News from MSU Media Relations--April 8

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

Track & Field
AUSTIN, Texas - Mississippi State senior distance standout Jennifer McPherson earned an NCAA Regional qualifying mark in the 1500-meter run on Saturday at the 2007 Texas Relays while MSU men's 4x400-meter relay team closed out the event with a second-place finish.

With the second-place finish, the Maroon and White finished in the top six of the eight relays that were competed at the Texas Relays.

Combating tough weather conditions in the Austin, Texas area, McPherson posted a season-best and regional qualifying time of four minutes, 27.16 seconds. The Nampa, Idaho-native has qualified for the post-season event for the second-straight season.

"It was great to see Jen (McPherson) qualify in this type of weather," said MSU head coach Al Schmidt. "It was raining, snowing and very windy today."

State's foursome Arthur Davis, Bruce Davis, Nathan Daniels and Ezra Jones turned in a time of 3: 10.44 and finished just shy of LSU, who won the Cleburne Price Jr. 4x400-meter relay. The Bulldogs finished ahead of third-place Georgia. In the men's distance medley relay, MState notched a six-place finish with Golden Coachman, Jones, Chris Woods and Travis McKay clocking a time of 10:16.44.

"It seemed like we finished second in about everything that we ran in," said MSU head coach Al Schmidt. "It was a pretty good meet for us, competing against some SEC and Big XI schools. I was pleased with the way our kids attacked it today."

MSU returns to action on Saturday, April 21, competing in the Auburn Invitational in Auburn, Ala.

STARKVILLE, Miss. - After getting just three hits last night, Mississippi State (26-17, 9-8) made up for its lack of offense, pounding out 18 hits on the day on its way to a doubleheader sweep of Ole Miss, 7-4 and 8-0.

For the second straight game, MSU grabbed an early first inning lead. Nakita Boyce and Hayle Guess drew one out walks. Courtney Bures then singled up the middle, scoring Boyce. After Katie Cooley hit into a fielder's choice, Bures came home on a wild pitch. Sammie Jo Bailey then walked, putting runners at the corners. But, Jessie Bailey struck out to end the inning, but not before State grabbed a 2-0 lead.

Ole Miss came right back in the second. Ashley Dowdy hit a leadoff double to right center, and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Amber Tramp then singled, cutting the lead to 2-1, and Courtnie Ghinaudo singled. Lauren Rowe moved the runners over, but Kelsey Nurnberg got pinch-hitter Elizabeth Holbert to fly out, and Emily Sarver grounded out, keeping lead at 2-1.

State increased the lead back to two in the bottom half. Katie Johnson led off with a double to left, and was sacrificed to third. Johnson then came home on a wild pitch.

But, the Rebels tied the game in the third. With two outs, Mary Jane Callahan singled. Dowdy then hit a 1-0 pitch over the straight away center field wall, tying the game at three.

The Bulldogs retook the lead in the third. With one out, Bures and Cooley walked, and Bures moved to third on an error by Ashley Tramp. Sammie Jo Bailey then singled, driving in Bures and knocking Brittany Nye out of the game. Callahan struck out Jessie Bailey for the second out. Johnson then reached first when Lisa Conchos booted a ground ball. But, Cooley was thrown out at the plate to end the inning with MSU ahead 4-3.

Mississippi State struck again in the fourth. With one out, Chelsea Bramlett singled and stole second, and Boyce walked. Two batters later, Bures drew a ten-pitch walk to load the bases. Cooley followed with a 13-pitch walk, bringing in Bramlett and giving Sate the 5-3 lead. But, Sammie Jo Bailey grounded to third, stranding the bases loaded.

Ole Miss made it 5-4 in the top of the fifth. Conchos singled and advanced on a wild pitch. Lauren Grill singled, driving Conchos home. Callahan followed with a single, and the Rebels had first and second with no outs. But Ashley Dowdy struck out, and Tramp hit into a double play, ending the inning.

MSU tacked on two insurance runs in the sixth. With two outs, Courtney Bures grounded to short, but Ashley Dowdy could not handle it, allowing Bures to reach base. Katie Cooley then hit the first pitch over the left center field wall for her first home run of the year, giving the Bulldogs the 7-4 margin.

Sara Hickerson went the final four innings, striking out two and improving to 5-4 on the year.

State began the second game by again scoring in the first inning. Chelsea Bramlett led off with a single and stole second. After two quick outs moved her to third, Courtney Bures grounded to short. But, Ashley Dowdy couldn't handle it, allowing Bures to reach and Bramlett to come home and give MSU a 1-0 lead.

In the third, MState added to its lead. With one out, Hayle Guess hit a triple to the left field wall, and came home on Bures' ground out to put State up 2-0.

With two outs in the top of the fourth, Dowdy was hit by a pitch. Amber Tramp then singled to right, but Dowdy was thrown out at third to end the inning.

Ole Miss threatened in the fifth. With one out, Lauren Rowe walked, and Alise Doubt singled. The runners then advanced on a passed ball. But, Kelli Miller struck out Emily Sarver, and got Lisa Conchos to ground out to get out of the inning.

Guess tripled to lead off the bottom half of the inning. But, Bures hit a ground ball to second, and Guess was thrown out at home. Katie Cooley then doubled, putting runners at second at third with one out. Sammie Jo Bailey made it 3-0 when her ground ball was mishandled by Lauren Rowe at first.

The Bulldogs scored five more times in the sixth, capped off by Guess' school record third triple of the game.

Guess was 3-4 with three triples, two runs and an RBI. Cooley was also 3-4 with two doubles a run and an RBI.

Kelli Miller tossed her fourth complete game, striking out four and improving to 11-7.

Mississippi State returns to action Tuesday, April 10 for a non-conference matchup with Southern Miss, starting at 6:00 p.m. Fans can also follow all the action live at

Women's Tennis
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State's lady netters will host No. 24 Tennessee on Easter Sunday at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre to close out their 2007 home slate. The match against the Lady Vols is slated to begin at 1 p.m.

MSU (5-11, 1-8 SEC) opened the weekend hosting No. 3 Georgia in a 6-1 loss Friday afternoon. Lady Bulldog Martina Banikova (71 st-ranked) highlighted the match with an upset over Georgia's seventh-ranked Natalie Frazier.

No. 24 Tennessee (10-8, 5-4 SEC) took a 5-2 match over Mississippi on Friday in Oxford, gaining them their 10th win of the season. After sweeping the doubles matches, the Lady Vols claimed the first three singles matches to clinch the match.

The Lady Bulldogs close out dual match play as they travel to in-state rival Mississippi on Saturday, April 14. The match against the Lady Rebs is slated for 1 p.m. at the Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center.

Gene's Page Top Stories