STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State University athletic officials announced the Lady Bulldog basketball team will open play in the 2007 Women's National Invitation Tournament on Sunday, March 18 in a 2 p.m. contest at Humphrey Coliseum. MState will face the winner of Wednesday night's Tulane/Jackson State matchup.
General admission tickets are $9 each and $4 for MSU students with a valid student identification card. Tickets will be available at the MSU Ticket Office at Humphrey Coliseum the day of the game only.
MState is making its fifth appearance in the WNIT. The Lady Bulldogs last played in the tournament during the 2005 season, falling to Arkansas State. MState is 3-4 all-time in the WNIT and has advanced as far as the quarterfinals during the 2001 season. This is the Lady Bulldogs' seventh postseason appearance under Sharon Fanning and the second in the past three seasons.
SPRINGFIELD, La. - Mississippi State wrapped up the fourth annual Carter Plantation Intercollegiate with an eighth-place finish after posting a round of 296 on Tuesday in Springfield, La. The finish by the Bulldog squad is a spring season best.
Sophomore Carlos Sainz, Jr. was MSU's top-finisher in the 54-hole event, posting his second-straight top-20 finish and third on the season. The Elgin, Ill.-native fired a final-round 1-over par 73. State's low-round of the day came from sophomore Noah Goldman. Goldman registered a 2-under par score of 70. The Longwood, Fla.-product rebounded from Monday's rounds of 75 and 80 to finish 30th in the individual standings. Brian Mason turned in a 3-over par 75 to maintain the MState scorecard. Matt Fast and Greg Huxman each carded a 78 on the final day.
Host-Southeastern Louisiana claimed team honors for the second consecutive year with a 2-under par tournament score. Middle Tennessee State and South Alabama finished second and third respectively. SELU's James Taverner took home medalist honors with a final round 67.
State will break in conjunction with the university's spring break this week and will convene back on March 19 to prep for the University of South Alabama Spring Classic in Mobile, Ala. on March 26.
LEXINGTON, Ky. - Mississippi State (17-11, 2-3) picked up its first two conference wins of the season, sweeping a doubleheader from Kentucky. MSU shutout the Wildcats (13-8, 1-4), 7-0, then held on in Game Two for a 9-7 win. The Bulldogs have now won nine consecutive games over UK, and six straight in Lexington.
For the third time in four games, the Bulldogs took an early 2-0 lead. Chelsea Bramlett and Nakita Boyce led off the game with back-to-back infield singles. On out later, Courtney Bures hit a bloop single to right center, scoring both.
However, after Bures' RBI single, Kentucky pitcher Amber Matousek retired 11 of the next 12 Bulldog batters. But, Kelli Miller was just as good, retiring the first 11 batters. Brooke Marnitz broke up the perfect streak when she reached on Bramlett's fielding error.
MSU tacked on four more in the fifth. Kinney earned a leadoff walk, and was sacrificed to second by Blair Hewett. Bramlett then hit a high fly ball down the right field line that Destinee Mordecai was unable to make a sliding catch, and the Bulldogs had runners at second and third with one out. Nakita Boyce followed with a ground ball to second, but Natalie Smith's throw pulled Alli Eckman of the base, and both runners scored. Bures then sent a long fly ball to left center that Audrey Meyer appeared to catch. But, the ball fell out of her glove, and Bures ended up on third with an RBI triple. Sammie Jo Bailey ended the scoring with an RBI double.
After getting the first batter in the fifth to foul out, Miller's no-hit bid ended on Eckman's double to left center. But Miller got the next to batters out to end any hope of a rally.
The Bulldogs added another run in the seventh inning to close the scoring.
Miller went the distance for her third complete game and second shutout of the season, improving to 7-5, 1-2 in the SEC. Chelsea Bramlett and Courtney Bures each had three hits for MSU.
In the nightcap, Kentucky got on the board early. Audrey Meyer led off the first with a walk and Natalie Smith reached on a bunt single. Brooke Marnitz sacrificed them over, and Molly Johnson singled to right field, plating two.
MSU came right back in the second, as the Bulldogs took advantage of four UK errors, sending 13 batters to the plate in the process. With two outs and runners at the corners, Michelle Kinney singled to right, cutting the deficit to one, Blair Hewett then gave State the lead with a single that Ashley Fertic couldn't handle, allowing Hewett to reach second. Chelsea Bramlett followed with an RBI single, and went to second went Ashley Dimkich couldn't handle the throw. After Nakita Boyce was hit by a pitch, Hayle Guess singled, scoring Bramlett. Bures then doubled, scoring Boyce and Guess, and the Bulldogs held a 7-2 lead.
Mississippi State another run in the third when Bramlett reached on a fielder's choice, stole second, and then scored when Boyce singled and Smith threw the ball away.
Kentucky battled back in its half of the third. With one out, Marnitz hit her tenth home run of the season to center field. Johnson followed with a single, and Katie Campbell hit UK's second homerun of the inning, knocking Stephanie Comeaux out of the game and cutting the deficit to 8-5. But Sara Hickerson came on and struck out the next two hitters to end the inning.
State added a run in the sixth inning when Nakita Boyce hit her league-leading fifth triple of the season and Hayle Guess singled her home.
Kentucky again cut into State's lead. Ashley Fertic reached whenJessie Bailey couldn't handle her ground ball. Becky Bishop then hit Kentucky's third home run of the game, and MSU's lead was down to 9-7. UK loaded the bases, but Hickerson got Campbell to ground out to short to end the rally.
Stephanie Comeaux (4-1) earned the victory, and Sara Hickerson picked up her sixth save. Hayle Guess and Blair Hewett each had two hits and two RBI.
Mississippi State will take a break from conference play when they face Morehead State, Thursday in a 2 p.m. doubleheader.