News from MSU Media Relations--April 18

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

Men's Golf
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. - The Mississippi State men's golf team stands in a tie for fifth place after round one at the 2009 Southeastern Conference Championship. The Bulldogs notched a 293 for 5-over-par at the par-72 Frederica Golf Club in St. Simons Island, Ga.

"Overall I think we did a good job out there today," said head coach Clay Homan. "The conditions were very tough. We battled 15 and 20 mile-per-hour winds all day. Any time you are within three shots of second place after the first round, you have to be pleased."

Seniors Noah Goldman and Carlos Sainz, Jr. joined only 13 other players in red figures after day one. Both seniors shot 1-under-par and are in a tie for eighth place. Fellow senior Brian Mason stands in a tie for 21st after firing a first-round 73. Seniors Matt Fast and Josh Bevell completed the State scorecard with first-round scores of 77 and 85, respectively.

"Our top guys did a great job for us," Homan said. "Anything under par was a great score for the course today. Matt came through with some big birdies on his last few holes that really helped us finish the day strong."

After going 1-over-par through the front nine, Goldman shot no bogeys on the back nine and included two more birdies in his score. Both Goldman and Sainz posted a team-high 13 pars on the day. Despite notching seven bogeys, Mason was able to rally with a team-high five birdies on the day. After being 7-over-par at one point in his round, Fast rallied late recording three birdies in his last four holes.

Georgia leads the field by eight strokes at 6-under-par followed by Arkansas at 2-over-par. Florida and Vanderbilt are in a tie for third place after their 4-over-par showings in round one and sit one stroke ahead of Mississippi State and South Carolina. The Bulldogs lead Ole Miss (7th) by three strokes followed by Kentucky (8th), Auburn and LSU (t9th), Tennessee (11th), and Alabama (12th).

MSU will tee off Saturday morning at 8 a.m. CT, with live stats available on www.MStateathletics.com.


Women's Golf
BLYTHWOOD, S.C. - After jumping out to an early two-stroke lead on the front nine, Mississippi State's women's golf team completed round one of the 2009 SEC Tournament in 12th place with a 318.

Junior Leigh Phillips led MSU in a round for the second time this season, firing a team-low 76 and is tied for 25th overall individually.

Junior Gina Sharp trailed Phillips by just a stroke. Sophomore Mallory Batson stands 11-over-par at 82 while freshman Perry Katherine Furr fired an 83. Sophomore Erika Thornton's first-round total of 78 was disqualified.

"We got off to a really good start today on our front nine and were maintaining a good position in relation to the field," MSU coach Christi Sanders said. "Then we started struggling on our back side and really could never recover. It was very unfortunate that we could not count Erika's score of 78. She was disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard."

Leading all SEC teams in the first round was Auburn, who holds a six-stroke advantage at five-over-par and 289. Tennessee and Arkansas are tied for second place with team totals of 295 and the Gamecocks of South Carolina currently hold a 299, good for fourth place. Georgia and Alabama round out the tournament's top five in the first round, each standing 16-over-par. Auburn's Haley Wilson and Arkansas' Lucy Nunn are tied atop the individual standings, each one-under-par with a 70 in the first round.

Mississippi State's women golfers will begin second-round action beginning at 8:30 a.m. CT on Saturday, while the third and final round will begin at the same time on Sunday.


Softball
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Fresh off an upset of sixth-ranked Georgia on Wednesday, the Mississippi State softball team returns to the MSU Softball Field to host South Carolina in a three-game Southeastern Conference series as part of Super Bulldog Weekend presented by Regions Bank. The two teams open the series with an 11 a.m. doubleheader on Saturday before closing the set with a 1 p.m. first pitch on Sunday.

Admission to all MSU home softball games is free, and the games will be broadcast live on WMSV 91.1 FM and online at www.wmsv.msstate.edu. Bulldog Club members can have their Dog Tags scanned beginning 30 minutes prior to the start of each game through the first 15 minutes.

This weekend's series will also be Alumni Day at the MSU Softball Field. The Bulldogs will recognize alumni in attendance prior to Saturday's second game.

State brings a 21-21 overall record and 3-14 SEC ledger into the weekend set. The Bulldogs split a mid-week twin bill in Athens, snapping UGA's 22-game home win streak with a 3-1, 10-inning victory in the nightcap. South Carolina makes the trip to Starkville sitting at 18-17 overall. The Gamecocks claimed a series win over No. 4 Alabama last weekend to improve to 4-14 in the SEC.

South Carolina leads the overall series 21-18, but the Bulldogs have dominated the series lately, winning 10 of the past 11 meetings including series sweeps the last two years.

Junior Chelsea Bramlett continues to pace the Bulldogs and the Southeastern Conference with a .478 batting average. Bramlett, who was invited to this summer's USA National Team Selection Camp, added three hits and scored the game-winning run in Wednesday's win over Georgia.

The Cordova, Tenn., native also added a stolen base in Wednesday's second game to improve her SEC-leading total to 43 in 48 attempts, a mark which sits just three behind the single-season record she set as a freshman (2007) and matched last season. Bramlett leads the Bulldogs with 40 runs scored, and she has added five doubles, two triples and nine RBI.

Freshman Ka'ili Smith drove in Bramlett with her sacrifice fly in the 10th inning. The Kapolei, Hawaii, native has been stellar at the plate during her rookie season, tying sophomore Ali Bainbridge for the second-highest average on the squad (.336). Smith has contributed a team-high nine doubles, four triples, 24 RBI and 17 runs scored.

Bainbridge, who has hit seven doubles and a pair of triples this season, continues to lead the team with 28 RBI while tying junior Jessie Bailey for the team home run lead with four.

Bailey, a Lithonia, Ga., native, enjoyed a stellar effort against her home state school, going 3-for-5 with a double. Her sister Sammie Jo collected a pair of hits against UGA, including a double in the 10th that added the Bulldogs' final run of the game.

Freshman Lindsey Dunlap was stellar in the circle against Georgia. The Hueytown, Ala., native tossed her 13th complete game of the season, holding the sixth-ranked Bulldogs to three hits the final nine innings after surrendering a first-inning unearned run.

The win improved Dunlap to 12-12 on the season. She has allowed 75 runs (69 earned) for a 3.10 ERA and has struck-out a team-best 125 over 156 innings. The Bulldogs will also look to senior Kelsey Nurnberg in the circle. The Ankeny, Iowa, native sits at 9-7 on the year and has surrendered 77 runs (55 earned) with 66 strikeouts over 95 innings.

South Carolina will look to another solid effort from reigning SEC Pitcher of the Week Audrey Broyles. Broyles picked up a win and a save over Alabama last week in improving to 10-7 overall with two saves. Broyles has allowed 43 earned runs this year for a 2.49 ERA. She has struck-out 121 while walking 28.

State will also likely face Kierstyn White in the circle this weekend. White, who boasts a 7-2 mark this season, has a 2.73 ERA with 36 strikeouts in 66 2/3 innings this season.

The Gamecocks visit Starkville hitting .223 as a team. Ashton Payne leads USC at the plate, hitting .304 with three doubles, two triples and four RBI. Jill Semento, a .282 hitter, has driven in a team-leading 17runs while hitting two of the team's nine home runs this season.


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