News from MSU Media Relations--February 25

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

Softball
COLUMBUS, Ga. - For the second straight day, Mississippi State (10-5) split at the NFCA Leadoff Classic. MSU defeated Tennessee Tech 10-1 in six, before falling in nine innings to No. 21 Nebraska, 7-6. The Bulldogs finish pool play at 2-2.

In the opening game, MSU struck early and often. In the third inning, Blair Hewett walked, and was replaced by Rachel Hurley. Chelsea Bramlett drove her in with the first run of the game, doubling to right field. One out later, Courtney Bures doubled to left center, bringing home Bramlett. Katie Cooley followed with a double of her own, scoring Bures and giving MSU a 3-0 lead.

Hayle Guess increased the lead to 4-0, hitting a solo home run in the fourth inning. It was the second home run of the tournament for Guess, and fourth of the year.

Tennessee Tech ended the shutout in the fifth inning. With two outs and runners at second and third, Krystina Dobbs hit a ground ball to Jessie Bailey. But the ball bounced over Bailey's glove, allowing Katie Sutherland to score.

But, the Bulldogs put the game to rest in the sixth inning, scoring six times, capped off by four singles and a two-run double by Nakita Boyce.

Chelsea Bramlett led MSU, going 4-4 with two runs and two RBI. Kelli Miller improved to 5-2, throwing five innings, allowing four hits while striking out five.

In the nightcap, MSU got off to an early lead. Chelsea Bramlett led off the first with a single, and stole second. Two outs later, Katie Cooley singled to left field, scoring Bramlett and giving the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead.

After coasting through the first three innings, State starter Stephanie Comeaux ran into trouble in the fourth. Devin Porter and Crystal Carwile led off with singles. After Comeaux retired the next two hitters, Ashley DeBuhr reached on a fielder's choice, loading the bases. Carmen Kier then hit a two-run single, giving Nebraska the lead and knocking Comeaux out of the game. The runs snapped an 11 innings scoreless streak for Comeaux.

MState bounced right back in the bottom half of the inning. Sammie Jo Bailey and Jessie Bailey led of with singles. One out later, Hayle Guess laid down a sacrifice bunt that DeBuhr fielded. But, no one covered first, and Guess reached to load the bases. After Sara Hickerson struck out, Chelsea Bramlett doubled, scoring pinch-runner Rachel Hurley and Jessie Bailey.

However, the Huskers recovered in the fifth. With two outs and Meghan Mullin on second base, Carwile singled and advanced to second, tying the game. Brittany Pascale gave NU the lead with a single, advancing to second on Nakita Boyce's fielding error. Haley Long then doubled, and Nebraska held a 5-3 lead.

The Bulldogs had a golden opportunity in the bottom of the inning, but they could not take advantage. With one out, Katie Cooley walked and Sammie Jo Bailey singled and advanced to second. But Jessie Bailey forced Cooley out at home, and Katie Johnson struck out for the third time, ending the threat.

MSU had a chance to win the game in the seventh, as Sammie Jo Bailey and Jessie Bailey reached base. Two batters later, Guess hit a sacrifice fly to center, tying the game. But that's all Mississippi State would get, and the game went into extra innings.

Mississippi State cut the deficit to one in the fifth when Courtney Bures hit a two-out single, scoring Blair Hewett. But, with runners at the corners, Katie Cooley grounded to short, ending the inning.

The team's traded runs in the eighth inning. Nebraska took a one run lead in the ninth. In the bottom half, Sammie Jo Bailey was place on second. Jessie Bailey singled to right, putting runners on the corners. The next pitch from DeBuhr was wild, but Sammie Jo Bailey was thrown out at home, and DeBuhr got out of the jam, ending the game.

DeBuhr went the distance for Nebraska, striking out eight. Sara Hickerson (0-2) went 3 1/3 innings for the loss.

Mississippi State begins bracket play tomorrow at 10 a.m. (CT) as the No. 1 Seed in the Blue Championship Bracket, against North Carolina. MSU will then play at 12 a.m. (CT) in either the Championship or Consolation Game against Massachusetts or Coastal Carolina. Fans can follow all the action live on www.mstateathletics.com.


Track & Field
LEXINGTON, Ky. - Mississippi State closed out the second day of competition at the 2007 Southeastern Conference Indoor Championships held on the University of Kentucky campus. MSU had six individuals record personal-best marks on Saturday.

Sophomore Marrissa Harris, who placed fifth in the pentathlon on Friday night, posted a jump of 19 feet in the long jump. She posted the same mark during the pentathlon and it is a new career mark for the Memphis, Tenn.-product. The mark also ranks fourth all-time in MSU indoor track laurels. Junior distance runner Annie Falor turned in a time of five minutes, 16.18 seconds in 300-meter run to finish atop her section. The time turned in by Falor set a new personal-best in the event. Brittany Detzel carded a time of 2:17.69 in the 800-meter run - a new standard by Detzel in the 800-meter run. The Lady Bulldogs had two athletes establish new marks in the 200-meter run. Freshman Laquinta Aaron with a time of 24.84 and sophomore Gabrielle Dillon registered a time of 25.02.

"We are struggling a bit with some injuries," said MSU head coach Al Schmidt. "We have some key events tomorrow with the triple jump, shot put and the 5,000-meter run."

Slated to compete for MState on Sunday includes - senior Nicola Wilson in the shot put, Michelle Corrigan and Nicole Rosetti in the 5,000-meter run and Janelle Finley and Wendy Copeland in the triple jump. State will also compete in the 4x400-meter relay and the distance medley run.

Competition will begin at 10 a.m. CST on Sunday at UK's Nutter Field House.


Women's Golf
SANDESTIN, Fla. - The Mississippi State women's golf team concluded the first round of the Chrysler Challenge in seventh place, shooting a 330 at the Baytowne Golf Club in Sandestin, Fla. State stands only nine strokes back of third place in the team race heading into Sunday's second round.

Individually for the Lady Bulldogs on Saturday, junior Julia Huh led the team with an 80 and is in a tie for 21st. Freshman Suzanne Stanley fired an 81 and stands in a tie for 25th while senior Amanda Mathis is in a tie for 38th after a first-round 84. Gina Sharp ended the first round with an 85, while sophomore Leigh Phillips closed out scoring for MSU with an 89.

Host Florida State leads the team competition after the first round, shooting a 303 and leads by 11 strokes. In the individual competition, FSU's Lacey Agnew leads the field after a first round 73 and leads teammate Caroline Westrup by one stroke.

Second Round competition will begin at 7 a.m. Sunday while the tournament will conclude with Monday's third round.


Women's Tennis
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Head coach Tracy Lane's women's tennis team notched another victory to close out non-conference play Sunday, taking a 6-1 road win at UAB to improve to 4-3 heading into Southeastern Conference play next weekend.

MSU took an early 1-0 lead in the match, winning all three doubles matches against the Blazers. At court #1, State's tandem of Martina Banikova and Valeriya Makarycheva pulled out a tiebreaker 8-7(5) against UAB's duo of Gulsah Esen and Julia von Samson. At No. 2, the MSU duo of Elna de Villiers and DeAndra Saddler took an 8-4 decision from UAB's Antonia Nugent and Magdalena Czernik. The Lady Bulldog duo of Renee Joseph and Daniela Juskova improved their record to 4-0 in team play with their 8-4 victory over Samrin Tanzeem and Nischa Maier-Knapp.

Continuing the momentum from doubles, State went on to win five singles matches. At court #1, Banikova dominated her Blazer opponent Esen 6-1, 6-2 to record her 12 th win on the year. At No. 2, de Villiers, after winning the first set 6-2, went into a tiebreaker in second set, claiming it 7-6(2) to secure the victory. Serving as UAB's only point on the day, von Samson posted a 6-4, 7-5 victory over State's Juskova at No. 3.

On court #4, Joseph posted her seventh win on the season, taking a 7-5, 6-3 victory over UAB's Czernik. State's Makarycheva notched her ninth victory, defeating Tanzeem 6-1, 6-3 at court #5. At No. 6, Lady Bulldog Tatiana Feit improved to 5-0 in dual match play with a 6-1, 6-0 victory versus UAB's Nugent.

"We got a good win today," said Lane. "The girls all played really well with us now heading into SEC play."

Next up for the Lady Bulldogs is a 2007 SEC-opening road trip at South Carolina (March 2) and at Florida (March 4). The match against the Gamecocks is slated for 1:30 p.m. CT, while the contest with the Gators is set for 10 a.m. CT.


Men's Tennis
STARKVILLE, Miss. - The Mississippi State men's tennis team will be back in action Sunday, taking on South Alabama in Mobile, Ala. Match time is slated for 1 p.m. at the Bruce David Lubel Memorial Courts.

State is 3-2 this season and is coming off its most recent win against Louisiana Lafayette. The Bulldogs are currently ranked 54th-nationally in the latest ITA Poll and are led by a pair of juniors in Ivan Bjelica and Philippe Frayssinoux. Bjelica is ranked 38th in singles and is 14-9 in singles this season. Frayssinoux leads the team with 15 wins in singles play this season. Sophomore Ryan Farlow is 3-0 in dual matches this season while freshman Chris Doerr is 2-0 in dual matches.

South Alabama is 6-0 this season and is currently ranked 30th-nationally. The Jaguars are led by sophomore Marek Sramek who is ranked 32nd-nationally in singles. Also returning this season for USA are veterans Jack Baker, Dias Doskarayev and R.J. Nagel.

State leads the Jaguars is the series 11-6 and have won three straight going back to the 2004 season. Following Sunday's matchup, State will begin its conference schedule by hosting South Carolina and Florida next weekend.


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