News from MSU Media Relations--March 17

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

Women's Golf
BATON ROUGE, La. - The Mississippi State women's golf team shot a spring best 302 in the final round of the LSU/Cleveland Golf Classic Sunday, as they finished 15th. The Lady Bulldogs finished with a 928 for the tournament which was their best 54-hole score this spring.

"After a tough day yesterday, I was proud of the way we pulled together today," MSU head coach Christi Sanders said. "It was a total team effort and it gives us confidence going into our next tournament."

Sophomore Suzanne Stanley shot a 73 in the final round to lead MSU on Sunday. Stanley finished with a 236 for the weekend. The Lady Bulldog's top finisher in the individual standings was freshman Mallory Batson. Batson shot a 75 in the final round to finish with a 228 and tied for 35th. Senior Julia Huh shot a 76 in the final round to finish in a tie for 46th with a 231. Erika Thornton finished in a tie for 57th with a 233 while Jillian Jones rounded out Bulldogs scoring with a 253.

"Suzanne played as solid as I have seen this semester," said Sanders. "She played with great tempo and was very consistent. Mallory struggled on the front nine but finished nicely with four birdies on the back."

Florida State held on to capture the team title as they finished with an 884. Host LSU finished second followed by Wake Forest. Caroline Westrup of Florida State shot a final-round 67 as she captured the individual title."

The Lady Bulldogs will return home to prepare for the John Kirk/Lady Panther Intercollegiate March 31-Apr. 1 in Stockbridge, Ga.

Men's Golf
GREENSBORO, Ga. - The Mississippi State men's golf team concluded play at the 2008 Linger Longer Invitational after firing a 908 in the three-round event to finish in a tie for 13th at the par-72 Reynolds Plantation in Greensboro, Ga. on Sunday March 16.

Three of the five Bulldogs competing finished among the top 50, led by junior Matt Fast who shot a 1-under-par final round that boosted the Hattiesburg, Miss.- native into a 25th place finish. The junior notched a 2-over-par 74 in round one followed by a 5-over-par round two before leading MState in third round competition. Despite only notching four birdies, current team-stroke average leader Noah Goldman finished in a tie for 30th after his 7-over-par 223 performance. The Longwood, Fla.-native was under-par through round one with a 71, followed by a 75 and 77 in the final two rounds of play. Senior Josh Oller fired off a 227 and tied for 40th. The senior was in the top 10 after his 3-under-par round one performance that included the only eagle earned by the Bulldogs, before firing consecutive plus-par rounds of 80 and 78 to close out the event. Carlos Sainz, Jr. finished the tournament with a 236 followed by Logan Young, who made his spring debut with a three-round score of 241.

The Bulldogs finished in a tie for 13th with Big Ten opponent, Purdue University and were nine strokes back from the 11th place finishers host-school Mercer University and South Alabama. SEC-foe Mississippi won the event with their 8-under-par showing, followed by Georgia, Chattanooga, Georgia State, Memphis, Texas Tech, Clemson, Kennesaw State, Eastern Michigan and Michigan.

The Bulldogs will resume play on March 25 at the par-72 Herron Lakes Country Club in Mobile, Ala. at the Mobile Bay Intercollegiate.

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State junior Sammie Jo Bailey went 3-for-3 at the plate, and Kelsey Nurnberg went the distance for the second time in as many days as the 15th-ranked Bulldogs dropped a hard-fought 3-0 decision to No. 2 Alabama Sunday afternoon at the MSU Softball Field.

Bailey, the Lithonia, Ga., native, picked up half of MSU's three hits, but the Bulldogs left six runners on base, including two in scoring position, as they fell to 22-9 on the year and 1-5 in Southeastern Conference play. Alabama improved to 24-3 overall, 6-2 in the conference, with the series sweep.

All three UA runs came in the top of the fifth as Nurnberg fell to 12-4 on the season. Just two of the runs were earned for the Ankeny, Iowa, native, who allowed six hits and struck out two while walking a pair.

MSU had a chance to jump on top early for the second straight game. Courtney Bures, who hit a team-best .400 on the week, led off with a single through the right side. Bailey moved her to second with a pop-fly to short that a diving Kellie Eubanks couldn't snag. Bures moved to third on Jessie Bailey's fielder's choice, but Crimson Tide starter Chrissy Owens got a line-out to short and a strikeout to end the threat.

Owens moved to 8-0 on the year with the shutout. Owens allowed seven hits and struck out four on the afternoon.

"I thought we played another good game today," MState head coach Jay Miller said. "We got another good pitching performance from Kelsey. I was proud of the way we competed out there. We had to get the big hits, and not being able to do that was the difference in the game."

Eubanks kicked off Bama's decisive fifth inning with a single. After Brittany Rogers reached on a base hit, the pair scored on Kelley Montalvo's double that went just over the out-stretched glove of State left fielder Nakita Boyce. Montalvo later scored on Lauren Parker's ground ball that snuck under the glove of MSU freshman Ali Bainbridge.

State steps out of conference for its next action, traveling to Hattiesburg, Miss., on Tuesday to challenge Southern Mississippi in a game slated for a 6 p.m. first pitch.

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