COLUMBIA, S.C. - Ali Bainbridge's bases-clearing double capped a four-run second inning, and Courtney Bures went 4-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored as Mississippi State defeated South Carolina 9-1 in six innings Sunday afternoon at Beckham Field and swept the three-game Southeastern Conference series.
The four-run second was all State starter Misty Flesher (15-7) needed as she allowed a run on four hits and struck out seven in her second complete-game outing in as many days.
"We got another great performance from Misty today," MSU head coach Jay Miller said. "She had struggled some on Sunday after throwing on Saturday, but she came out today and just dominated."
The win moved MSU to 35-15 on the year and 9-10 in SEC play. USC dropped to 20-18 overall, 7-10 in league play.
Chelsea Bramlett added a pair of hits to improve her hit streak to a career-long 13 games. She also stole two bases which moved her into second place on the all-time single-season stolen base chart.
Hayle Guess and Jessie Bailey led off the deciding four-run frame with back-to-back base hits. After Courtney Nesbit moved the runners into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt, Guess put MSU on the scoreboard as she scored on a passed ball.
With two outs in the inning, Nakita Boyce was hit by a pitch and Bramlett walked to load the bases. Ali Bainbridge followed with a bases-clearing double to the wall in left field that gave MSU the 4-0 lead.
An inning later, Sammie Jo Bailey extended the State lead to 5-0 as she lined an 0-1 offering from Hendon over the wall in left field.
"I was proud of our offense today," Miller said. "We have struggled to score runs lately, and we did a nice job of scoring runs early and continued to score runs. Courtney (Bures) had a big day at the plate and Sammie Jo (Bailey) hit a big home run for us. Hopefully this will help us as we head back home and get ready for Georgia and Tennessee."
The Gamecocks plated a run in the bottom of the fourth on Jessica Josker's fielder's choice to third base, but the Bulldogs answered with two more runs in the top of the fifth.
Bures and Sammie Jo Bailey led off with consecutive singles, and advanced on a ground-out to the pitcher by Guess. Jessie Bailey then hit a ball up the middle that USC shortstop Becky Martinez misplayed, allowing Bures and Sammie Jo Bailey to score and put MSU up 7-1.
State chased Hendon from the game following the two-run fifth. She fell to 8-10 on the year as she allowed seven runs, six earned, on nine hits with four strikeouts in five innings. Krystle Robinson pitched the final frame, giving up two sixth-inning runs on two hits with a strikeout.
State scored those final two runs on a pair of Gamecock errors. Boyce reached on an error by the second baseman, and Bramlett singled up the middle. Both runners stole third and second, respectively.
Courtney Bures capped her stellar afternoon with a single up the middle that scored Boyce and Bures to give MSU the final 9-1 advantage.
State returns to Ridgeland, Miss., on Thursday to take on the United States Olympic Team in an exhibition game at Freedom Ridge Park. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m., and the game will be carried live on WMSV 91.1 and online at www.wmsv.msstate.edu.