News from MSU Media Relations--February 12

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

Softball
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State (4-1) defeated Purdue, 8-1, to win the 2007 Bulldog Round Robin.

For the second straight game, Kelli Miller (All-Tournament) shut out her opposition. After Stephanie Comeaux allowed a run in the first, Miller came in to start the second inning and held the Boilermakers in check, allowing just four hits and striking out four in six innings.

"She (Kelli Miller) threw a phenomenal game. I thought Kelli came in and really shut them down," said MSU head coach Jay Miller. "Again, that's good to see and I thought she threw great all weekend."

Purdue took an early first inning lead. With two outs, Blair Hewett tried to pick off Ashley Hall at third, but her throw landed in left field, allowing Hall to score.

State tied the game in the bottom half. Chelsea Bramlett lead off with a single and stole second. Hewett sacrificed her to third, and Courtney Bures brought her home on a sacrifice fly.

The Bulldogs took the lead in the third. With two outs and Bramlett at second, Bures hit an RBI single to right center. After a wild pitch sent her to second, Sammie Jo Bailey doubled to left field, and MSU held a 3-1 advantage after three.

MState broke the game open in the fourth. Jessie Bailey walked and Hayle Guess singled up the middle. After a Michelle Kinney sacrifice and Bramlett walked to load the bases, Bures stroked a shot into right center for a bases-clearing triple. However, Alicia Spack's throw sailed over the third baseman's head, and Bures scored, giving Mississippi State a 7-1 lead.

Hayle Guess gave the Bulldogs an insurance run in the sixth when she led off with a home run to left field.

Bures, who was named the tournament MVP, led the Bulldogs, going 2-3 with two runs and five RBI. Chelsea Bramlett (All-Tournament) went 1-3 with three runs, and Hayle Guess added a 2-3 day with two runs and an RBI.

"I thought the seniors did a nice job of showing leadership by bouncing back from yesterday," said Miller. "I thought we came out real good and played very good defensively. We had some big hits and put some runs up there, and that was a good sign. Hopefully that's something we can build on going into (Las) Vegas."

Also making the All-Tournament Team was Mississippi State's Nakita Boyce, Kennesaw State's Jennifer Nolan and Keri McKee, Iowa State's Ashley Killeen and Katie Reichling, and Purdue's Ashley Hall and Kelsey Haupert.

Mississippi State returns to action Thursday at the UNLV Louisville Slugger Classic. The Bulldogs will face BYU at 6 p.m. Fans can also follow all the action on www.mstateathletics.com.


Women's Basketball
Gainesville, Fla. - The Mississippi State women's basketball team (16-9, 6-4 SEC) hit key free throws down the stretch to defeat the Florida Gators (6-20, 0-11 SEC), 79-74, in a Sunday afternoon contest in Gainesville, Fla.

In the first half of play, Florida scored the first five points of the game, but MSU answered, rattling off 12-straight points to take a 12-5 lead. Mississippi State then went on a 13-4 run beginning at the 14:30 mark to extend its lead to 26-13. Letting their defense do the work in the half, MState would score 14 points off of 13 Florida miscues.

Mississippi State gained their largest lead of the first period (16 points) on a layup by sophomore Marneshia Richard with 5:39 left in the half. Florida scored the last six points of the half, but MSU took a 38-30 lead into the locker room.

After letting Florida come within one point early in the second stanza, MState put together a 9-0 run to extend its lead to 52-42. But Florida would tie the game twice on free throws a minute apart from each other late in the game, but MSU never relinquished the lead. After bringing the game to within three points on a three-pointer by Sha Brooks with less than a minute to go, Florida had two chances to tie the game in the final seconds, but both trifectas were not true. State freshman Tysheka Grimes was then fouled with less than a second to go and drained two free throws to seal the victory for the Lady Bulldogs.

The Maroon and White scoring attack was led by Richard's career-high 24 points and seven rebounds. Richard was a perfect 10-for-10 from the charity stripe. Freshman Alexis Rack turned in 19 points while junior Imesia Jackson tallied 14 points. The scoring front was rounded out with Grimes adding 11 points. For the second-straight game, freshman Bethany Washington posted a double-figure rebounding total with 10.

The Lady Bulldogs continued their hot free-throw shooting by recording a new season-high 88 percent from the charity stripe on 21-for-24 shooting. After being outrebounded by as many as eight in the game, MSU closed the rebounding gap to 46-44 to end the game. MState also shot 38 percent from behind the three-point arc.

The Lady Bulldogs return to action this Thursday, Feb. 15, hosting 14th ranked-Vanderbilt at Humphrey Coliseum with tip-off set for 7 p.m.


Gene's Page Top Stories