News from MSU Media Relations--September 28

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

STARKVILLE, Miss. - The Mississippi State softball team swept a pair of fall games Saturday afternoon at the MSU Softball Field. The Bulldogs opened the twin bill with an 11-2 win over Mississippi Valley State before blanking Hinds Community College 15-0 in the nightcap.

Sammie Jo Bailey drove in three runs in the opener with a 2-for-4 plate performance. She also scored three times on the afternoon. Courtney Nesbit went 4-for-8 in the two games with a pair of RBIs and two runs, while Laurie Siebert collected three hits and drove in four runs as the Bulldogs improved to 4-0 this fall.

MSU opened Saturday's nightcap with a pair of first-inning runs. Chelsea Bramlett led the game off with one of her three hits in the contest. She moved to second on an Allie Heon walk and stole third. The returning first team all-American put State up 1-0 as she scored on a double steal in which Heon took second. Heon moved to third on an Ali Bainbridge fly out and scored on a wild pitch.

HCC starter Meghan McDaniel kept the Bulldog bats in check the next two innings, but head coach Jay Miller's team found its rhythm with 13 runs over the next three frames.

Nesbit drove in Brittany Bell to lead off a three-run fourth inning that pushed the Bulldogs to a 5-0 lead. Siebert capped the frame as she lined a single to right that scored Jessie Spain and Jessie Bailey, who pinch-ran for Nesbit.

After Ka'ili Smith scored on an error in the fifth to extend the Bulldogs' lead to 6-0, MSU plated nine additional runs in the sixth. A Siebert walk coupled with consecutive hits from Brittany Gates and Bramlett loaded the bases with no outs. Heon hit a ground ball that was misplayed at second, allowing Gates and pinch-runner Sammie Jo Bailey to score.

Bramlett made it a 9-0 game as she came home on a Bainbridge fielder's choice. Smith followed with a base hit, and Bell drew a walk to load the bases. Nesbit then hit a sharply-hit ball to left that cleared the bases after it slipped past the Eagle left fielder. Spain drew a walk and moved to third on a Siebert line drive that deflected off the Hinds third baseman, and she and Siebert scored on a wild pitch for the final margin.

Elizabeth Woolven picked up the win for State as she tossed four scoreless innings and allowed four hits while striking out three. Kelsey Nurnberg struck out five as she tossed a perfect final three innings.

"We got good pitching in both games today, Miller said. "Kelsey really looked good in relief. We played well defensively, and at the plate we did a better job. We adjusted much better in our at-bats this weekend. I thought our team got better this weekend, and that's the goal of the fall."

In its opening game of the day against MVSU, State plated all 11 of its runs over the opening two frames. Bramlett led off with a bunt single, and after stealing second and third, scored as Heon drew a walk on a wild pitch. Consecutive walks to Bainbridge and Smith loaded the bases, and Heon extended the lead to 2-0 on a wild pitch.

Sammie Jo Bailey, who finished the game 2-for-4 with three RBI, extended the lead to 4-0 as she lined a double down the third-base line that brought home Bainbridge and Smith. Bailey moved to third on an illegal pitch, and Spain drove her in with one of her two hits in the game, a double to right field.

MState followed up the five-run first with six more in the second. With one out in the inning, Smith walked and took second on a wild pitch. Bailey picked up her final RBI of the game as she lined a base hit that put the Dogs up 6-0. Following back-to-back singles from Nesbit and Bell to load the bases, Bailey scored as Spain drew a bases-loaded walk.

State pushed the lead to 9-0 as Siebert lined a pinch-hit single to left center that scored Bell and Nesbit. Heon added the final two Bulldog runs as she delivered a two-out single to center that scored Gates, who was pinch-running, and Bramlett.

Freshman Lindsey Dunlap picked up the win as she allowed two runs on a hit with nine strikeouts over five innings. Nurnberg gave up a hit and struck out three over the final two innings.

The Maroon and White returns to the field Sunday, taking on Jones Junior College at 1 p.m. and West Alabama at 3 p.m. Those two squads kick off the afternoon's action at 11 a.m. Admission to all MSU home softball games is free.

Men's Golf
FRANKLIN, Tenn. - The Mississippi State men's golf squad fired an improved 282 in the second round of the Mason Rudolph Championship Saturday and stands alone in sixth place heading into Sunday's final round. The Bulldogs hold a 573 team score through the first two rounds of the tournament held at the Legends Golf Club in Franklin, Tenn. The team score of 282 Saturday was the fourth-best score posted on day two at the tournament.

"Today we played more like ourselves," commented head coach Clay Homan. "Noah [Goldman] carried us today. He played like he's capable of playing. Hopefully tomorrow, we can have four guys shoot under par. You never know what can happen. We have the talent we just need to execute when in counts.'

Goldman led MSU on Saturday with a second-round, 4-under-par 67. Fellow senior Carlos Sainz, Jr. fired a 2-over-par 73 for a two-day total of 143. Both Goldman and Sainz, Jr. are in a tie for 17th after two days of competition. Senior Josh Bevell is in a tie for 36th after a second-day 72 while freshman Lee Heaton is also tied for 36th for a two-day total of 146. Matt Fast shot a 1-under-par 70 to move into a tie for 51st after day two.

South Carolina shot a 280 in the second round and holds a six shot lead over South Alabama. SEC foes Kentucky and host Vanderbilt sit seven and eight shots back respectively. Ben Fuqua of Kentucky is at 9-under par and leads the individual competition by a stroke.P> State will began Sunday's final round at 8:20 a.m. CT on hole #1. Following Sunday's action, State will play again next weekend when they head to Cordova, Tenn., for the Memphis Intercollegiate.

STARKVILLE, Miss. - The Mississippi State soccer team closes out the opening weekend of Southeastern Conference play on Sunday, hosting Western Division foe Arkansas in a 1 p.m. match at the MSU Soccer Field.

The Bulldogs enter the weekend 5-5 overall and 0-1 in the SEC after dropping a hard-fought 4-1 decision to ninth-ranked LSU Friday night on the home pitch. Arkansas comes to Starkville sporting one of its best starts in school history at 8-1. The winners of seven straight matches, the Razorbacks opened the conference slate with a 2-0 victory over Ole Miss Friday night in Oxford.

State played some of its best soccer of the season in the opening 45 minutes against the Tigers. The Dogs took a 1-0 lead in Friday's match as senior Mariclaire Fancher scored the first goal of her career in the 20th minute. Junior goalkeeper Taryn Holland turned in a nine-save effort against LSU to bring her season total to 53.

A trio of Bulldogs sits atop the team's goal leaders this season, as senior Kevyn Shelledy and freshmen Tarah Henderson and Taylor Turnipseed have netted three shots each. Shelledy has also tallied two assists this season, knotting her with sophomore Leanna Baldner and fellow senior Anna Goblirsch for the top spot on the squad.

Arkansas has out-scored its opponents 23-4 this year, with Kelly O'Connor and Lindsay Patterson netting a team-best five shots each. Kailey Anders and Rachel Carlson sit atop UA's assist leaders with three apiece. Britni Williams has started all but one game in net for the Razorbacks and has stopped 25 shots.

Women's Tennis
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -Picking up two doubles championships to go along with two singles victories, the Mississippi State women's tennis team concluded their second day of action Saturday at the Roberta Alison Fall Classic.

"I thought overall we had a good day. Our goal was to win the two doubles flights (we had advanced in), and I was pleased to pull those out," said MSU head coach Tracy Lane, "We work every day to improve, and I think we are getting there."

Looking to build on impressive performances from Friday's play, the State doubles teams of Elna de Villiers and Valeriya Makarycheva, along with Radka Ferancova and Natalya Mayuk, both won the championship in their respective brackets. The duo of de Villiers and Makarycheva defeated the Georgia State pair of Kiara Powell and Dariana Kozmina 8-5 to claim the White Draw championship. Meanwhile, the MSU tandem of Ferancova and Mayuk ousted the duo of Julia Junker and Andrea Rivera of UNC-Charlotte 8-2 to take the Gold Draw crown.

Also in doubles action, the State duo of Martina Banikova and Olesya Tsigvintseva rebounded from Friday's performance, picking up a win in the seventh-place matchup of the Crimson Draw. The tandem from MSU defeated the Murray State team air of Anne Pennington and Cassidy Cunitz 8-4 to take the seventh-place prize. In the Silver Draw, State's Elizabeth Hall and Jordan Zachary fell to Dara Toulch and Sarah Irvin from Memphis 8-3 in the fifth-place match.

In singles play, the freshman Mayuk advanced to the finals of the Bronze Draw, posting a win over Nathalie Seinkob of Auburn-Montgomery 6-4, 6-3. Makarycheva defeated Shannon Hartmann of Samford 6-1, 6-2 in the Blue Draw consolation and will play in the consolation final of that field Sunday.

The Lady Bulldogs will resume play 8 a.m. CT Sunday with the final round of singles action.

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