STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Tuesday proved a tough afternoon for the Mississippi State softball team as the Bulldogs dropped both ends of a Southeastern Conference doubleheader to the visiting Arkansas Razorbacks, falling 8-3 in an eight-inning opener and 5-1 in the nightcap.
MSU, playing its first home games since Feb. 22, falls to 14-11 overall and 0-5 in conference play, while Arkansas is 14-10 and 4-0 in league play.
In the opener, the Razorbacks battled from a 3-0 deficit by scoring three times in the fourth inning. Arkansas then won the contest by scoring five runs in the eighth inning.
MSU grabbed its early lead with two scores in the first inning and another run in the third inning. In the first inning, MSU had an RBI-single by Sammie Jo Bailey and also scored on an infield error. In the third inning, the lead grew thanks to an RBI-single by Ka'ili Smith.
The Razorbacks answered by scoring three times in the fourth inning. A two-run single by Brittany Griffiths tied the game 3-3.
Things remained deadlocked until the big eighth inning by the guests. An RBI-single by Griffiths placed UA on top, and Jessica Bachkora followed with a bases-clearing inside-the-park grand slam.
The Razorbacks finished with nine hits. Kayla Johnson had thre hits for UA, while Tori Mort and Griffiths each had multiple hits. Five Bulldogs collected a hit each in the contest.
Both pitchers went the distance, with Kim Jones (5-4) picking up the win. Jones allowed five hits and three runs (two eared), with six walks and two strikeouts. Lindsey Dunlap (6-6) took the loss. Dunlap, surrendering nine hits and eight runs (all earned), with eight strikeouts and three walks.
Bulldog junior catcher Chelsea Bramlett went hitless in the day's opening game to have her career-long hit streak halted at 16 games. In the nightcap, the Razorbacks built a 5-0 lead and never looked back en route to the victory.
UA scored twice in both the third and fourth innings, before adding a single score in the fifth inning. Sammie Jo Bailey broke up the shutout in the MSU sixth inning as she doubled off the wall in right-center to score Ali Bainbridge after she reached on a one-out single.
Whitney Cloer had three of UA's 10 hits, with all three hits being doubles. Griffiths also had three hits in this contest, while Brittany Robison had multiple hits.
MSU finished with seven hits, with Bramlett and Bainbridge each collecting mulltiple hits for the Bulldogs.
Again, both pitchers went the distance. Winning pitcher Miranda Dixon (8-2) allowed seven hits and one run (earned), with no walks and nine strikeouts. Kelsey Nurnberg (8-3) took the loss as she was struck for 10 hits and five runs (all earned), with three walks and no strikeouts.
MSU and Arkansas complete their three-game conference series with a 4 p.m. start Wednesday at the MSU Softball Field.