STARKVILLE, Miss. - Following a weekend sweep of South Carolina, Mississippi State (24-15) looks to keep a season-long four game winning streak intact when they travel to Birmingham, Ala. to face Samford in a 6 p.m. (CT) game. Fans can also follow all the action live at www.mstateathletics.com.
Mississippi State leads the all-time series with Samford (18-14), 12-1. In Starkville, MSU leads 9-1, while in Birmingham, the Bulldogs lead 2-0. State holds a 1-0 advantage when played on a neutral field. MSU has outscored the Samford, 71-13.
Earlier this year, Mississippi State defeated Samford, 7-0, in Starkville. State pounded out 15 hits, the most Samford has given up all year. The Bulldogs threatened in the first two innings, but couldn't bring anyone home. MSU broke through in the third. Nakita Boyce and Hayle Guess led off with singles. One out later, Jessie Bailey singled to left field, scoring Guess. Lindsey Hunley then drove in Courtney Bures, and MSU had a 2-0 lead after three. State broke the game open in the fourth, scoring four times.
Freshman Chelsea Bramlett has had a strong year all season long, but none more so than this past week, when her performance in four games earned her SEC Freshman of the Week honors. The Cordova, Tenn. native hit .571 (8-14) with five runs, two RBI and a double. She also had a .643 slugging percentage and a .600 on-base percentage. Bramlett helped MSU to its first win at the M&F Bank Fastpitch Classic over Ole Miss, before leading the Bulldogs to a three-game sweep of South Carolina, its first home conference sweep since April 16-17, 2005 over Arkansas. Bramlett also set an MState record with four stolen bases in the series finale.
Kelli Miller leads the Bulldogs from the mound with a 10-6 record and a 1.60 ERA. In 87.2 innings of work, the senior has struck out 42 batters. Kelsey Nurnberg is 6-2 with a 2.38 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 67.2 innings of work.
Samford enters Wednesday's game with an 18-14 overall record, and 5-5 in the Ohio Valley Conference. The Bulldogs are coming off a weekend that saw them take two of three games at Austin Peay. As a team, Samford is hitting .253 with 28 doubles and 18 home runs. SU has also stolen 48 bases in only 62 attempts. Offensively, Samford is led by Shelley Stanley. The senior is hitting .313 with seven home runs, four doubles and 22 RBI. She has also scored 17 runs. Liz Pearse is hitting .318 with seven doubles, two triples and six stolen bases.
From the pitching circle, the Bulldogs are mainly led by two pitchers. Stephanie Royall leads the team with a 10-9 record and a 1.99 ERA. She also has 15 complete games, while striking out 118 batters in 123.0 innings. Susanna Meyer is 6-4 with a 4.02 ERA and 34 strikeouts. Opponents are hitting .271 against SU pitching.
The Bulldogs will return home this weekend to host Ole Miss. The teams open the series Friday night at 6 p.m. (CT) before closing it out with a doubleheader on Saturday starting at 1 p.m. (CT).
Track & Field
STARKVILLE, Miss. - After sweeping the men's and women's team titles at the Bulldog Invitational this past Saturday, Mississippi State's track and field team will travel to Austin, Texas for the prestigious Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays. The four-day event will begin on Wednesday, April 4 and continue thru Saturday. This year marks the 80th rendition of the Texas Relays.
Six events are scheduled for the opening day of the relays with MSU competing in four of them - decathlon, heptathlon, 1,500-meter and the 5,000-meter runs. Junior Joseph Queen and Sophomore Marrissa Harris will compete in the decathlon and heptathlon respectively. The decathlon will start at Noon while the heptathlon is slated to begin at 12:30 p.m. CST. A pair of Lady Bulldogs will compete in the 1,500-meter run on Wednesday evening. Sophomore Michelle Corrigan turned in a career-best time of four minutes, 38.15 seconds in the event at the MSU-hosted Bulldog Invitational. Senior Mina Thorstenson will join Corrigan in the distance run.
On the men's side, MState's Wade Martin, Robert Scribner and Ashenafi Arega are slated to run in the 5,000-meter run that will conclude the first day of events on the University of Texas campus. Martin, a senior from Cullman, Ala. posted a season-best time of 14:56.49 in the event at the Florida State Snowbird to open the outdoor campaign. Tupelo, Miss.-native, Scribner, registered a career-best mark of 14:45.56 at the Georgia Relays in the 1,500-meter run.
"This is a special meet for Mississippi State," said MSU head coach Al Schmidt. "We have walked away with some trophies in the past and looking to bring more back. There are some powerhouses here with teams from the Southeastern Conference and the Big XII."
The rest of the Maroon and White contingent will start competing on Thursday. Majority of the relay events will transpire on Saturday with the final event being the men's 4x400-meter relay. On Monday, Trackwire.com ranked State's 4x400-meter relay team eighth-best in the country behind Kentucky, LSU, Georgia and South Carolina.
To follow all the action from Mike A. Myers Stadium at UT, go to www.TexasSports.com. Live results will be posted throughout the event.