News from MSU Media Relations--April 6

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

Track & Field
AUSTIN, Texas - Mississippi State's men's 4x800-meter relay team finished third at the 2007 Texas Relays with a time of seven minutes, 20.29 seconds en route to a new school record in the event. The foursome crossed the line behind University of Southern California and Oral Roberts and ahead of Southeastern Conference foe LSU.

The foursome includes junior transfers Jonathan Rono, Golden Coachman along with seniors Nathan Daniels and Chris Woods. The marked time ranks in the top-five in the country coming into the weekend's activity. The previous MSU laurel in the event was set earlier this season at the Georgia Relays with a time of 7: 31.94.

"They ran great today, 7:20.29 is a great time and one of the top times in the country so far," said MSU head coach Al Schmidt. "They started off slow, but finished strong behind some good teams and ahead of LSU."

Sophomore Marrissa Harris finished up competition in the women's heptathlon, finishing with 4,984 total points in the event to place 17 th in the field. In her final three events, her best mark came in the long jump. She posted a jump of 18 feet, three inches.

In the men's decathlon, MState sophomore Darryl Brady closed out strong with 3,407 points on Friday and finished with a career-best 6,277 points in the event to place 14 th. Brady registered a personal-best mark in the javelin with a toss of 164-03.

Friday's competitions at the Texas Relays will begin at 9:30 a.m. CST with the running of the women's 4x100-meter relay. The first field event of the day is slated to begin at 10 a.m.

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.


Softball
STARKVILLE, Miss. - In what could have big tournament implications, Mississippi State (24-16, 7-7) begins a seven-game home stand when they welcome Ole Miss for a weekend series. The teams will play a single game Friday night at 6 p.m. (CT), followed by a doubleheader on Saturday at 1 p.m. (CT). The games can be heard on MSU's radio station, WMSV 91.1 FM and can also be heard live on the station's website, www.wmsv.msstate.edu. Fans can also follow all the action live at www.mstateathletics.com.

Mississippi State leads the all-time series with Ole Miss, 21-14. In Starkville, MSU leads 12-4, while in Oxford, the series is tied 8-8. Ole Miss holds a 2-1 advantage when played on a neutral field. MSU has outscored the Rebels, 150-89.

Earlier this year, Mississippi State defeated Ole Miss, 5-2, in the fifth annual M&F Bank Fastpitch Classic. It was State's first win at the Classic since 2004. With two outs in the seventh, Chelsea Bramlett singled, scoring Sammie Jo Bailey and Katie Johnson. Bramlett moved to third on a wild pitch, and came home on Nakita Boyce's single, giving Mississippi State the lead. State broke a scoreless tie in the third when Boyce doubled home Michelle Kinney. Ole Miss tied the game in the bottom half. Mary Jane Callahan singled to right field, knocking home Alise Doubt. After the Rebels took a 2-1 lead in the fourth, MSU tied the game in the sixth when Becky Nye's throwing error allowed Bramlett to come home. Bramlett led Mississippi State, going 2-4 with two runs and two RBI, and Boyce was 2-3 with two RBI.

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 2.25 ERA and 33 strikeouts in 71.2 innings of work.

Ole Miss enters this weekend's series with a 16-22 overall record, and 7-7 in the SEC. The Rebels are coming off a weekend that saw them take two of three games from 19th-ranked Florida. As a team, Ole Miss is hitting .255 with 40 doubles and 25 home runs. UM has also stolen 17 bases in only 29 attempts. Offensively, the Rebels are led by Lauren Grill. The freshman is hitting .315 with 11 home runs, six doubles and 21 RBI. She has also scored 24 runs. Mary Jane Callahan is hitting .318 with five doubles, 20 RBI and 12 runs.

From the pitching circle, Ole Miss is led by a trio of pitchers. Mary Jane Callahan leads the team with an 8-7 record and a 1.76 ERA. She also has eight complete games, while striking out 84 batters. Tara Willitt is 6-4 with a 2.66 ERA with 48 strikeouts. Becky Nye has struck out 69 batters, but is just 2-11 on the year. Opponents are hitting just .247 against Rebel pitching.

Following this weekend's action, the Bulldogs will host Southern Miss on Tuesday, April 10 at 6 p.m. (CT).


Men's Tennis
STARKVILLE, Miss. - The Mississippi State men's tennis team will be back in action on the road this weekend, taking on top-ranked Georgia on Friday, followed by a Sunday matchup with 22nd-ranked Tennessee. Friday's contest is set for 4 p.m. CT while Sunday's match is slated for 1 p.m. CT.

State enters this weekend with a 6-10 overall record, including a 3-5 mark in Southeastern Conference play. The Bulldogs are currently led by juniors Ivan Bjelica and Philippe Frassionoux. Bjelica, ranked 32nd, is 22-11 overall this season and has won seven of his last eight matches. Frayssinoux, who is 21-12 this season, broke into the rankings this past week at #75. Also helping State in the middle and the bottom of the lineup are sophomore Ryan Farlow and freshman Chris Doerr. Farlow is 19-11 this season including a 6-2 mark in the SEC. Doerr is 6-2 in dual matches including a perfect 6-0 record at the #6 position.

Georgia (19-0, 8-0) has won 49 of their last 50 matches with their lone loss coming in last season's national championship. Six UGA players are ranked in singles while three doubles tandems are ranked. Georgia is led by All-Americans John Isner and Travis Helgeson. Isner, the nation's top ranked singles player, is 32-4 overall this season. Helgeson is 28-4 and is ranked 11th. Isner, along with Luis Flores are also the nation's top doubles team.

Tennessee is 14-4 this season, including a 6-2 record in SEC play. The Vols are led by 33rd-ranked Kaden Hensel and 36th-ranked Bobby Cameron. Hensel is 25-9 this year while Cameron is 24-8. Hensel and Cameron are also ranked 23rd as a doubles team.


Women's Tennis
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State's Lady Bulldog tennis team hosts third-ranked Georgia and No. 24 Tennessee this weekend to close out the 2007 home slate at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre. On Friday, the battle of the Lady Bulldogs is set for 1 p.m. The match versus the Lady Vols is also slated for a 1 p.m. start on Easter Sunday.

MSU (5-10, 1-7 SEC) is paced by Martina Banikova, who entered the national polls this week, earning a No. 71 national ranking. State comes into the weekend after a 4-3 heartbreak loss at home versus No. 55 Arkansas last Friday. After the Lady Bulldogs went up 3-0 early, they saw their lead even to 3-3 before an UA win at court #4 decided the match. State then fell 7-0 to No. 40 LSU in Baton Rouge on Sunday afternoon.

No. 3 Georgia (15-1, 7-1 SEC) will come in fresh off a two-win homestand last week, including a 5-3 comeback win over 16 th-ranked Vanderbilt Sunday. UGA also posted a 6-1 victory over No. 26 Kentucky Friday. UGA is led by seventh-ranked Natalie Frazier.

No. 24 Tennessee (9-8, 4-4 SEC) split with VU and UK last week, falling 4-3 to the Commodores and taking a 6-1 win over UK. UT is paced by 35th-ranked Blakeley Griffith.


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