News from MSU Media Relations--February 26

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

Softball
COLUMBUS, Ga. - North Carolina (8-8) took advantage of three Mississippi State pitchers, slugging its way to an 8-4 victory.

After MSU left two runners on in the top of the first, the Tar Heels took advantage of their chances in their half of the inning. Breanna Brown singled and stole second. One out later, Cassie Palmer reached on a fielder's choice. Palmer stole second, but Blair Hewett's throw sailed in center field, allowing Brown to score the game's first run. Jennifer Jacobs then hit a shot of Kelli Miller, putting runners at the corners and knocking Miller out of the game. Stephanie Murad followed with a sacrifice fly, scoring Palmer. Joslin Higgins and Whitney Allen followed with a single and a double, respectively, and UNC held a 4-0 lead after one inning.

The Heels added another run in the second. Sam Ingersoll singled and was sacrificed to second. Brown then doubled, scoring pinch-runner Marissa May.

Mississippi State got two runs back in the third. With one out and Chelsea Bramlett on second, Nakita Boyce singled, putting runners at the corners. Courtney Bures then singled, scoring Boyce. Katie Cooley then drove a long fly ball to center field that brought home Bramlett, cutting the deficit to 5-2.

But North Carolina tacked on three more in the fifth. With one out, Palmer and Jacobs singled, and Murad hit a shot over the left center field fence for a three run home run and an 8-2 lead.

MSU cut the lead in half on a wild play. With one out and Jessie Bailey on first, Lindsey Hunley hit a long fly ball to left field. But the ball bounced off Ashley Oxendine's glove and over the fence for Hunley's second home run of the tournament.

Kelli Miller (5-3) took the loss, going a third of an inning. Lisa Norris (5-6) earned the win for North Carolina.

Due to weather delays, the second game of bracket play was cancelled. Mississippi State returns to Starkville for a week of practice before heading to Chattanooga, Tenn. for the UTC Frost Tournament. Fans can follow all the action live on www.mstateathletics.com.


Track & Field
LEXINGTON, Ky. - Mississippi State senior Nicola Wilson recorded a season-best mark of 48 feet, 11 and half inches in the women's shot put finals at the 2007 Southeastern Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships on the University of Kentucky campus.

With her fourth-place finish in the shot put, Wilson has finished in the top five in the event in back-to-back seasons. In 2006, she established an MSU indoor record in the shot put with a throw of 48-11 ½ to finish fifth.

In other field events, freshman Wendy Copeland registered a jump of 39-07 in the triple jump competition. Her mark on Sunday ranks third all-time in the MState record books. The Tupelo, Miss.-native bettered her previous mark of 39-03 ¾, which she posed at the Tyson Invitational.

State's distance medley run squad turned in a time of 11 minutes, 54.14 seconds to finish eighth in the event.

The University of Tennessee claimed the league title with 120 points. 2006 SEC Champion Georgia finished second while LSU, Arkansas and South Carolina rounded out the top five teams.

The SEC Championships conclude the indoor season for the Maroon and White. The squad will turn its attention to the outdoor slate that begins next Friday, March 2. The Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs will travel to Tallahassee, Fla. for the Florida State Snowbird meet. The Bulldog men return four all-Americans from a year ago in seniors Nathan Daniels, Arthur Davis, Bruce Davis and Ezra Jones – all members of the 4x400-meter relay team.


Women's Golf
SANDESTIN, Fla. - The MSU women's golf team fired a 315 on Sunday afternoon at the Baytowne Golf Club in Sandestin, Fla., and moved into fifth place with one round to play at the Chrysler Challenge. State improved 16 strokes from the first round and notched their lowest round in the last seven rounds played.

The Lady Bulldogs were led on day two by freshman Suzanne Stanley who set a career low round by firing a 77 and moved up to a tie for 18th. Also tied for 18th is junior Julia Huh who shot a 78 in the second round and has a 158 total score. Senior Amanda Mathis shot an 82 on Sunday and is in a tie for 39th while sophomore Leigh Phillips fired a 78 in the second round and is in a tie for 44th. Gina Sharp fired an 86 in the second round and stands in a tie for 53rd heading into Monday's final round.

Host Florida State fired a 298 on Sunday and extended their lead to 20-strokes heading into the final round on Monday. FSU's Caroline Westrup overtook the individual lead on Sunday, firing a 73 and leads teammate Lacey Agnew and Mississippi's Dori Carter by two strokes.

Monday's final round will begin at 7 a.m. CT with a shotgun start.


Men's Tennis
MOBILE, Ala. - The Mississippi State men's tennis team dropped a close doubles point and never recovered as they lost 5-2 to 30th-ranked South Alabama Sunday in Mobile, Ala. With the loss, State fell to 3-3 on the season while the Jaguars improved to 7-0.

USA took the early 1-0 lead, winning all three doubles matches to take the opening point. The first match completed came on court #2, where Jaguars Dias Doskarayev and R.J. Nagel downed State's freshman tandem of Artem Kuznetsov and Pjotrs Necajevs 8-2. In a close match on court #3, MSU's Chris Doerr and Ryan Farlow fell 9-7 to Jaguars Jack Baker and Craig Dunne, which clinched the point for USA. On court #1, MSU's Ivan Bjelica and Philippe Frayssinoux had a 5-0 lead, but ultimately fell 8-7(3) in a tiebreaker to USA's Marek Sramek and Robert Hodel.

The Jaguars quickly expanded their lead when singles began. USA took a 2-0 lead when Jaguar Nagel downed State sophomore Farlow 6-0, 6-1 on court #5. USA's lead was expanded to 3-0 when 32nd-ranked Sramek topped State freshman Kuznetsov 6-1, 6-2 on court #3. The Bulldogs narrowed the margin to 3-1, when MSU's Doerr defeated USA's Dunne 7-5, 6-0 on court #6. However, the Jaguars ended the Bulldogs hope and clinched the match when USA's Baker closed out MSU's Frayssinoux 6-3, 6-1 on court #2. The Jaguars took a 5-1 lead when USA's Hodel defeated MSU's Edouard Benchetrit 6-3, 7-5 on court #4. State won their second and final match of the day when 38th-ranked Bjelica rallied to win a 3-6, 6-1, 1-0(9) decision over the Jaguar's Doskarayev.

With a win at #1 singles, State's Bjelica improved to 15-9 on the year while Doerr moved to 3-0 in dual matches this season. State now leads USA 11-7 in the all-time series. USA also snapped MSU's three-match winning streak in the series.

The Bulldog's next action will come Friday, March 2, when the Bulldogs open SEC play and a two-match homestand by hosting South Carolina at 2 p.m. Following that matchup,State will entertain former Bulldog head coach Andy Jackson and his Florida Gators on Sunday, March 4 in a match slated for 1 p.m.


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