STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State (34-24, 14-14) will open the 2007 SEC Softball Tournament Thursday evening against No. 19 Florida (44-19, 17-11) at 5 p.m. (CT) at Jane B. Moore Field in Auburn, Ala. The game 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.
Fourth-seed Mississippi State leads the all-time series with Florida, 17-14. In Starkville, MSU leads 7-5 while in Gainesville, the Gators lead 9-7. State leads 3-0 when played on a neutral field. Earlier this year, Florida took two of three games from MSU in Gainesville. After winning the first game, 4-3, State dropped the next two, 2-1, and 3-2 in nine innings. UF has outscored the Bulldogs, 109-107, and have won seven of the last nine meetings. MSU is 3-0 all-time against the Gators in the SEC Tournament.
Mississippi State closed the regular season tops in the league in triples with 14. They were also fourth in hitting (.298), on-base percentage (.364), hits (472), hit by pitches (36), sacrifice flies (14) and innings pitched.
Freshman Chelsea Bramlett currently leads the conference in stolen bases with 46, which sets a new MSU single-season record, and is tied for second in hits with 78. She is also third in runs (53), eighth in sacrifice bunts (9) and ninth in hitting (.386).
Courtney Bures is continuing her solid career at State. The junior is second in the conference with 56 runs batter in, and third with 13 hit by pitches, a new MSU single-season record. She is also tied for fifth in doubles (13) and tenth in hits (63) and on-base percentage (.458). However, in conference play, Bures has really shined. In SEC games, she is second in RBI (26) and third in runs (21) and total bases (52). She is also fifth in hitting (.381), on-base percentage (.480), hits (32) and doubles (6), seventh in slugging percentage (.619) and eighth in home runs (4).
Kelli Miller leads the Bulldogs from the mound with a 17-9 record and a 1.79 ERA. In 148.2 innings of work, the senior has struck out 79 batters. Kelsey Nurnberg is 7-5 with a 2.86 ERA and 53 strikeouts in 102.2 innings of work. Sara Hickerson currently leads the nation in saves with ten.
The Gators are coming off a sweep at Kentucky, and have won 11 of their last 12 games to close the regular season. As a team, UF is hitting .261 with 76 doubles and 44 home runs. Florida has also stolen 109 bases in 128 attempts. Offensively, the Gators are led by Kim Waleszonia. The sophomore is hitting .371 with three home runs, 14 doubles, five triples and 27 RBI. She has also scored 43 runs. Melissa Zick is hitting .319 with 11 home runs, seven doubles and 35 RBI.
From the pitching circle, Florida is led primarily by two pitchers. Stacey Nelson leads the team with a 28-12 record and a 1.00 ERA. She also has 30 complete games, while striking out 239 batters. Stacey Stevens is 16-7 with a 2.24 ERA with 124 strikeouts in 171.2 innings. Opponents are hitting just .212 against Gator pitching.
The winner of Thursday's game advances to the Semifinals to face the winner of Tennessee/Ole Miss, Friday night at 7:30 p.m. (CT).
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State sent four player to All-SEC honors, and Chelsea Bramlett became the second Bulldog to be named SEC Freshman of the Year, announced Wednesday evening before the SEC Softball Tournament in Auburn, Ala. The four players were the most Bulldogs named to the All-SEC team in one season.
Junior Courtney Bures was named First Team All-SEC for the second time, while fellow junior Hayle Guess and Bramlett earned Second Team honors. Bramlett and Jessie Bailey became the first pair of freshmen to be named to the All-Freshman Team.
Bures returns to the First Team after earning honors in 2005. The junior is second in the conference with 56 runs batter in, and third with 13 hit by pitches, a new MSU single-season record. She is also tied for fifth in doubles (13) and tenth in hits (63) and on-base percentage (.458). However, in conference play, Bures has really shined. In SEC games, she is second in RBI (26) and third in runs (21) and total bases (52). She is also fifth in hitting (.381), on-base percentage (.480), hits (32) and doubles (6), seventh in slugging percentage (.619) and eighth in home runs (4).
Junior Hayle Guess earned Second Team All-SEC after being named to the inaugural All-Freshman Team in 2004. The Moss Point, Miss. native finished the season hitting .326 against conference foes. Guess leads the conference in triples with four. She also is fifth in runs (20) and sixth in stolen bases (11).
Bramlett earned Second Team honors, as well as All-Freshman laurels, and became just the second Bulldog to be name SEC Freshman of the Year (Courtney Bures, 2005). The two-time SEC Freshman of the Week turned in one of the best rookie performances at State. The Cordova, Tenn. native started all 28 conference games and finished SEC play hitting .326. Bramlett was second in conference play with 22 runs scored, as well as 19 stolen bases. She was also tied for eighth in hits with 31. Her 46 stolen bases overall set a new MSU record, and she stole 38 consecutive bases from February 16 to April 4, the second longest streak ever at Mississippi State.
Bailey played and started all 28 games for MSU. The Lithonia, Ga. native finished SEC competition with 20 hits, 15 RBI and three runs scored. Her eighth inning grand slam capped off a come-from-behind victory in Game Two at Georgia.
Fifth-seeded Mississippi State (34-24) will take on fourth-seed and 19th-ranked Florida (44-19) in the first round action of the 2007 SEC Tournament on Thursday evening at 5 p.m. (CT) at Jane B. Moore Field on the campus of Auburn University.
Scholar Athlete: Lindsay Schutzler, Tennessee
Pitcher of the Year: Monica Abbott, Tennessee
Player of the Year: India Chiles, Tennessee
Freshman of the Year: Chelsea Bramlett, Mississippi State
Coaches of the Year: Ralph and Karen Weekly, Tennessee
Monica Abbott--Pitcher, Tennessee
Dani Hofer--Pitcher, LSU
Shannon Doepking--Catcher, Tennessee
Tonya Callahan--Infield, Tennessee
Lauren Parker--Infield, Alabama
Courtney Bures--Infield, Mississippi State
Kim Waleszonia--Infield, Florida
India Chiles--Outfield, Tennessee
Lindsay Schutzler--Outfield, Tennessee
Brittany Rogers--Outfield, Alabama
Kellie Middleton--Outfield, Georgia
Jordan Praytor--Designated/Utililty Player, Alabama
Chrissy Owens--Pitcher, Alabama
Stacey Nelson--Pitcher, Florida
Killian Roessner--Catcher, LSU
Charlotte Morgan--Infield, Alabama
Brooke Marnitz--Infield, Kentucky
Ashley Acuri--Infield, Auburn
Melissa Zick-- Infield, Florida
Leslie Klein--Outfield, LSU
Dani Woods--Outfield, Alabama
Hayle Guess--Outfield, Mississippi State
Jazz Jackson--Outfield, LSU
Chelsea Bramlett--Designated/Utility Player, Mississippi State
Charlotte Morgan, Alabama
Anna Thompson, Auburn
Jazz Jackson, LSU
Chelsea Bramlett, Mississippi State
Jessica Bachkora, Arkansas
Lauren Grill, Ole Miss
Tiffany Huff, Tennessee
Molly Johnson, Kentucky
Natalie Smith, Kentucky
Rachel Mitchell, LSU
Miranda Dixon, Arkansas
Francesca Enea, Florida
Ashley Dowdy, Ole Miss
Jessie Bailey, Mississippi State
Track & Field
STARKVILLE, Miss.--Mississippi State's track and field team returns to competition at the 2007 Southeastern Conference Track and Field Championships beginning on Thursday, May 10 in Tuscaloosa, Ala. The four-day event will run thru Sunday, May 13 on the University of Alabama campus.
The women's heptathlon will get the championships started on Thursday at 2 p.m., followed by the start of the men's decathlon at 2:30 p.m. The full slate of activity will get underway on Friday with field events starting at 10 a.m. and the first running event is slated to begin at 6:10 p.m.
State utilized its first off weekend of the season to finish up the spring semester with final exams last week on the MSU campus. MSU's last competition came at the Penn Relays on April 27-28 in Philadelphia, Pa. At the prestigious event, MState's 4x400-meter relay team placed fifth in the 4x400 Championship of America with a time of three minutes, 9.06 seconds. The senior-ridden team of Arthur Davis, Bruce Davis, Nathan Daniels and Ezra Jones currently ranks ninth on Trackwire.com's Dandy Dozen list. Senior distance standout Jen McPherson finished the Olympic development run in 4:43.61 to finish 12th overall and the fifth collegiate runner to cross the line.
The hour and half trip down Highway 82 into the state of Alabama will be a homecoming for 12 MSU track and field student-athletes. State's roster includes three individuals who hail from the Northport/Tuscaloosa, Ala. area. Senior Joy Griffith along with freshmen Laquinta Aaron and Kendall May reside from the area. Griffith attended America Christian Academy in Tuscaloosa, Aaron is a 2006 graduate of Northridge High School and May prepped at Tuscaloosa County High School.
MState makes its second trip this season to the University of Alabama's Sam Bailey Track and Field Stadium. The Maroon and White participated in the 2007 Alabama Relays on March 22-25. At the UA-hosted event, MSU came away with seven relay event wins. The last time the conference championship was contested at UA was during the 1995 season with Arkansas claiming the men's title and Georgia on the women's side. Both of those squads are the defending SEC Champions entering this year's championships.
The Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs combined have 11 individuals and two relay teams already qualified to compete in the NCAA Mideast Regional in Columbia, Mo. at the end of the month (May 25-26). Senior Travis McKay has qualified to compete in two events at the post-season event along with McPherson on the women's side.
Fans can follow all the action of the 2007 SEC Championships online at www.RollTide.com. Tickets may be purchased to the event at the Sam Bailey Track and Field Stadium. Weekend passes are $20 for adults and $12 for youth. Single Day tickets are $8 for adult and $3 for youth.
STARKVILLE, Miss.--Mississippi State University Associate Head Track and Field Coach Steve Dudley has announced the signing Gerron Herring out of Johnson County Community College in Kansas to a national letter-of-intent to continue competing in track and field with the MSU program.
Herring, a 2006 National Junior College Athletic Association all-American in the 200-meters and as a member of 4x100 and 4x400-meter relay teams at JCCC. He placed fourth nationally in the 200m and the 4x100 foursome finished third. The junior college standout will be a candidate for all-American status in the upcoming national meet in late May. He ran the anchor leg on the 4x400 relay team that won the Kansas Relays with a time of three minutes, 9.20 seconds. The squad defeated NCAA teams Kansas State, Lincoln University and Nebraska in the event. Herring clocked an outdoor best 20.85 in the 200m at the EJC/Region VI meet. In the 400m, he had a personal-best mark of 47.88 at the Emporia State Relays.
"Signing an athlete like Gerron (Herring) will aid in continuing the tradition that has been started in our 4x400 relay," said Steve Dudley. "He brings great talent in the 200 and 400 meter events. We are very happy to have added him to our team."
During the 2006 indoor slate, Herring recorded two of the top five times in the JCCC track record book for the 60-meter event. He earned a mark of 8.87 in the Husker Invitational. The Kansas City, Mo.-native was a national qualifier in the 60-meters and the ling jump with a mark of 23 feet, eight and three quarter inches. The long jump mark also earned him the conference championship in the event.
Prior to his two-year stint at JCCC in Overland Park, Kan., Herron prepped at Park Hill High Scholl in the Kansas City, Mo. area. He earned varsity letters in track and field, football and baseball. Herron was a seven-time Missouri Class 4A all-State performer in track from his sophomore to senior campaigns. Herron claimed the 400m state championship and runner-up in the 400m as a senior. He was a member of 2003 PHHS Class 5A State champion football team.
He is the son of Gerrie and Rita Herring.
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Senior Amanda Mathis will begin play Thursday in the first of three rounds of the NCAA East Regioanl held at the University Club in Baton Rouge, La. Mathis, along with two other individuals and 21 teams, will compete this weekend, looking to advance to the NCAA Championships, which will begin May 22 in Daytona Beach, Fla. The top eight teams and top three individuals not on those teams will advance.
Mathis along with Aruka Felgueroso of Coastal Carolina and Lene Krog of East Carolina will be the first to tee off on Thursday with an 8 a.m. start.
This season marks the third time in her career that Mathis will compete in a regional. In 2005 at the East Regional in Gainesville, Fla., Mathis posted a 221 on her way to a tie for 19th finish. Last season, Mathis fired a 225 and finished in a tie for 44th at the East Regional in Browns Summit, N.C.
This season, the Picayune, Miss., native led MSU in six of nine tournaments, highlighted by winning an individual title at the Wildcat Invitational last fall in Lexington, Ky. Mathis led the team with a 76.00 stroke average and is coming off a tie for 14th finish at the SEC Championship.