RIDGELAND, Miss. - Chelsea Bramlett, Courtney Bures and Ali Bainbridge each collected hits as the No. 24 Mississippi State softball team dropped a tough, 2-1 decision to Mississippi Tuesday night at the M&F Bank Fastpitch Classic in Ridgeland, Miss.
Lauren Grill gave UM (17-22) its only runs of the game with a two-run home run in the first inning, but MSU (32-15) began to battle back with a run in the fourth inning in front of 912 at Freedom Ridge Park.
Jessie Spain led off the inning with a walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Courtney Nesbit followed with a walk, and with one out in the inning, Bramlett was intentionally walked to load the bases. Gina McCloud pinch-hit for State and cut the lead to 2-1 by drawing a bases-loaded walk, one of State's eight on the night.
MState was unable to plate the tying run, missing out on numerous scoring opportunities. The Bulldogs left runners in scoring position in five of the seven innings and stranded 11 overall.
"We had several opportunities with the bases loaded and runners in scoring position, but we couldn't get the big hit," State head coach Jay Miller said. "We have to get someone to step up and get that big hit. The players are pressing a little bit at the plate, and we need a good break-out game to relax some at the plate."
Elizabeth Woolven suffered her first defeat of the season, falling to 4-1 as she allowed the two-run home run on four hits in three and a third innings. Misty Flesher held the Rebels to four hits the remaining three and two-thirds, striking out four and walking one.
Lindsey Perry picked up her sixth victory of the season, allowing a run on three hits despite walking seven over three and a third. Becky Nye allowed a walk the rest of the way to pick up her second save of the year.
The Bulldogs travel to Columbia, S.C., this weekend for a three-game series with South Carolina. The two teams will play a Saturday doubleheader before concluding the series on Sunday. First pitch both days is set for noon CST.
Miami Lakes, Fla. - After a rain delay that postponed second-round action Monday, the Mississippi State women's golf squad battled through wet conditions on Tuesday to conclude play in 11th place at the Canes and Cardinal Classic at Don Shula's Golf Club in Miami Lakes, Fla. Finishing the final two rounds on Tuesday, MSU shot a 313 followed by a season-best round of 294 to conclude the tournament.
"We got off to a good start in the first round on Monday," said Sanders. "After playing 11 holes in the second round, we were pulled off due to the weather. We came out today and finished our second round but did not post a good score. However, we refocused for the third round and came out and shot the best we have all year. We finished on a nice note and it gets us excited heading into the SEC Championship."
Senior Julia Huh led State as she finished in a tie for 18th with a 223. The three-round score for Huh was a career best for a 54-hole event. Erika Thornton's final round 71, a career best 18-hole score, helped the freshman finish in a tie for 44th with a 230. Sophomore Suzanne Stanley also finished in a tie for 44th with a 230 as she concluded the tournament with a third-round 75. Freshman Mallory Batson's final-round 73 propelled her to a tie for 50th finish with a 231 while Gina Sharp finished tied for 52nd with a 232.
"Erika played the best I have seen her play this year in the final round," said Sanders. "The rest of the team played solid and we need to do that more often."
Louisville finished with a 13-stroke lead over the field to capture the team title. Furman and Georgia State tied for second while Notre Dame and Tulsa rounded out the top five. Louisville's Cindy LaCrosse finished with a 212 to finish four strokes ahead of the field and captured the individual crown.
The final round 264 by State matched the eighth best round in the history of the program. It was the best round by a Lady Bulldog team since 2005.
MSU will continue play at the SEC Championship, April 18-20 at the Tennessee National Golf Club in Loudon, Tenn.
MADISON, Miss. - The Mississippi State men's golf finished eighth at the Bank of America Intercollegiate after scoring an 877 through three rounds at the par 72 Reunion Golf Course in Madison, Miss. The Bulldogs fired rounds of 291, 294 and 292 to finish 13-over-par and 25 strokes behind tournament champion Tennessee-Chattanooga.
"We lacked the birdies we needed to make to be competitive in this tournament," said Coach Clay Homan. "We played well in round three and did not particularly play bad overall, but slightly dug ourselves a hole after being 9-over-par after day one."
Junior Josh Bevell was MSU's top finisher for the second time this season after scoring a 1-over-par 217 through three rounds and finished in a tie of 17th. Classmate Carlos Sainz, Jr. finished two strokes behind Bevell after notching rounds of 73-72-74 and tied for 24th. Juniors Matt Fast, Noah Goldman and senior Josh Oller all three tied for 35th after their 6-over-par showing. Senior Jake Lambert competed as an individual after his 236 posting through three rounds.
"Josh (Bevell) played well for us and the guys were very consistent," said Homan. "We just need to develop more birdies and forcer closer puts on the green."
MSU will enter postseason play on April 18 at the SEC Championship in St. Simons Island, Ga.