU returns home next Saturday, Feb. 17, to welcome Southeastern Louisiana at 1 p.m. CT at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre.


Softball
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State (3-1) defeated Kennesaw State, 6-0, before falling to Iowa State, 8-3 on the second day of the Bulldog Round Robin.

In the first game, Kelli Miller (2-0) allowed just four hits on her way to a complete game shutout as Mississippi State defeated Kennesaw State, 6-0.

"Kelli was a lot stronger today than she was yesterday," said MSU head coach Jay Miller. "She had a lot more command and really gave us a good opportunity. We came out and swung the bats well. I thought we had some opportunities early, where we really could have broken the game open. But, we got some big hits later on."

MSU wasted no time getting on the board in the first. With out two outs, Hayle Guess was hit by a pitch and stole second. Courtney Bures followed with an RBI single for the first run of the game.

In the third, the Bulldogs loaded the bases with no out. After Hayle Guess popped out, Bures reached on a fielder's choice, and Kinney scored on the play when Jenna Closner dropped the ball at home. Chelsea Bramlett then scored on Sammie Jo Bailey's ground out.

MSU added three insurance runs in the sixth to cap off the victory.

Bramlett led the Bulldogs, going 3-4 with two runs. Nakita Boyce added two hits, a run and two RBI.

In the nightcap, MState took an early first inning lead, before Iowa State broke the game open, as the Bulldogs fell to ISU, 8-3.

Mississippi State took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Chelsea Bramlett scored on Courtney Bures' double play. But the Cyclones responded in a big way in the second. Katie Reichling and Alex Johnson singled and walked, respectively, to lead off the inning. After a sacrifice bunt advanced them a base, Kristen Karanzias doubled to left, tying the game. One out later, Fallon Johnson gave ISU the lead with a two-run double. Wray and Johnson then scored when Jennifer Bigbee reached on Lindsey Hunley's fielding error. Iowa State added another run in the fourth inning.

State scored a run in the fifth and sixth innings to close the gap to 6-3. But, ISU added two insurance runs in the top of the seventh to put it out of reach.

Bramlett led the Bulldogs, going 2-4 with a run. Kelsey Nurnberg went two innings to fall to 1-1 on the year.

"The second game was completely opposite of the first," said Miller. "Pitching-wise we weren't ready, defensively we weren't ready, and offensively we struggled. It was about as bad as we could play. Hopefully we can put that behind us, come out tomorrow, and win a tournament."

Mississippi State returns to action tomorrow for the final day of the Bulldog Robin. The Bulldogs will face Purdue (0-3) at 12 p.m. Admission is free, and fans can also follow all the action on www.mstateathletics.com.


Track & Field
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Mississippi State closed out competition at the 2007 Tyson Invitational with three individuals establishing new career marks during Saturday's competition at the Randal Tyson Track Center on the Arkansas campus.

MSU freshman Wendy Copeland registered a jump of 39 feet, three and three-quarters in the triple jump. The Tupelo, Miss.-products mark ranks third-best all-time in the MState women's indoor track laurels in that event. Copeland finished sixth in the event. Janelle Finley posted a jump of 37-02 ½ in the same event.

"We have two weeks to prepare for the SEC Championships," said MSU head coach Al Schmidt. "Competing for an SEC Title has been our main focus."

In the running events, State's Abbey Graham bested her previous time in the 800-meter run with a time of two minutes, 21 seconds. Mina Thorstenson turned in a time of 10:21.87 in the 3000-meter run to set a new career mark.

The Maroon and White returns to action in two weeks, Feb. 23-25, with the Southeastern Conference Indoor Championships on the campus of the University of Kentucky in Lexington , Ky.


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