News from MSU Media Relations--March 16

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

Women's Golf
BATON ROUGE, La.. - The Mississippi State women's golf squad fired a 311 in the second round of the LSU/Cleveland Golf Classic Saturday and are in a tie for 15th heading into Sunday's final round. The Lady Bulldogs improved four strokes from their first-round 315 and hold a 626 team score.

Freshman Erika Thornton led the charge for MSU Saturday, shooting a 76. After a first-round 79, the Knoxville, Tenn., native is in a tie for 46th with a 155. State senior Julia Huh is also in the tie for 46th after a 77 in the second round. Freshman Mallory Batson remains the team leader heading into the final round with a 154. Batson is tied for 36th in the individual standings. Sophomore Suzanne Stanley improved three strokes on day two as she stands in a tie for 79th with a 163 while Junior Jillian Jones is tied for 86th with a 167.

Florida State extended its team lead over the field in the second round to 12 strokes. FSU is followed by Alabama and third-place LSU. North Carolina State's Lauren Doughtie and FSU's Caroline Westrup are tied for the individual lead at 3-under par. The pair leads the field by two strokes.

Sunday's final round will begin with a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m. CT. Following Sunday's final round, the Bulldogs will return home to prepare for the John Kirk/Lady Panther Intercollegiate in Stockbridge, Ga (March 31-Apr. 1).

Men's Tennis
LAS VEGAS, Nev. - The 39th-ranked Mississippi State men's tennis team won its third straight match Saturday as it breezed to a 6-0 decision over the University of Nevada at the LakeRidge Tennis Club in Reno, Nev. The Bulldogs moved to 7-5 on the year with the win as they closed out regular season non-conference play.

"I was pleased with the way we responded today," said MSU head coach Per Nilsson. "We had a complete team effort today and everyone deserves credit for the win."

Only singles play was contested as play was moved indoors due to weather conditions. State took an early 1-0 lead when 32nd-ranked senior Philippe Frayssinoux downed the Wolfpack's Benjamin David 6-4, 6-2 on court two. MSU sophomore Chris Doerr extended the lead to 2-0 as he topped Nevada's Alex Daruty 6-3, 6-4 on court three. The lead went to 3-0 when State's Ryan Farlow closed out Nevada's Kristian Kuharsky 6-1, 7-5 on court #4. The clinching point came on court #1 where MSU's 26th-ranked Ivan Bjelica knocked off the Wolfpack's Laurent Garcin 7-5, 7-6. Freshman Tanner Stump extended the lead to 5-0 when he outlasted Nevada's Gabe Kanzelmeyer in a supertiebreaker 6-1, 5-7, 1-0(5) on court #5. Bulldog Artem Kuznetsov closed out the sweep with a 7-5, 6-3 victory over Augustin Myard at the #6 spot.

State evened the all-time series with Nevada at 1-1 with the win. Frayssinoux and Farlow extended their winning streaks to three matches with wins. Stump moved to 2-0 in dual matches this season with a win on court #5. State completed their first shutout since Feb. 3 2006, when the Bulldogs topped UAB 4-0.

The Bulldogs return to action Friday, March 21 when they host South Carolina. Match time is set for 2 p.m. CT at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre.

Women's Tennis
MOBILE, Ala. - The Mississippi State's women's tennis team defeated Indiana State Saturday to claim its seventh victory of the 2008 season. The Lady Bulldogs are now 7-5 overall. The Sycamores of ISU fell to 2-5.

"We are improving as a team," said head coach Tracy Lane. "We are so much better as a team at this point in the season than we were last year. To get better is what you strive for and we are accomplishing that."

In doubles, ISU would win at court No. 1 with Jennifer Migan and Joanne Schickerling defeating MSU's Martina Banikova and Elna de Villiers 8-5. However, State would come right back with an 8-3 win at the No. 2 position with Radka Ferancova and Renee Joseph defeating Marie Caujolle and Valeriia Petrovych. On the deciding court No. 3, Mississippi State's Valeriya Makarycheva and DeAndra Saddler would claim an 8-6 victory over Fadzai Masiyazi and Sarah Meghoufel to capture the doubles point.

In singles, MSU took a 2-0 advantage when, on court No. 5, Saddler defeated Masiyazi 6-2, 7-5. ISU would then even up the team score with two straight-set victories. On court No. 3, Schickerling would defeat Ferancova 6-2, 6-2 and, at the No. 1 position, MSU's Banikova would fall to Migan 6-4, 6-1. State would then go back on top when, on court No. 4, de Villiers defeated Petrovych 6-2, 7-5.

The match-clincher would come at the No. 6 spot, where State's Makarycheva bested ISU's Caujolle 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 in a three-set battle. In the final singles match of the afternoon, MSU's Joseph was outlasted by Meghoufel at the No. 2 position in a tight contest 6-4, 6-7(5), 1-0(8).

State's next action will come in Columbia, S.C., next Friday, Mar. 21, at 1 p.m. CT when they will face 33rd-ranked South Carolina. MSU will then return home to host second-ranked Florida on Easter Sunday, March 23, at 1 p.m. CT.

Track & Field
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Mississippi State University junior Marrissa Harris completed her record-setting season on Saturday afternoon at the 2008 NCAA Indoor National Championships. Competing in the pentathlon, Harris earned all-America honors and scored a school record and personal-best 4,059 points en route to a 10th-place finish at the Randal Tyson Indoor Track Facility on the University of Arkansas campus. The finish garners the Memphis, Tenn.,-native her first all-America honor as a Lady Bulldog.

The lone Southeastern Conference representative in the multi-event, Harris broke her school record in the 60-meter hurdles for a third time this season, running 8.32 seconds to take second. She followed with a leap of five feet, six and a half inches in the high jump and a personal-best throw of 39-05 ¾ in the shot put. Harris barely missed her personal-best in the long jump with a mark of 20-01.

"She's disappointed, but she set personal bests in three separate events [two sections within the event and the overall competition]," said MSU Head Coach Al Schmidt. "You have to be happy when you're an all-American and finish in the top 10 in the country. In track and field, nobody votes for all-America; you have to earn it."

Arizona State's Jacquelyn Johnson won the event with 4,496 points. Johnson entered the meet as the event's top qualifier.

Harris joins Elisha Williams (2001, long jump) and Tiffany McWilliams (2004, mile run) as the only Lady Bulldogs to earn all-America honors at the indoor national meet.

ESPN2 will air portions of the 2008 Championships on Thursday, March 20 at 3 p.m. CT.

Men's Golf
GREENSBORO, Ga. - The Mississippi State men's golf squad fired a 310 in the second round of the Linger Longer Invitational Saturday and stands in 13th place heading into Sunday's final round. The Bulldogs hold a 603 team score through the first two rounds of the tournament held at the Reynolds Landing Golf Club in Greensboro, Ga.

Noah Goldman led MSU on Saturday with a second-round 75. The junior is in a tie for 20th with a 146. Senior Josh Oller is in a tie for 32nd with a 149 while junior Matt Fast is tied for 42nd after a round of 77 Saturday. Carlos Sainz fired a 78 Saturday to conclude the first two rounds with a 157. Junior Logan Young is in 73rd with a 162 entering Sunday's final round.

Mississippi shot a 292 in the second round and holds a six shot lead over Tennessee-Chattanooga and Georgia. Robbie Greenwell of Memphis is at 8-under par and leads the individual competition by a stroke.

Sunday's final round will begin at 8 a.m. CT on holes #1 and #10. Following Sunday's action, State will take a week off before heading to Mobile, Ala., for the Mobile Bay Intercollegiate.

STARKVILLE, Miss. - The 15th-ranked Mississippi State softball team got a pair of solid pitching performances from Kelsey Nurnberg and Misty Flesher, but the Bulldogs dropped 2-0 and 4-2 decisions to No. 2 Alabama Saturday afternoon at the MSU Softball Field.

MSU moves to 22-8 on the year and 1-4 in the SEC, while Alabama improves to 23-3 and 5-2 in the conference.

State got a pair of hits from Hayle Guess and RBIs from Courtney Bures and Sammie Jo Bailey in the second game, but the Crimson Tide rallied with a run in the top of the fourth and two more in the fifth to pull out the 4-2 win.

"I thought we played good softball today. We didn't play good ball, which is what it takes to beat a team like Alabama," Bulldog head coach Jay Miller said. "We had a lot of opportunities and didn't take advantage. We didn't execute offensively, and that was the difference. They got the key two-out hit, and we didn't do that when we had the chance. Hopefully we can get that turned around tomorrow and take advantage of opportunities."

After Bama jumped on top 1-0 in the top of the first, MSU rallied in the home half of the frame. Chelsea Bramlett was hit by a pitch to lead off the game, and she moved to second on Ali Bainbridge's sacrifice bunt. Guess beat out a bunt to move Bramlett to third, and Bures scored her with a sacrifice fly to left.

Mississippi State took the lead in the bottom of the third as Bures hit a two-out double to right center and scored on Bailey's single up the middle.

The Crimson Tide tied the game in the top of the fourth as Kellie Eubanks, who went 2-for-3 in the game, doubled and scored on Brittany Rogers' single up the middle. UA claimed the lead for good the next inning as Ashley Holcombe chopped a two-run single into left that plated Kelley Montalvo and Lauren Parker.

State had opportunities to tie or re-take the lead in the second game, but the Bulldogs left nine runners on base in the contest, including the bases loaded in the fifth.

Misty Flesher fell to 7-5 on the year as she surrendered the four runs on nine hits with five strikeouts over five innings. Fellow freshman Elizabeth Woolven tossed the final two frames, allowing one hit to the seven hitters she faced.

Charlotte Morgan improved to 5-0 on the year as she picked up the win in game two. Morgan allowed the two MSU runs on five hits with two strikeouts over four innings. Kelsi Dunne, the winner in game one, earned her third save as she limited MSU to a hit while walking three and striking out one over the final two innings.

Dunne moved to 10-3 on the year as she scattered five hits and struck out seven in a complete-game effort in the opener. State junior Kelsey Nurnberg dropped to 12-3 on the season as she endured the loss in the series opener. Nurnberg allowed a pair of runs, only one earned, on seven hits with two strikeouts and four walks.

Alabama scored all it would need in the opening game with a run in both the second and third innings. The Crimson Tide jumped on top in the second with a bases-loaded walk to Rogers, and they claimed the final 2-0 lead in the third on Holcombe's sacrifice fly to center field.

The two teams conclude the three-game set on Sunday, with first pitch at the MSU Softball Field set for 1 p.m. The final game of the series will be broadcast live on WMSV 91.1 and online at

Gene's Page Top Stories