News from MSU Media Relations--February 18

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

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State freshman pitcher Misty Flesher has been named the Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week for the week ending February 17, the conference office announced Monday.

The honor is the second straight league accolade for an MSU player, as sophomore catcher Chelsea Bramlett was named the SEC Player of the Week for the inaugural week of the season.

"This honor is a testament to the way Misty competed for us this weekend," Bulldog head coach Jay Miller said. 'She did a great job both as a starter and in relief for us this weekend. This is a well-deserved honor for Misty."

Flesher went 2-0 on the week, picking up wins over Wright State and Fordham to help the 21st-ranked Bulldogs to the Bulldog Round-Robin title. The Lone Grove, Okla., native surrendered two runs on seven hits and struck out eight with no walks over 13 innings of work.

Overall for her freshman season, Flesher has put together an MSU freshman-best 4-0 start for the 11-0 Bulldogs. She has compiled a 1.15 ERA after allowing four runs on 14 hits with 23 strikeouts and two walks over 24 and one-third innings.

She struck out four in a three-hit complete game effort over Wright State, and she followed it with a winning effort in six innings of relief work against Fordham.

With State leading Fordham 4-3 in the third inning, Flesher entered the game with no outs and runners at first and second. She worked out of the jam and limited the Rams to just two hits until they tied the game in the seventh. In the top half of the eighth, she got a ground-out to strand Fordham's lead runner at third base and set up MState's deciding home half.

MSU returns to action this weekend, traveling to Macon, Ga., for the Mercer Wingate Inn Classic Feb. 22-24. State will open the weekend Friday with Western Kentucky at 9 a.m. CST and Austin Peay at 3 p.m. CST. The Bulldogs will face Nicholls State and Mercer at 11 a.m. CST and 3 p.m. CST, respectively. State closes out the weekend with bracket play on Sunday.

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State senior shortstop Courtney Bures was drafted by the defending league champion Washington Glory with the 16th overall pick Monday in the 2008 National Pro Fastpitch Senior Draft.

"This is a tremendous honor not only for Courtney, but for Mississippi State University and our softball program as well," State head coach Jay Miller said. "I know Courtney is anxious to go play professionally for the Washington Glory this summer after our season is finished. She will do an outstanding job as a professional athlete."

The Haymarket, Va., native has been named first team all-SEC twice in addition to being selected SEC Freshman of the Year and first team Louisville Slugger/NFCA First Team All-American in 2005. She was named second team all-region by the NFCA in 2006 and was selected to play for the United States in the World University Games later that summer.

Bures has put together an outstanding career for the Maroon & White, ranking in the top five in 11 different career offensive categories. Bures has put together a .359 career batting average while notching 216 hits, 41 doubles, 13 triples, 28 home runs, 154 RBI, 130 runs and 50 stolen bases.

In her final season at MSU, she leads the 11-0 Bulldogs with two home runs and is tied for second on the team with nine runs scored. Her seven RBI tie her for the third-best mark on the squad.

Bures hit an MSU freshman-record 18 home runs in 2005 while setting a school record with a .756 slugging percentage. She led the team in average (.346) and extra-base hits (20) as a sophomore before topping the team with a school third-best 56 RBI in 2007.

Women's Tennis
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State's Lady Bulldog tennis team will host Southeastern Louisiana on Tuesday at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre. The match with SLU's Lions is set for 2 p.m.

The Lady Bulldogs enter the week with a 3-0 record and will be in action for the first time since Feb. 9. State has had a 10-day break from competition since its 7-0 win over Louisiana Monroe. Mississippi State has also posted wins over #74 Rice (4-3) and Louisiana-Lafayette (6-1).

The match versus Southeastern Louisiana will serve as the sixth meeting between the two schools. Mississippi State holds a 4-1 record with all five matches being played in Starkville. The Lady Bulldogs fell 4-3 last season in their only loss to SLU.

Like MSU, Southeastern has not played since Feb. 9, when it defeated Louisiana-Tech, 6-1, to improve to 2-1. The Lions have also earned a win over Alcorn State (5-2), while falling at #53 South Alabama (6-1) to open the spring season.

Following the mid-week action, the Lady Bulldogs will continue their homestand this weekend, hosting Troy [Fri., Feb. 22, 2 p.m.] and #57 South Alabama [Sun., Feb. 24, 1 p.m.] at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre.

Men's Golf
SAN ANTONIO - The Mississippi State men's golf team has taken control of first place through two rounds at the Roadrunner Intercollegiate at Oak Hills Country Club in San Antonio, Texas.

After round one, MSU trailed - six strokes behind the leader - and stood in fifth place with a 4-over-par 292. The Bulldogs responded in round two with a 17-stroke improvement, shooting 13-under-par and took control of first place with a six-stroke lead over Texas Tech.

"We had a huge second round," said Head Coach Clay Homan. "When you are able to get three scores under par in one round you are able to gain some ground."

State junior Noah Goldman currently ranks first in the individual field after a 7-under-par showing through two rounds, which included a career-low 64 in round two. That was the low one-round score in the event on Monday.

Senior Josh Oller is in a tie for second after his 5-under-par performance on day one, including a career-low round of 68 in round two. Senior Jake Lambert, who is making his second straight tournament appearance for Homan's squad, is in a tie for seventh after a 1-under-par (143) two-round score.

Juniors Matt Fast and Josh Bevell are both tied for 32nd with a pair of 5-over-par scores through two rounds of play.

"Keeping the scores low and consistent has been the key to our play this season," said Homan. "After a solid second round, we have put ourselves in a position to finish strong."

MSU will resume play at 8 a.m. Tuesday in the final round.

Track & Field
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State University Associate Head Track and Field Coach Steve Dudley has announced the signing of Garren Hendricks of Florissant, Mo., to a national letter-of-intent. Hendricks will begin his maroon and white career during the 2008-09 season.

Hendricks ran a personal-best 10.66 seconds in the 100-meter dash, taking second place at the Missouri State Class 4A Championships. The Hawks finished eighth overall in a division featuring more than 50 teams.

The senior ran a personal-best 21.33 in the 200-meter dash at the 2007 AAU Junior Olympic Championships in Knoxville, Tenn. At the 2005 USATF Ozark Association Junior Olympic Championship, Hendricks ran a personal-best 51.96 in the 400-meter dash.

"Garren gives us another very talented sprinter," said Dudley. "He will make an immediate impact in our relays and open sprint events. He is a hard working, dedicated student as well. We are very happy to have him chose Mississippi State University."

For his efforts in 2007, Hendricks was named to the all-Metro first team.

Hendricks ran on the 4x800 relay team that posted a record setting time of 1:25.62 in 2007. He was also on the area's third-fastest 1600 relay team that ran a record setting 3:17.30.

Hendricks was recently recognized on Dec. 10, 2007, at the Florissant City Council for his community service efforts. He worked with a local councilman doing small home repair and improvement projects for older residents.

"Hazelwood Central was a developing program when I first got there," said Hendricks. "Over the years we have become one of the top high schools in Missouri and I want to do the same at Mississippi State. I enjoyed the visit to Mississippi State and I really liked Coach Dudley because he knows what he is doing and he knows what he is talking about."

Hendricks is involved in football and League of Elders at Hazelwood Central High.

He is the son of Eugene Hendricks and Angela Fisher. When arriving on campus in the fall, Hendricks plans on pursing a degree in management of construction and land development.

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