News from MSU Media Relations--February 24

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

COLUMBUS, Ga. - On Day One of the NFCA Leadoff Classic, Mississippi State let two-run lead get away, then rebounded to set the Leadoff Classic record for most runs in a game. The Bulldogs fell to No. 20 Florida State, 4-2, then run-ruled Seton Hall, 23-0.

In the second game, MSU knocked Seton Hall starter Maura Lund out of the game after only a third of an inning, scoring eight times in the opening frame to immediately put the run-rule into effect. The Bulldogs tacked on ten runs in the second, two in the third, one in the fourth and two in the fifth. Courtney Bures' double in the fifth inning scored Megan Bateman for the record-breaking run. MSU also tied the school record with 13 walks.

Jessie Bailey hit her first career home run, and Hayle Guess hit her third of the season. In the second inning, Lindsey Hunley hit her first career grand slam. After striking early, the Mississippi State (8-4) offense went flat, allowing four unanswered runs in a 4-2 loss to No. 20 Florida State (10-1).

State scored early, plating two runs in the first. With one, Nakita Boyce and Courtney Bures were both hit by pitches, and then stole third and second, respectively. Katie Cooley followed with a single up the middle, scoring Boyce and Bures for an early 2-0 lead.

The Seminoles got a run back in the bottom half of the inning. Brittany Krbec reached on Katie Johnson's fielding error, and Yuruby Alicart singled. Pinch-runner Courtney Rosen advanced to third when Blair Hewett's pickoff attempt sailed into center field. Rosen came home on Jessica Gilmore's fielder's choice.

FSU took the lead in the third. Robin Ahrberg led off with a single to right field. Two batters later, Alicart hit the first pitch over the right field fence, giving Florida State the 3-2 lead. It was her second home run of the season. Veronica Wootsen gave FSU a two-run advantage in the fifth, hitting a right field shot of her own.

Kelli Miller (4-2) went the distance, allowing eight hits and striking out five in a losing effort.

Mississippi State continues pool play tomorrow, when it faces Tennessee Tech at 12 p.m. (CT) followed by No. 21 Nebraska at 5 p.m. Fans can follow all the action live on

Track & Field
LEXINGTON, Ky. - Mississippi State sophomore Marrissa Harris opened up the 2007 Southeastern Conference Indoor Championships on a high note, finishing fifth in the women's pentathlon. She finished with 3,803 points – a new school record for the indoor pentathlon. With her point total, she earned an NCAA provisional qualifying mark.

The Memphis, Tenn.-native registered personal-best marks in all five of the events. Harris opened with a time of 8.63 seconds in the 60-meter hurdles and followed that personal feat with a jump of five feet, four and a half inches in the high jump and carded a jump of 19-00 in the long jump. She posted a throw of 36-04 in the shot put. Harris concluded the night with a time of 2:33.87 in the 800-meter run.

MSU freshman Laquinta Aaron also competed in the pentathlon, finishing ninth with 3,408 points.

Saturday's competition will get underway at 9 a.m. CST with the women's field events. The first running event on the women's side is slated for 1:50 p.m. CST at the Nutter Field House.

Women's Golf
STARKVILLE, Miss. - The Mississippi State women's golf team will open its 2007 spring season Saturday at the Chrysler Challenge in Sandestin, Fla. The three day event will be held at the Baytowne Golf Club and is hosted by Florida State University.

Competing in the tournament for MSU will be all-SEC senior Amanda Mathis, junior Julia Huh, sophomore Leigh Phillips and freshmen Gina Sharp and Suzanne Stanley. Coming into the first tournament of the spring, Mathis leads the team in stroke average with a 76.73 and captured the Wildcat Fall Invitational individual title this past fall.

"We are looking forward to getting the spring season underway," said MSU head coach Christi Sanders. "We have had a long offseason and are ready to get back to competition."

Three SEC teams, including MSU, Ole Miss and Kentucky, are among the 10-team field at the event. Saturday's first round will begin at 7 a.m. CT.

Women's Basketball
STARKVILLE, Miss. - The Mississippi State University women's basketball team (17-11, 7-6 SEC) closes out the 2006-07 regular season on Sunday afternoon. The Lady Bulldogs face the South Carolina Gamecocks (15-13, 5-8 SEC) in a 2 p.m. CT tip from the Colonial Center in Columbia, S.C.

Mississippi State leads the all-time series with South Carolina, 12-8. State has not won in Columbia since Jan. 6, 2005 (55-48). The Lady Bulldogs are 3-6 all-time in Columbia with two of those wins coming during the Sharon Fanning era. In games played in Starkville, State leads 8-2. Of conference opponents played, State has faced USC the least amount of times (Arkansas is a near second with 22).

With her 17 points in the 89-70 win against Alabama on Thursday, freshman guard Alexis Rack became the first player since Tan White (2002-05) to record double figure scoring in 10 straight games. Rack's streak started on Jan. 18 at Tennessee when she scored 10 points. Since then, she's averaged 14.5 points per game. She has 285 total points on the season and is currently averaging 10.2 each time out. Rack has been named SEC Freshman of the Week twice and has scored in double figures in 15 games this year. Against the Crimson Tide, freshman forward Tysheka Grimes led the Lady Bulldogs with 20 points. In addition to Grimes and Rack, three other Lady Bulldogs posted double figures for the second straight contest.

As a team, MSU ranks first in the conference in three-point field goals made in SEC games (6.85). The Lady Bulldogs are second in conference games in three-point field goal percentage and rank in the top half in eight other statistical categories. In overall games, MState is third in three-point field goal percentage defense, fourth in three-point field goals made and sixth in four categories.

Individually, sophomore guard Marneshia Richard leads the league in minutes played in conference games and is fourth overall in steals. Rack is fifth overall in three-point field goals made and second in the same category in league games only.

South Carolina enters Sunday's game with Mississippi State at 15-13 overall and 5-8 in league play. The Gamecocks did not play Thursday evening. South Carolina's last game was on Feb. 18 against Vanderbilt (L, 65-83). In their last five games, the Gamecocks are 2-3 with wins at Arkansas (74-69) and Auburn (70-61).

Lauren Simms leads the team in scoring with 9.9 points per game game. Melanie Johnson leads the team in rebounding with 5.4 boards per game. As a team, the Gamecocks average 68.8 points per game and out-rebound their opponents by 8.7 rebounds each time out (44.0).

With the win over Alabama, Mississippi State secured the sixth-seed in this week's Southeastern Conference women's basketball tournament (MSU holds the tiebreaker against Kentucky by virture of an 83-75 double overtime win in Lexington). State will face the #11 seed, Florida, in the tournament on Thursday evening, March 1, at 8:30 p.m. CT. The game will be broadcast regionally via SEC-TV. Fans are asked to contact their cable and satellite providers for more details.

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