News from MSU Media Relations--February 10

The latest sports news from the MSU Media Relations Department...Softball, Women's Basketball, Men's Golf, Women's Tennis, Men's Tennis and Track & Field.

CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. - Chelsea Bramlett went 5-for-6 with six RBI and three runs scored Saturday as the Mississippi State softball team swept UC Riverside and San Diego State by identical 8-0 scores at the Cathedral City Kickoff.

Bramlett, who is hitting .769 on the year with six RBI and six runs scored, went 4-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored in the win over San Diego State (2-1) after hitting her first career grand slam in the victory over UC Riverside earlier in the day.

MSU (4-0) picked up another solid outing from junior pitcher Kelsey Nurnberg. The Ankeny, Iowa, native moved to 2-0 on the season after hurling her second straight shutout, a six hitter, against the Aztecs.

Nurnberg and SDSU starter Christina Ross battled to a scoreless stalemate through the first five innings. Ross fell to 1-1 on the year after allowing eight runs, only one earned, with six strikeouts over five and a third innings.

With one out in the decisive frame, Bramlett and Ali Bainbridge reached on back-to-back singles. Courtney Bures hit a ground ball that was mishandled by Aztec shortstop Jen Wisneski, allowing Bramlett to score and break the scoreless tie.

Sammie Jo Bailey and Hayle Guess kept the inning going with consecutive singles that scored Bainbridge and Bures, respectively, to extend the MState lead to 3-0. A Gina McCloud base hit loaded the bases, and Jessie Bailey hit a slow roller to the mound that Ross tossed wide to allow Guess and pinch-runner Jessie Spain to score for a 5-0 advantage.

After a walk to pinch-hitter Lindsay Hunley and a strikeout, Bramlett delivered a two-out single off reliever Brooke Petty that scored McCloud and Jessie Bailey. A wild pitch scored Brittany Bell, who re-entered the game for Hunley, to end the game.

Bramlett powered the Bulldog offense in the day's opening game as she hit her second career home run and first grand slam to cap a four-run fourth inning that doubled MSU's lead. Bramlett accounted for six of the Bulldogs' runs in the game, driving in four and scoring twice against the Highlanders (1-2).

A trio of freshman played outstanding softball for MSU. Bainbridge went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI, while Misty Flesher moved to 2-0 in her rookie season after allowing a hit and striking out five in four innings of work. Elizabeth Woolven, a Nettleton, Miss., native, made her collegiate debut, striking out a pair and walking one over the final inning.

State took an early lead with a pair of runs in the second inning. Sammie Jo Bailey and Guess led off the inning with a pair of walks. With Bell pinch-running at second base for Bailey, McCloud hit a ground ball that retired Guess at second and allowed Bell to score. Hunley followed with a walk, and she scored from first on Jessie Bailey's double to the fence in left-center.

State added another pair of runs in the third. Nakita Boyce led the inning off with a single, and after stealing second and third, scored as UCR catcher Meghan Stone's throw on Bramlett's steal attempt sailed into the outfield. Bramlett extended the MState lead to 4-0 as she scored on Bainbridge's single to right field.

Amanda Klimczak suffered the loss for UC Riverside. She fell to 0-1 on the season after giving up eight runs, five earned, on seven hits in three and a third innings of work.

The Bulldogs close out this weekend's season-opening stretch against California at 11 a.m. CST Sunday.

CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. - Mississippi State swept the opening day of action at the 2008 Cathedral City Kickoff, upsetting No. 20 Oregon before knocking off Cal State Northridge 4-2 in the nightcap.

State (2-0) moved to 32-12 in season-opening tournaments, and it opened the year with a win over a ranked foe for the second time in program history.

Chelsea Bramlett hit .714 in the opening two games, going 5-for-7 with three runs scored. Kelsey Nurnberg (1-0) turned in a solid day in the circle, picking up the win over the Ducks (0-2) before earning the save in the victory over the Matadors (0-2).

In the opener with the Ducks, MSU left three runners in scoring position through the first two innings, but the Bulldogs broke through in the third. Bramlett, who collected a pair of hits in the game, led off the frame with a bunt single. Two hitters later, Courtney Bures was intentionally walked and then stole second. Sammie Jo Bailey then delivered a line drive to center that plated both Bramlett and Bures to put MState on top 2-0.

MSU added an extra run in the fourth as freshman Brittany Bell drew a one-out walk and then stole second. Bramlett's base hit to center moved Bell to third, and she scored on a wild pitch from Oregon (0-2) starter Melissa Rice.

The Ducks had a chance to cut into the lead in the top of the fourth as Neena Bryant delivered a one-out ground rule double. Joanna Gail followed with a fly out to center field, and Hayle Guess threw Bryant out at second.

Nurnberg (1-0) struck out five in the complete-game win over Oregon, while Rice (0-1) allowed the three runs on seven hits while striking out five and walking four.

Freshman Misty Flesher picked up the win over CSUN in her collegiate debut, allowing a pair of runs on six hits with nine strikeouts in six and a third innings of work.

The Matadors struck first in second game as Tracy Allen led off with a walk and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. With two away in the inning, Amanda Peek delivered a single through the right side that scored Allen and put CSUN on top 1-0.

MSU answered right back in the second, as Sammie Jo Bailey walked and reached second on a wild pitch. Gina McCloud, who went 2-for-4 on the day, singled to right to score Bailey and knot the game at 1-1.

The Bulldogs claimed their first lead of the game in the third as Bramlett singled, stole second, and advanced to third on an errant throw by the Matadors' catcher. Bures then laced a single to short that was misplayed by Allen and allowed Bramlett to score for the 2-1 lead.

The Matadors tied the game again in the fourth on Krystal Raphael's RBI double, but the Bulldogs claimed the lead for good with a pair of runs in the fifth. Nakita Boyce led off with a single up the middle and then stole second. Bramlett and freshman Ali Bainbridge followed with singles, and Guess delivered the game-sealing base hit.

Northridge put the tying run on second in the seventh, but Nurnberg got a pair of line-outs to seal the win.

MSU returns to action Saturday, taking on UC Riverside at 2:30 p.m. CST and San Diego State at 5:30 p.m. CST.

Women's Basketball
STARKVILLE, Miss. - The Mississippi State women's basketball team (14-9, 2-6 Southeastern Conference) returns to action Sunday afternoon, hosting the Florida Gators (15-8, 4-4 SEC) in a 1:30 p.m. contest at Humphrey Coliseum. Sunday's game will be broadcast regionally on SEC-TV with Bernie Guenther and Carol Ross calling the action. Fans attending the game are asked to wear pink in support of the Women's Basketball Coaches Association's "Think Pink" initiative.

Mississippi State edges Florida in the all-time series 17-16. In games played in Starkville, MState holds a 10-5 advantage. MSU is looking for its first home win against the Gators since the 2003-04 season.

Florida enters Sunday's game at 15-8 on the year and 4-4 in Southeastern Conference play. Marshae Dotson leads the team in scoring (15.1 ppg) and rebounding (8.9 rbg). The Gators are 2-1 on the road in league play with the lone loss coming to Kentucky, 58-60. In their previous outing, sophomore guard Jennifer Mosser scored 13 of her team-high 17 points in the second half and junior guard Sha Brooks added 16 as UF defeated Auburn, 73-67, Thursday night in Gainesville.

Sophomore guard Alexis Rack did not start for the first time this season and came off the bench to score a career-high 32 points against second-ranked Tennessee on Thursday evening, the best bench performance by a Lady Bulldog in researchable history. Rack's total was the most single-game output in any conference game this season and her seven three-point field goals made tied for the most in the league this season. Rack shot 10-of-18 from the floor (7-of-13 from behind the arc) and was a perfect 5-for-5 from the charity stripe.

MState pumped out a 21-0 run and held UT without a field goal for almost 10 minutes during the first half of Thursday's game. MState took a lead into the lockerroom at the intermission, 40-33. The marked the first time this season the defending national champions trailed at the break. Tennessee went on to win the game 87-69. Freshman forward Mary Kathryn Govero added nine points against the Lady Volunteers.

Currently, Rack leads the team in scoring with 12.6 points per game, while sophomore forward Tysheka Grimes leads the team in rebounding with 6.3 boards per game. Richard continues to improve on her assist numbers with a 4.7 average each game. Richard currently ranks eighth on the school's career assists list with 296 and 10th on the career steals chart with 158.

Sponsored by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association, the "Think Pink" initiative is a global, unified effort for the WBCA nation of coaches to assist in raising breast cancer awareness on the court, across campuses, in communities and beyond. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death among women and the leading cause for women between the ages of 20 and 59. For more information on how you can help, contact the WBCA at

Men's Golf
GAINESVILLE, Fla. - The Mississippi State men's golf team improved to sixth place on Saturday at the SunTrust Gator Invitational in Gainesville, Fla. The Bulldogs notched a 288 in the first round as a team to finish in a tie for 10th place. Today, the team rebounded with a 275 to put MState in sixth place and 3-over-par through two rounds of play.

Junior Noah Goldman currently leads the team with a 2-under-par 138 and is in a tie for 11th in the individual field. Senior Josh Oller trails Goldman by one stroke with consistent play of rounds of 70 and 69 and a tie for 15th among the individuals. Junior Carlos Sainz, Jr. is at even-par through two rounds and ties the low round of the day in the invitational, notching a 66 in round two. Junior Josh Bevell sits at 7-over-par, and senior Jake Lambert is at 10-over-par.

MSU sits behind SEC foe LSU by one stroke through the first two rounds and two strokes behind in-state rival Mississippi. Host school-Florida leads the field with an 18-under-par performance through the first two rounds. Florida State is in second place with 6-under-par followed by UAB at 4-under-par. Trailing MState is South Alabama who sits at 5-over-par followed by Wake Forest and Coastal Carolina, who are tied at 6-over-par.

Play resumes Sunday morning at 8 a.m. eastern.

Women's Tennis
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State's women's tennis team defeated the Louisiana Monroe Warhawks 7-0 Saturday at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre. The Lady Bulldogs improved to 3-0 overall with the win.

State is off to its first 3-0 start since the 2005 season when they began 6-0. Louisiana Monroe dropped to 2-1 for the season. "It is great to be 3-0," commented head coach Tracy Lane. "We are going to keep playing hard and maintain this level of competitiveness."

For the third consecutive time this season, MSU grabbed the doubles point by capturing all three doubles positions. On court No. 3, the State duo of Daniela Juskova and Valeriya Makarycheva defeated Lena Satge and Marion Lehmann 8-4. State then won the doubles point with an 8-3 victory by Radka Ferancova and Renee Joseph at the No. 3 spot, defeating Louisiana Monroe's Ana Burjaili and Elodie Burlet. To finish out doubles play, the Bulldog duo of Martina Banikova and Elna de Villiers claimed victory over Noelia Leon and Sharon Makhanya 8-5. In singles play, MSU took a 2-0 match lead when Juskova defeated Makhanya 6-1, 6-1 on court No. 5. State extended its lead to 3-0 with Ferancova winning 6-0, 6-2 over Burjaili on court No. 3.

For the second consecutive match, the match-clincher would come at the No. 1 position. Banikova sealed the victory with a straight set, 6-3, 6-1 win over Leon.

State then finished out triumphs at the remaining three spots to complete the shut out. de Villiers defeated Lehmann 6-0, 6-2 on court No. 4. At the No. 6 position, Lady Bulldog DeAndra Saddler triumphed over Claire Clark 6-1, 7-5. Rounding out singles action, the 67th-ranked Joseph was able to pull out a 6-4, 6-2 win over Satge on court No. 2.

Mississippi State will see its next action on Tuesday, Feb. 19, against Southeastern Louisiana. The match is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre.

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State's women's tennis team defeated the Rice Owls 4-3 Friday at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre. The Lady Bulldogs improved to 2-0 overall with the win.

State is off to its first 2-0 start since the 2005 season when they began 6-0. Rice dropped to 4-3 for the season.

MSU grabbed the doubles point by capturing all three doubles positions. On court No. 1, the State duo of Martina Banikova and Elna de Villiers defeated Julie Chao and Tiffany Lee 8-5. State then nabbed the doubles point with another 8-5 victory by Daniela Juskova and Valeriya Makarycheva at the No. 3 spot, defeating Rice's Emily Braid and Christine Dao. To finish out doubles play, the Bulldog tandem of Radka Ferancova and Renee Joseph claimed victory over Rebecca Lin and Varsha Shiva-Shankar 8-6.

In singles play, Rice took a 2-1 match lead with two straight-set victories. On court No. 4, Dao defeated de Villiers 6-4, 6-1 and Braid posted a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Juskova at the No. 5 position. State then tied the match at 2-2, with #64 Joseph winning 6-0, 6-4 over Lee on court No. 2.

Rice would go back on top 3-2 with a win at the No. 6 position where Makarycheva was defeated by Shiva-Shankar 6-3, 7-5. Mississippi State would then even the match again at 3-3 with a 6-3, 6-3 win from Ferancova over Lin of Rice.

The match-clincher would come at the No. 1 position. Banikova took the first set over #99 Chao in a 7-4 tiebreaker. Then, with the match on the line, Banikova broke serve twice to claim the win for the Lady Bulldogs 7-6(4), 6-3.

"This was a good win for us," commented head coach Tracy Lane. "We are getting great wins at the top positions. We just need to be more consistent throughout our lineup."

Mississippi State will play again Saturday at home against the Warhawks of Louisiana Monroe. The match is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre.

Men's Tennis
STARKVILLE, Miss. - The Mississippi State men's tennis team will be back in action Sunday as they travel to Atlanta, Ga., to take on Georgia Tech. Match time is set for 11 a.m. CT at the Bill Moore Tennis Center on the Georgia Tech campus.

The Bulldogs enter Sunday;s match with a 1-1 record this season. After opening the season with a win over UAB, the Bulldogs fell to fifth-ranked Mississippi on Thursday. State is led by a pair of seniors in Philippe Frayssinoux and Ivan Bjelica. Frayssinoux is currently ranked 14th and is 15-4 this season. Bjelica is 5-1 this season.

Georgia Tech is 4-0 this season with wins over Lipscomb, Gardner-Webb, USC Upstate and Georgia Southern. The Jackets are led by senior David North who is 8-2 this season.

The Bulldogs hold a 2-1 series lead with Georgia Tech in the all-time series. In the last meeting, which took place in 1990, the Bulldogs took a 7-2 win.

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

During his high school career, Charles has captured seven Georgia state championships including two back-to-back championships in the 400-meter dash and long jump. Charles helped the Marietta High School Blue Devils to a runner-up finish for the state championship in 2007.

"Trey is a big time addition to our program," said Dudley. "He is a great all-around athlete. He was a highly recruited football player that chose to be the best track and field athlete he can be. His sprinting, hurdling, and jumping will help our program in several areas. I look forward to coaching him."

Charles owns a personal record of 21.39 seconds in the 200-meter dash and 47.36 in the 400. Charles also notched a personal-best 24-02 1/2 jump in the long jump at the 2006 Georgia Olympics Boys State.

He currently ranks third in the nation in the 400-meter hurdles, with his personal-best time of 51.56 clocked at the AAAG Sports Festival. The senior also ranks nationally in the top 25 in the 400-meter dash and long jump.

"I had other options, but I decided to just run track," said Charles. "My sister (Priscilla Gaines) also goes to Mississippi State and is a member of the Lady Bulldog track team. I chose Mississippi State because Coach Dudley is a good coach and he is also very convincing."

Besides being involved in track and field and football, Charles is also a member of Youth at Marietta High School. He is the son of Tina Charles. When arriving on campus next fall, Charles has an interest in majoring in sports medicine.

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