News from MSU Media Relations--March 18

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

STARKVILLE, Miss. - The 15th-ranked Mississippi State softball team steps out of conference Tuesday, traveling to Hattiesburg, Miss., to take on Southern Mississippi in a 6 p.m. meeting at the Southern Miss Softball Complex.

MSU enters the mid-week match-up between the two in-state schools with a 22-9 overall record, while the Golden Eagles sit at 14-14 on the campaign.

Tuesday's meeting will be the 37th for the Bulldogs and USM, with State holding a 26-10 advantage in the series. MState has won three straight against the Golden Eagles, including 9-2 and 10-6 victories last season.

MSU sophomore Chelsea Bramlett leads the team at the plate. The Cordova, Tenn., native enters the week hitting at a .430 clip with a team-best 26 runs and 17 RBI, which are third best on the squad. Bramlett has two doubles, a home run and three triples, which ties for the team lead, and she is 26-for-26 on stolen bases. Bramlett's 26 consecutive steals rate as the fourth-most in school history.

Senior Courtney Bures has been swinging a hot bat lately. Bures, who was drafted recently by National Pro Fastpitch's Washington Glory, bumped her season batting average to .348 after a .400 week. Bures leads the team with six doubles and is second on the squad with three home runs. The Haymarket, Va., native has driven in the second most runs on the team (18) while scoring 19 times.

The Bulldogs have utilized a trio of stellar pitchers this season. Junior Kelsey Nurnberg has put together a 12-win campaign so far, striking out 61 while compiling a 1.72 ERA. Freshman Misty Flesher sits at 7-5 on the season with a 2.23 earned-run average. The Lone Grove, Okla., native has struck out 51 while walking 10 on the year. Fellow rookie Elizabeth Woolven has notched a team-best three saves while compiling a 3-0 mark and 1.27 ERA.

USM has relied on the bat of Jennifer Fox to carry the offense this season. Fox is hitting a team-best .367 on the year, and she is tied for the team lead with two home runs and third with 14 RBI. Megan Hill, a .310 batter, has driven in a team-high 18 runs in support of Golden Eagle pitchers, who are led by six-game winner Samantha Davis.

Women's Basketball
STARKVILLE, Miss. - The Mississippi State women's basketball team (16-14, 4-10 Southeastern Conference) has been selected to participate in the 2008 Women's National Invitation Postseason Tournament it was announced this evening.

The Lady Bulldogs join in-state rival Southern Mississippi and conference opponents Kentucky, Florida and South Carolina in the 48-team field.

MState received a first-round bye for the second consecutive year. MSU faces the winner of Thursday night's Southern Miss/Arkansas-Little Rock game.

If USM wins Thursday evening, the Lady Bulldogs would travel to Hattiesburg, while MSU would host if UALR secured a victory against the Golden Eagles. A date and time for the second round matchup will be determined by tournament officials later this week.

The Lady Bulldogs are making their ninth postseason tournament appearance under Head Coach Sharon Fanning and 10th overall in the program's 34-year history. State has appeared in the WNIT five previous times, four under Fanning. MState is 4-5 all-time in the WNIT.

Track & Field
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State Associate Head Track and Field Coach Steve Dudley has announced the signing of D'Angelo Cherry of Jonesboro, Ga. to a national letter-of-intent. Cherry will begin competing for the Bulldogs during the 2008-09 season.

Cherry became the 55-meter national high school record holder last weekend at the National Scholastic Indoor Championships in New York with his personal-best time of 6.15 seconds. Before Cherry broke the record, the record stood untouched since 1978. En route to his 55-meter superlative, Cherry won the 60-meter dash at the NSIC with his time of 6.66. The senior's 60-meter time is now fourth all-time.

"I am extremely happy to announce that we have added D'Angelo Cherry to our team," said Dudley. "He is a national champion and earning this title speaks for itself. D'Angelo is a class act kid and a person that wants to help bring our program to an even higher level. I look forward to working with him."

Cherry is also the 2007 Georgia State champion in the 100-meter dash after clocking a time of 10.59. Cherry's top 100 time was notched at the 2007 Golden South Classic (10.32). Cherry was also named to the 2007 Atlanta Track Club all-Metro team for his performances last season.

"I really enjoyed my visit to Mississippi State and I can't wait to return to my home state and start college there," said Cherry. "I am looking forward to competing in the Southeastern Conference and seeing how I measure up against the rest of the conference."

Prior to moving to Georgia, Cherry resided in Biloxi, Miss. and still has family in the area.

Outside of competing in track and field, he is a manager for the football and swim teams.

"I think it is a great opportunity for him to be able to compete against big time athletes in the SEC," said Mt. Zion High School Head Track and Field Coach James Davis. "He is a hard worker and wants to be the best. The competition will bring out the best in him."

Cherry is the son of Brunetta Cherry and intends on majoring in veterinary medicine.

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