KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Mississippi State (17-14, 2-6) grabbed an early lead, but it was not enough to slow down top-ranked Tennessee. MSU fell to the Lady Vols in the series finale, 5-1.
State wasted no time putting one on the board. Chelsea Bramlett, after sending what looked like a sure double just foul, led off the game with her first career home run, hitting Monica Abbott's 1-2 offering over the right field wall and giving the Bulldogs its first lead of the series.
But, the lead would be short lived. India Chiles led off Tennessee's half of the inning with a hard single to left field. Nicole Kajitani followed with a sharp double to left center field, bringing Chiles all the way around from first, tying the game. Lindsay Schutzler then gave the Lady Vols the lead with a double to the right field wall. Tonya Callahan sent a ground ball to shortstop Courtney Bures, but Sammie Jo Bailey could not handle her throw, and UT had runners at the corners with no outs. Tiffany Huff then made it a 3-1 lead on a sacrifice fly, and knocked Stephanie Comeaux out of the game in the process. Kelli Miller came on to retire the next two batters, keeping the Bulldog deficit at 3-1.
Tennessee tacked on another run in the second. With one out, Liane Horiuchi stole second. After Chiles grounded to third, Kajitani singled to right field, scoring Horiuchi. But Kajitani was thrown out trying to advance on the throw, ending the inning.
The Lady Vols made it 5-1 in the fifth inning. India Chiles singled, and Lillian Hammond came on to pinch-run. Hammond then stole second, and came home on Schutzler's single to left center.
Stephanie Comeaux (4-3) went one third of an inning, allowing three runs in the loss. Monica Abbott (22-1) picked up her third win of the series, striking out ten.
The Bulldogs will return to action on Tuesday for a midweek contest at UAB. Game time is set for 6 p.m. (CT) MSU will resume conference play Auburn on March 24.
BATON ROUGE, La. - Senior Amanda Mathis fired a 75 in the final round of the LSU/Cleveland Golf Classic on Sunday, finishing in a tie for second to lead Mississippi State. Mathis shot a 215 for the three-round event which was a new individual career record.
As a team, the Lady Bulldogs finished in 16th place after a round of 309 on Sunday. State finished the weekend with a 928, which was their second best 54-hole score of the season.
Junior Julia Huh also fired a 75 in the final round and finished with a 236 and tied for 66th. Sophomore Leigh Phillips shot a 79 on Sunday and ended the tournament with 239, which was a career best. Freshman Suzanne Stanley finished with a 241 while freshman Gina Sharp finished 1-stroke back with a 242.
Duke shot a 286 in the final round to hold on to the their lead and win the team title by six strokes. Duke's Amanda Blumenhert shot a 2-under 70 in Sunday's final round to clinch the win in the individual race.
MSU's next action will come next weekend (March 23-25) at the Liz Murphy Collegiate Classic in Athens, Ga.