STARKVILLE, Miss. - The Mississippi State softball team returns to the road this week when it travels to Athens, Ga., to meet sixth-ranked Georgia in a Southeastern Conference doubleheader beginning at 4 p.m. CDT at the UGA Softball Stadium.
Head coach Jay Miller's Bulldogs return to the state of Georgia sporting a 20-20 overall record and 2-13 SEC mark. Idle from conference action last weekend, State tallied a 3-0 week as it wrapped up the regular-season non-conference slate with wins over South Alabama and Jackson State.
Georgia hosts the "Battle of the Bulldogs" to close-out a six-game home stand. UGA improved to 29-7 overall and 10-5 in league play as it followed a win over in-state rival Georgia Tech with a three-game sweep of Ole Miss.
Mississippi State has turned the momentum in the series with UGA, winning four of the past six meetings to take a 20-17 overall advantage. The two teams have won eight games each in Athens, with State claiming the last series played at the UGA Softball Stadium (2007).
Junior Chelsea Bramlett continues to pace the Bulldogs at the plate this season. Bramlett, who was selected to attend the USA Softball National Team Selection Camp in June, hit .571 last week to improve her season total to an SEC-best .484. The Cordova, Tenn., native also went 4-for-4 on the bases to push her league-leading stolen-base total to 42, a mark which sits just four back of her single-season school record.
Sophomore Ali Bainbridge continues to swing a hot bat for the Bulldogs. Hitting at a team second-highest .342, the Vestavia Hills, Ala., native has driven in a team-leading 28 runs while tying junior Jessie Bailey, a Lithonia, Ga., native, for the home run lead with four each.
Freshman Lindsey Dunlap picked up a pair of victories last week to improve her season tally to 11-12. The Hueytown, Ala., native surrendered two first-inning runs against USA before tossing a one-hit shutout over Jackson State to close the week. Dunlap struck out a season-high 11 in the win over JSU, pushing her season tally to 118. Dunlap has surrendered 74 runs (69 earned) over 146 innings for a 3.31 ERA.
Senior Kelsey Nurnberg also held Jackson State to one hit last week, improving her record to 9-6. A native of Ankeny, Iowa, Nurnberg has allowed 67 runs (48 earned) while striking out 64 over 91 innings.
The MState pitchers will face a Georgia line-up that comes into the week hitting .331 overall and .259 in SEC play. Alisa Goler leads UGA at the plate with a .465 average, 13 home runs and 58 RBI. Taylor Schlopy has been the Bulldogs' top hitter in league play, however, hitting .441 with a team-high four home runs.
Christie Hamilton paces the Georgia pitching staff with a 15-5 record and 1.43 ERA. Hamilton, who has given up just 25 runs (23 earned) this season, leads the team in strikeouts with 95 over 112 2/3 innings. Sarah McCloud is out to an 11-2 start with a 2.95 ERA, but she has had a tough go in SEC action, surrendering 26 runs for a 5.15 ERA.
Following the mid-week trek to Athens, State returns home to host South Carolina in a three-game SEC series as part of Super Bulldog Weekend presented by Regions Bank. The series opens Saturday with a doubleheader beginning at 11 a.m. Sunday's series final is set for a 1 p.m. first pitch.
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Longtime Mississippi State supporters Bud Thompson and Richard Adkerson will coach the Maroon and White teams, respectively, in Saturday's Spring Game, the athletic department announced today.
Adkerson's sons Clark, Ryan and Tyler won the online auction held at MStateAthletics.com, and presented the opportunity to coach the White team to their dad as an early Father's Day gift. Thompson won an auction held by the Bulldog Foundation. The two fans will participate in staff meetings as the teams are "drafted," give the pregame speech and make the tough gameday decisions for their team.
"We're looking forward to having these two fans and wonderful supporters get an up-close and personal look at what's going on with our program," head coach Dan Mullen said. "This should be a fun weekend and we're going to do what we can to make sure they have an enjoyable experience."
Mullen will be on the field for the game, but he'll leave the coaching to the two fans and the assistant coaching staff.
"They're going to be in charge out there," the head coach said.
The Maroon-White Game will kick off at 5:30 p.m., as the centerpiece of Super Bulldog Weekend presented by Regions. A weekend full of activities on the Mississippi State campus and in Starkville is planned, and more information and a schedule of events are available at MStateAthletics.com.
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State women's tennis rookie Olesya Tsigvintseva has been named the Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week, as announced by the conference office Tuesday.
The Izhevek, Russia, native was instrumental in the Lady Bulldogs' 4-3 come-from-behind upset of 16th-ranked LSU on Sunday. During that match, Tsigvintseva helped enable the State comeback with an impressive straight-set victory on court no. 2, where she ousted LSU's Mykala Hedberg 6-2, 6-4 to start the MSU surge.
Tsigvintseva then teamed with fellow freshman Natalia Mayuk to knock off LSU's tandem of Hannah Robinson and Whitney Wolf in a tight 9-8(2) affair, after falling behind 6-3 at the No. 2 position.
Tsigvintseva and the Lady Bulldogs will conclude the 2009 regular season this Saturday, April 18, at Ole Miss. Match time is slated for Noon CT.
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State's women's golf team today announces the addition of Maria Roos, a links standout hailing from Uppsala, Sweden.
MSU coach Christi Sanders is excited about the new addition. "I am happy to announce Maria as our latest golfer to join the team this coming fall," Sanders said. "Maria has been out of school for a full year and has dedicated her time to work on her game and study English. She is a good student and dedicated to her golf. Through Maria's experience at the district and national levels, she will add great depth to our squad next season."
Roos has been competing in golf tournaments for seven years, and was ranked as high as 46th in Sweden up to the age of 21. In 2008, Maria won the Junior Master Invitational title, was runner-up in the Daysies Open and recorded three other top-ten finishes.
The talented golfer also contributed heavily to several competitive teams in her home country, including a North Division 1 title with the Upsala women's golf team in 2007. Maria was a member of the Upsala Golf Club's junior team as well, which ranked fifth among 323 teams throughout Sweden. She also competed for the Skandia Tour Elite, the highest level for juniors in Sweden, along with placing second in the Order of Merit on the 2008 Women's Tour Uppland. Maria has represented the Uppland District golf team for four years.
The new Bulldog grew up practicing at Upsala Golf Club, coincidentally the same home course of former MSU great Pia Josefsson (class of 2000). The ties do not end there, as Roos also graduated from the same high school as Josefsson. Maria's golf instructor, Jonnie Eriksson, is also a coach for the Swedish national boys' team.
Maria is the daughter of Jan-Olof Roos and Cecilia Olsson, has a brother, Jonathan, and twin sister Hanna. Maria graduated from Upper Secondary School Celsiusskolan in 2008, enjoys taking dance classes and is a skilled violinist.