News from MSU Media Relations--April 19

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

ITTA BENA, Miss. - Mississippi Valley State (24-20) scored three times in the fifth inning to erase a two-run deficit and defeat Mississippi State (28-20) for the first time in nine tries, 5-3.

Traci Roper led off the inning laying down a bunt. But, Bramlett threw the ball into right field, allowing Roper to reach. Two outs later, Mitchell singled to left center and advanced on the throw to third, and MVSU had runners in scoring position with two outs. Erica Hardin pulled the Devilettes within one with a single, scoring Roper and knocking Kelsey Nurnberg out of the game. Sara Hickerson came on, and gave up a two run single to Candy Shumpert, giving Mississippi Valley State the 4-3 lead.

Chelsea Bramlett led off the game with her first hit in four games. But, the freshman was immediately called out for leaving first base early trying to steal second. Nakita Boyce then lined to the pitcher and Hayle Guess flied to right field to end the inning.

MVSU quickly grabbed the lead in bottom half. Shaina Mitchell led off with home run to center field. After two ground outs, Aisha Ledet singled. However, Natasha McFadden struck out, and the Devilettes went into the second inning with a 1-0 lead.

In the second, Katie Cooley hit a one-out double down the left field line. But, after Sammie Jo Bailey advanced her, Katie Johnson struck out, stranding Cooley at third.

MSU took the lead in the fourth. After Boyce grounded to first, Guess reached when shortstop Angelia Jones bobbled her ground ball. Guess then stole second, and moved to third on Bures' ground out. Cooley brought her home, singling up the middle and tying the game. Sammie Jo Bailey then singled up the middle, and Katie Johnson singled to right field, giving the Bulldogs the lead as Cooley came around to score. Jessie Bailey made it 3-1 on a single to third base. Nicole Henderson got Michelle Kinney to ground out and end the inning.

MVSU tacked on an insurance run in the sixth.

Katie Johnson led off the seventh for the Bulldogs with a double into the left field corner. After Jessie Bailey advanced her to third, Michelle Kinney hit a short fly ball to left field. Johnson tagged up on the play, but the throw was in plenty of time to get her at the plate, ending the game.

Katie Cooley led the Bulldogs with two hits, a run and an RBI. Kelsey Nurnberg (7-3) took the loss, going 4 2/3 innings, striking out two.

The Bulldogs return to conference play this weekend. MSU will travel to Athens, Ga. to face Georgia. The series begins Saturday with a 1 p.m. (CT) doubleheader, and concludes with a single game on Sunday at 1 p.m. (CT).

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Six home games, including a season-opening Thursday night nationally televised game with LSU and a Friday season-ending contest against arch-rival Ole Miss, highlight Mississippi State's 2007 football schedule, MSU Director of Athletics Larry Templeton announced Wednesday.

State opens the '07 campaign against the Southeastern Conference Western Division Tigers at Davis Wade Stadium at Scott Field on ESPN, Thursday, Aug. 30, a match-up that was announced by the SEC office and MSU last month. It marks the second-straight season that the Bulldogs have been involved in the first televised college football game of the year.

MSU completes its regular season on Friday, Nov. 23, by playing host to rival Ole Miss, in the Battle for the Golden Egg. The game will be televised by one of the SEC broadcast partners and will kick off at 12 noon.

MState's other two conference home games in '07 are against traditional rivals Tennessee (10/13) and Alabama (11/10), two teams that, like LSU, appeared in post-season bowls last year.

The 2007 schedule also features first-time opponent Gardner-Webb (9/22), a North Carolina-based Division I-AA institution, and UAB (10/6) for homecoming.

The Bulldogs play road games at conference foes Auburn (9/15), South Carolina (9/29), Kentucky (10/27) and Arkansas (11/17). State also travels to Tulane (9/8) and West Virginia (10/20).


Saturday, Sept. 8--at Tulane--TBA
Saturday, Sept. 15--at Auburn--TBA
Saturday, Sept. 29--at South Carolina--TBA
SATURDAY, OCT. 6--UAB (Homecoming)--TBA
Saturday, Oct. 20--at West Virginia--TBA
Saturday, Oct. 27--at Kentucky--TBA
Saturday, Nov. 17--at Arkansas--TBA

Women's Golf
STARKVILLE, Miss. - The Mississippi State women's golf team will conclude its regular season this weekend as it joins the Old Waverly Golf Club in hosting the 2007 Southeastern Conference Women's Golf Championship. The three-day event, which begins on Friday, is set to begin at 8:30 a.m. CT. each day.

Mississippi State is set to host the tournament for the first time since 1994 when it was held at Old Waverly. Playing for the Lady Bulldogs this weekend will be senior Amanda Mathis, junior Julia Huh, sophomore Leigh Phillips and freshmen Gina Sharp and Suzanne Stanley. Mathis leads State in stroke average this season with a 76.26. The Picayune, Miss., native has two top-10 finishes and an individual victory last fall at the Wildcat Fall Invitational. Junior Julia Huh has led MSU in two tournaments this season including a 12th place finish at the Chrysler Challenge. Huh currently holds a 78.52 average which is second on the team.

Joining State will be all 11 other SEC teams that will be in competition in one of the country's toughest women's golf conference championships. Nine teams are ranked in the top-30 in the country according to Golfweek while four teams are ranked in the top-10.

Considered one of the finest courses in the South, the Old Waverly Golf Club will play as a par-72, 6,246-yard course for the championship. The course has hosted a number of prestigious events including the 1999 U.S. Women's Open and most recently the 2006 U.S. Women's Mid-Amateur. The course also hosted the SEC Men's Championship in 1991.

"It is a tremendous honor to be hosting the SEC Championship at the prestigious Old Waverly Golf Club," said MSU head coach Christi Sanders. "The event only comes around to our area every 12 years in an alphabetical rotation, so it is really special to this group of young ladies I have on the squad at this time. We look forward to playing this close to the MSU campus and would like to invite all fans, faculty, staff and students to come out and experience the southern hospitality of Old Waverly and watch the best collegiate women golfers in the nation."

Admission to the event is free for all three days. More information is available on the tournament central page on

Women's Tennis
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State's women's tennis squad will open play in the 2007 Southeastern Conference Championship Thursday in Lexington, Ky. The Lady Bulldogs, seeded 11th, will compete against sixth-seeded host Kentucky in Thursday's first round at 9 a.m. CT.

MSU (5-13, 1-10 SEC) closed out the season on the road last weekend at in-state rival Mississippi in a 4-1 loss to the Lady Rebs. Climbing up the ranks this week, Lady Bulldog sophomore Martina Banikova moved from No. 71 to No. 53 in the latest national rankings, released Tuesday by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.

Kentucky (17-6, 6-5 SEC), ranked 31st in the country, enters this weekend after closing out the regular season by suffering a 6-1 loss to No. 15 Vanderbilt this past weekend. UK's tandem of Kim Coventry and Joelle Schwenk enter the contest with a national ranking of ninth in doubles to lead the Lady Wildcats.

"We know that playing Kentucky is going to be a tough match, especially with them being the host team," said MSU head coach Tracy Lane. "I feel that we learned a lot from our prior match with them so hopefully we can prevent from making some of the same mistakes."

In the prior match this season, played March 23 in Lexington, UK took a 6-1 decision from MSU. State's lone win in the match was provided by Banikova, who took a three-set win against Coventry at the top spot in the lineup.

Men's Tennis
STARKVILLE, Miss. - The #8 seed Mississippi State men's tennis team will begin SEC Tournament play Thursday in Baton Rouge, La.,as they face the ninth-seeded Vanderbilt Commodores in a first-round match set for 2 p.m. CT. This year's tournament, hosted by LSU, will take place at the W.T. "Dub" Robinson Stadium on the LSU campus. The winner of Thursday's first-round match will move on to the quarterfinals for a matchup with top-ranked and #1 seed Georgia on Friday.

The Bulldogs (6-13, 3-8), are currently led by a pair of juniors in Ivan Bjelica and Philippe Frayssinoux. Bjelica is currently ranked 39th in singles while Frayssinoux is 55th. Bjelica and Frayssinoux also entered the ITA rankings in doubles this past week, entering at 36th.

Vanderbilt is 10-11 overall this season, including a 4-7 mark in SEC play. The Commodores are led by 60th-ranked Ryan Preston and freshman Vijay Paul.

"We are excited about the chance to play this next week at the SEC Tournament," said MSU head coach Sylvain Guichard. "We are going to try to get back on a winning track after some tough losses. We played Vanderbilt well earlier this year at home and were able to get the win, but this matchup will be very different. They are a very good team and we will have to play well to have a chance."

In a meeting earlier this season in Starkville, State defeated Vanderbilt 5-2 in the midst of a three-match winning streak. In the all-time series against Vanderbilt, the Bulldogs hold a commanding 32-8 lead. State is also 2-0 against VU in two previous meetings in SEC Tournament play.

MSU is 19-16 overall in the SEC Tournament since the current format was adopted in 1990. Last season, State became the first #12 seed to win a match in the tournament and advanced to the semifinals for the first time since 1998.

STARKVILLE, Miss. - MSU juniors Ivan Bjelica and Phillip Frayssinoux were selected to the first and second men's tennis All-Southeastern Conference teams respectively announced by the conference office on Wednesday. The selections marked the second consecutive year in which two Bulldogs received the honor.

Bjelica, a native of Belgrade, Serbia, is currently ranked 39th in singles and has compiled a 22-14 overall record this season. Bjelica became the first Bulldog selected to the first team since Romain Ambert received the honor in 2003.

Frayssinoux, who came to State from Paris, France, is ranked 55th-nationally in the latest ITA rankings and is 23-13 this season including a 7-4 mark in SEC play. Bjelica and Frayssinoux also form the nation's 36th-ranked doubles team and have won their last two matches against ranked opponents.

MSU has now had players honored 60 times as All-SEC selections dating back to 1966.

Bjelica, Frayssinoux and the rest of the Bulldog netmen will return to action Thursday as they face Vanderbilt in the first round of the SEC Tournament.

Track & Field
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State University Associate Head Track and Field Coach Steve Dudley has announced the signing Matthew Cameron of Madison, Miss. to a national letter-of-intent. Cameron will begin competing for the Bulldogs during the 2007-08 season.

Cameron, one of the top distance runners in the state of Mississippi, led the MRA Patriot cross country team to the Mississippi Private School Association AAA overall state championship in 2006. Cameron claimed the fastest time in the event, covering the three-mile course in 16 minutes, 44 seconds to win the individual championship.

"We are really pleased to have signed in our opinion the best distance runner from Mississippi this year. Matthew will help with us not only in track but also cross country."

In track, Cameron won the 3200-meter run at the 2006 Class-AAA State Championships. The MRA senior clocked a time of 10:10.02 in the event. He also finished runner-up in the 1600-meter run at the 2006 event. This past June, he traveled to Nashville, Tenn. to compete in the Music City Distance Carnival. He posted a persona-best time of 4:18 to win the 1600-meter section of the event. A multi-event athlete on the prep level, Cameron competed in the 800-meter, mile run and the 3200-meter event. In the 800-meter, he posted a time of 1:56 recently during the outdoor season.

"I feel like I can really improve at Mississippi State," said Matthew Cameron. "Coach Dudley and I work really well together."

The future MState student-athlete is involved in the Art Club and Fellowship of Christian Athletes at MRA. He is also an Eagle Scout honoree. He is the sone of Hermon and Becky Cameron.

Cameron intends to pursue a degree in business at State.

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