News from MSU Media Relations--April 15

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

Men's Tennis
STARKVILLE, Miss. - The Mississippi State men's tennis team ended its regular season Saturday, dropping a 6-1 decision to seventh-ranked Mississippi at the A. J. Pitts Tennis Centre. The Bulldogs (6-13, 3-8), dropped the doubles point and could only garner one victory in singles.

UM took the early advantage in doubles when Rebels Robbye Poole and Jakob Klaesson jumped ahead of Bulldogs Chris Doerr and Ryan Farlow on court #3. Poole and Klaesson won the first seven games en route to an 8-1 victory of Doerr and Farlow. After a close match early on court #2, UM's duo of Matthias Wellermann and Jonas Berg broke serve at 2-2 on their way to an 8-3 win, which clinched the opening point for the Rebels. In the last match completed on court #1, Bulldogs Ivan Bjelica and Philippe Frayssinoux got a win after UM's 30th-ranked duo of Erling Tveit and Eric Claesson retired with the score knotted at 5-5.

Mississippi (20-3, 9-2), slowly increased their momentum when singles began, winning the first set on four courts. UM took a 2-0 advantage when Klaesson downed State's Necajevs 6-2, 6-1 on court #6. UM extended their lead to 3-0 after 19th-ranked Tveit closed out State's 37th-ranked Bjelica 6-0, 6-1 on court #1. MSU narrowed the gap to 3-1 when 75th-ranked Bulldog Frayssinoux topped 84th-ranked Rebel Wellermann 6-2, 5-0(ret.) on court #2. The clinching point for UM came on court #5 where Jonas Berg held off MSU freshman Doerr 6-2, 6-4. The lead went to 5-1 when UM's 91st-ranked Claesson downed State freshman Kuznetsov 6-2, 6-4 on court #3. After winning the first set, State's Farlow could not hold on as he fell 2-6, 6-4, 1-0(6) to UM's 40th-ranked Poole at the #4 position, giving Mississippi their sixth and final point.

The Bulldogs dropped their 19th consecutive match to UM with the loss on Saturday. Frayssinoux won his 23rd match of the season with his win on court #2 while the Bulldog tandem of Frayssinoux and Bjelica improved to 8-7 in dual matches with their victory.

The Bulldogs will continue play Thursday morning at 8 a.m. in the first round of the SEC Tournament in Baton Rouge, La. State, the #9 seed, will face the #8 seed Vanderbilt in the first round. The winner will advance to Friday's quarterfinal and face top-ranked Georgia.


Women's Tennis
OXFORD, Miss. - The Mississippi State women's tennis squad dropped a 4-1 decision to rival Mississippi to close out the regular season on Saturday. The match was delayed an hour and moved indoors to the Gillom Sports Center due to rain.

Mississippi grabbed the early 1-0 lead, taking the top court in doubles after a split at the No. 2 and 3 positions. State took a quick 8-1 victory on court #3 to start the day's action, with Lady Bulldogs Renee Joseph and Daniela Juskova downing Lady Rebs Kseniia Tokarieva and Carlin Cochran. UM evened things with an 8-2 win on court #2 by UM's duo of Nika Koukhartchouk and Preethi Subramanian over State's Elna de Villiers and DeAndra Saddler. Clinching the doubles point for UM, the duo of Ilona Somers and Soledad Podipnik held on for an 8-5 victory over Lady Bulldogs Martina Banikova and Valeriya Makarycheva at No. 1.

UM then claimed three of the first four matches complete in singles to clinch the victory.

First off the court, State's 71 st-ranked Banikova fell in a 6-2, 6-1 match against 74th-ranked Lady Reb Somers to give UM a 2-0 lead. UM took a 6-4, 6-4 win at court #3 with Tokarieva prevailing over State's Juskova. After taking the first set 7-6(5), State's de Villiers went on to take her match with a 6-4 win in the second set versus UM's Koukhartchouk at the No. 2 spot for MSU's first point of the day.

Clinching the match for the Lady Rebs was UM's Podlipnik, taking her match 6-3, 6-2 over Joseph at the No. 4 position. The last two courts were suspended with the teams tied at court #5 and State up on court #6. State's Saddler was in a tiebreaker in the first set with UM's Subramanian at No. 5, while Makarycheva had taken her first set 6-2, and was up 3-1 in the second, when her match was suspended with Cochran at No. 6.

The Lady Bulldogs will be back in action this Thursday, April 19, when they open competition in the first round of the 2007 Southeastern Conference Championship. State, the No. 11 seed, will face sixth-seeded host Kentucky at 9 a.m. CT that day.


Track & Field
OXFORD, Miss. - Mississippi State reeled in five NCAA Regional qualifying marks at the Mississippi Open on Saturday at the University of Mississippi. The Bulldogs notched four post season marks at the event and the MSU women posted one regional mark.

MState's men registered two qualifying marks in both the 400-meter dash and the 800-meter run. Bruce Davis and Arthur Davis earned bids to the post-season competition in the 400-meter dash. B. Davis clocked a time of 46.72 seconds while A. Davis finished right behind him at 46.77. It marks the second-straight season that A. Davis has reached the NCAA Regionals in the 400-meter dash. In the 800-meter run, the Maroon and White finished one-two with junior Golden Coachman registering a qualifying time of one minute, 49.97 seconds to win the event. Senior Chris Woods finished runner-up with a 1:50.03 mark. Woods advances to the regionals in back-to-back seasons in the 800-meter run.

"Today was an excellent day considering the weather conditions that we were faced with," said MSU Associate head coach Steve Dudley. "Anytime you get five qualified, it is worth the trip. I really think running in the weather conditions last week at Texas really prepared us for today."

Lady Bulldog freshman Bridgette Rose became the sixth competitor on the women's side to earn an NCAA Regional mark. The Leeds, Ala.- native claimed the 100-meter hurdles event with a time of 13.78. In the 1500-meter run, State's Mina Thorstenson and Brittany Detzel finished first and second respectively in the event. Thorstenson paced the event at 4:48.07 and Detzel carded a personal-best in the event with a time of 4:49.37.

MSU's portion that is competing in the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut Calif. this weekend will finish up competition on Sunday. The full squad returns to action on Saturday, April 21 at the Auburn Invitational.


Softball
STARKVILLE, Miss. - For the first time since 1997, Mississippi State played two extra inning games as part of a doubleheader. Unfortunately, the Bulldogs came out on the wrong side in both games, falling to No. 6 LSU 4-1 in nine and 4-3 in nine at the MSU Softball Field.

In the first game, Tayl'r Hollis' two-run home run in the top of the ninth broke a 1-1 tie and propelled the No. 6 LSU Tigers to the 4-1 victory.

With one out and Killian Roessner on first, Hollis hit the first pitch over the left center field wall. Rachel Mitchell was then hit by a pitch, and Kristen Hobbs singled, ending Kelli Miller's day. Shannon Stein then singled off Sara Hickerson, and Mitchell scored on Courtney Bures' throwing error for the fourth run.

Neither team scored in regulation, with each team allowing just one hit through seven innings.

The game was a pitcher's duel for the first seven innings, as MSU's Kelli Miller and LSU's Dani Hofer each allowed only one hit. But in extra innings, things changed.

With one out in the eighth inning, pinch-hitter Vanessa Soto grounded to first. But, Sammie Jo Bailey mishandled the ball, allowing Soto to reach. Shannon Stein then singled through the right side, giving the Tigers runners at first and second with one out. After pinch-hitter Quinlan Duhon grounded to third for the second out Erica Sluss grounded a 3-2 pitch to Courtney Bures, but the ball bounced off her glove, allowing Soto to score the games first run.

However, MSU tied the game in the bottom half. With one out and Michelle Kinney on first, Chelsea Bramlett hit into a force out. After Bramlett stole second, Nakita Boyce doubled to right center, bringing home Bramlett with the tying run. But, Boyce was thrown out at third trying to stretch it into a triple.

Kelli Miller retired the first ten LSU batters, before allowing an infield single to Jazz Jackson. Miller finished the game pitching 8.1 innings allowing five hits and striking out four in falling to 11-8. Dani Hofer went the distance for LSU, striking out 13 and allowing just four hits.

Rachel Mitchell's one-out sacrifice fly in the ninth inning scored Andrea Smith from second base, giving LSU the 4-3 victory in the nightcap.

Quinlan Duhon led off the ninth with a walk, and was replaced by Smith. Jazz Jackson then laid down a bunt between the pitcher and first baseman, putting runners on first and second with no out. Mitchell then drove the first pitch to the right center field wall. Hayle Guess made the catch, crashing into the wall, allowing Smith to come around from second.

LSU opened the game getting on the board early. After each team went down in order in the first inning, Hollis came up in the second and hit her second home run of the day, this time hooking the ball just around the right field foul pole for the 1-0 Tiger lead.

The Tigers scored twice more in the third. With two outs and Rachel Mitchell on first, Leslie Klein doubled, scoring Mitchell. Killian Roessner then singled, scoring Klein and making it 3-0 LSU.

Mississippi State got a run back in the bottom half. Sammie Jo Bailey drew a leadoff walk, and Katie Johnson was hit by a pitch. Two outs later, Nakita Boyce walked, loading the bases. Hayle Guess then sent a hard shot that bounced off the third baseman, bringing home pinch-runner Rachel Hurley. But, Johnson was thrown out at the plate, ending the inning.

MSU cut the lead to one in the fourth. Bures hit a lead off double down the left field line, and moved to third on Cooley's sacrifice bunt. Jessie Bailey then singled her home, making it 3-2 LSU.

State tied the game in the fifth. Hayle Guess singled up the middle with two outs. She then stole second, and moved to third on Roessner's throwing error. Bures followed with her second double of the game, scoring Guess with the tying run.

The Bulldogs had a chance to take the lead in the sixth. Sammie Jo Bailey hit a leadoff double to right center. But, Tiffany Garcia came in and struck out the side to get out of the jam.

In the seventh, MSU squandered a golden opportunity to win the game in the seventh. After Boyce struck out, Guess walked and Bures singled up the middle. Cooley was then intentionally walked, loading the bases. But, Jessie Bailey forced Guess at home, and Lindsey Hunley popped to third, ending the threat.

Mississippi State tied a season-high, leaving 13 runners on base. Courtney Bures led MSU, going 3-5 with a run and an RBI. Sara Hickerson went the final three innings, falling to 5-5.

The Bulldogs will return to action, hosting UAB on Tuesday, April 17 at 6 p.m. (CT) before traveling to Mississippi Valley State on April 18 (6 p.m. CT).


Baseball
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Saturday night's Mississippi State-Tennessee baseball game scheduled for a 6:06 p.m. CT start has been cancelled due to persistent rains in the Knoxville area.

The game has been rescheduled as part of an 11 a.m. (CT) Sunday doubleheader featuring two seven-inning games.

The Bulldogs (23-8, 8-5 SEC) rode the pitching of starter Chad Crosswhite and relief pitcher Aaron Weatherford to a series-opening 4-3 win over Tennessee (20-14, 6-7 SEC).


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