News from MSU Media Relations--February 21

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

Men's Tennis
STARKVILLE, Miss. - MSU's men's tennis team will close out its home non-conference schedule Wednesday, hosting Sun Belt Conference foe and 60th-ranked Louisiana Lafayette. The match is slated to get underway at 2 p.m. at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre on the MSU campus.

The Bulldogs, currently ranked 54th, will enter Wednesday's action with a 2-2 record after splitting a pair of matches on the road this past weekend against Memphis and Middle Tennessee State. After defeating Memphis 4-3, the Bulldogs dropped a 4-0 decision at 44th-ranked MTSU.

Currently, the Bulldogs are led by juniors Philippe Frayssinoux and Ivan Bjelica along with sophomore Ryan Farlow. Ranked 31st-nationally, Frayssinoux is 14-7 this season and is 2-2 in dual matches this spring. Bjelica, ranked 32nd, is 13-9 this season including a 1-0 mark at #1 singles. Farlow is 2-0 this season in dual matches and holds an 11-7 overall singles record this season.

Louisiana Lafayette, who is coming off an NCAA Tournament appearance last season, is 2-4 in dual match play this spring. Three of the four losses for the Ragin Cajuns have come to top-25 opponents including a loss to then second-ranked Baylor. ULL is led by senior Dusan Tabak and sophomore Piotre Banas.

Wednesday's matchup marks the 27th meeting between the two programs dating back to 1975. MSU holds a 16-10 edge in the series including a 14-2 lead over the Ragin Cajuns in matches played in Starkville.

Following Wednesday's match, State will travel to Mobile, Ala., to face 32nd-ranked South Alabama on Sunday. That match is slated to begin at 1 p.m.

STARKVILLE, Miss. - After going 3-2 and beating tenth-ranked Cal at the UNLV Louisville Slugger Desert Classic, Mississippi State (7-3) will return home for a midweek game, Wednesday, February 21 against Mississippi Valley State at the MSU Softball Field. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m.

State is 7-0 all-time against MVSU, outscoring the Delta Devilettes, 67-3. Last season, MSU swept a doubleheader, 5-0 and 6-3. The Maroon and White have never faced MVSU outside of Starkville.

Freshman Chelsea Bramlett continues her hot start to her collegiate career. The Cordova, Tenn. native leads the Bulldogs in almost every offensive category, hitting .410 (16-39) with 14 runs, two doubles and nine stolen bases. Junior Courtney Bures (.345) leads the team with ten RBI, and junior Nakita Boyce is hitting .407 with six runs and six RBI.

MSU is led in the circle by Kelli Miller. The senior is 4-1 with a 0.68 ERA in 31 innings pitched. Senior Sara Hickerson has earned the save in four of State's seven victories, and leads the team with 17 strikeouts.

Mississippi Valley State is coming off a 1-4 showing at the ULM Mardi Gras Classic, having defeated Louisiana Tech in the last game of the tournament. Offensively, the Delta Devilettes are led by Megan Hays. The freshman is hitting .300 with three doubles and seven runs. Nakelya Moragne is a threat on the base paths, having swiped five stolen bases in five attempts. Wednesday's game can be followed live on

Admission to all 2007 MSU Softball games is free.

Following Wednesday's game, the Bulldogs will head to Columbus, Ga. for the NFCA Leadoff Classic, February 23-25.

Men's Golf
ORLANDO, Fla. - Sophomore golfers Noah Goldman and Brian Mason finished tied for ninth at the Rio Pinar Intercollegiate that concluded on Tuesday at the Rio Pinar Golf and Country Club in Orlando, Fla. As a team, Mississippi State finished the spring season lid-lifter tied for 11 th with North Carolina-Wilmington.

State concluded the 54-hole tournament with a round of 295. On Monday the Bulldogs registered a 299 and 293. Pacing the MSU line up on the final day was Goldman with a 3-under par round of 69. Mason posted his second-straight even par round of 72. The top-10 finishes by the MSU linksters marks a season-best in 54-hole events for the duo. Carlos Sainz, Jr. recorded a round 75, while Jake Lambert closed out the scoring for MState with a 79.

Tennessee-Chattanooga claimed team honors with a final round 287. UTC overcame a three-shot deficit to top Tulsa, who led after 36 holes. Tulsa's Brett Myers carded a 72 to win by three strokes.

MSU returns to action on Saturday, March 4, participating in the Seminole Intercollegiate in Tallahassee, Fla.

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State head soccer coach Neil MacDonald announced the signing of four players to the 2007 incoming class, Friday afternoon.

Joining the MSU soccer program is Leanna Baldner (D/M, Meridian, Miss.); Danielle Kite (M, Hornchurch, England), Lauren Host (M/D, Madison, Miss.) and Hadley Gable (F/M, Plano, Texas).

Defender/midfielder Leanna Baldner is a six-year starter for Meridian High School, having started since the seventh grade. Last year, the Meridian, Miss. native hit score 18 goals and posted 11 assists for 47 points. The performance earned her All-Conference and All-Division honors. Baldner led her team in scoring every year since the seventh year, totaling 82 goals and 60 assists for 224 points over six years. She also led the Mississippi United club team to a Region 3 runner-up in 2005, while being ranked eighth in the country.

Midfielder Danielle Kite was a member of England's Under-15 National Development Pool, as well as the Under-17 National Team Pool. As a senior at the Sanders Draper School, the Hornchurch, England native led her team to the District Cup.

A two-year captain, Hadley Gable comes to Mississippi State as a defender/striker. As a junior, the Plano, Texas native led Frisco Centennial High School to a 9-6-3 and a Bi-District Championship. She also captured First Team All-District 6 - 4A honors. As a five-time captain of the Texas Spirit Red 90's Club Team, Gable led her squad to a WAGS Championship, as well as a trip to the Texas State Cup Finals. She is also a member of the Texas Olympic Development Program.

Lauren Host helped lead Madison-Ridgeland Academy to an 8-8-2 record last year, as well as a No. 5 ranking in the state and a berth in the Final Four. She recorded 19 points on seven goals and five assists. The Madison, Miss. native earned First Team All-Conference laurels and was named the South All-Star game Most Outstanding Player. As a junior, Host was named First Team All-Conference and Second Team All-Madison County, scoring 12 goals and recording seven assists. In 2005, she led the Mississippi United 88 to the Regional Finals.

"The class is going to bring a lot to the table for us," said MacDonald. "They are going to fill in some areas where we need help, and provide us with important depth in areas that we've been lacking. All have the potential to make an immediate impact. Overall, this is a very good class to help us build toward the future."

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