PHILADELPHIA, Penn. - Mississippi State's D'Angelo Cherry, Dwight Mullings, Justin Christian and Emauel Mayers raced to a season-best and second place finish in the 4x100-meter relay college final Saturday on the final day of competition at the Penn Relays.
The talented squad ran 39.88 seconds to record its fifth regional qualifying time of the season. The team also bettered their season best time in the 4x200-meter relay Championship of America final. The foursome finished fifth with a time of 1minute, 22.43 seconds.
"Our 4x100 and 4x200 had a pretty good day today," coach Al Schmidt said. 'Considering we had a 400 hurdler (Emauel Mayers) as a leg on our 4x100 relay I think we ran a good race and a very good time to finish second in the college section."
Senior Marrissa Harris continued to add to her striking senior year with a season best and fifth regional qualifying time in the 100-meter hurdles championship final. Harris ran 13.39 seconds to finish fifth. In the college section of the men's triple jump Kendrick Poullard finished in tenth place with a jump of 47 feet.
"I think overall we had a very successful Penn Relays," Schmidt added. "We are right where we want to be heading into conference in a couple of weeks. We will have some key athletes back for SEC's, and with the way we are performing now we are looking to be in great shape."
MSU also sent athletes to compete at the Golden Eagle Classic in Hattiesburg Saturday. The Maroon and White won seven individual events while at Southern Miss. Leading the way for the Bulldogs Antoine Lipscomb, who won the 110-meter hurdles and the long jump. Lipscomb also turned in top 5 performances in the 400-meter dash, high jump, triple jump and shot put.
Lady Bulldog senior Trumesa Banks threw 40-00.50 to win the shot put, and a personal-best 154-05 to finish fifth in the hammer throw. On the track Sarah Hammes claimed the 5,000-meter run title, and Dominique Lockhart and Anais DeChamps finished the 800-meter run in third and fourth place, respectively.
MSU track team's return to action Saturday, May 2, in Oxford, Miss., for the Ole Miss Invitational.
LEXINGTON, Ky. - Chelsea Bramlett scored the tying run in the fourth and the go-ahead run in the sixth to rally Mississippi State from a four-run deficit, but the Bulldogs fell short of the win Saturday afternoon as Brittany Cervantes' walk-off home run lifted Kentucky to an 8-7 win and a sweep of the three-game Southeastern Conference series in Lexington.
Trailing 6-2 following a five-run second inning for Kentucky (29-18, 11-13 SEC), Mississippi State reliever Kelsey Nurnberg shut the Wildcats down the next four innings while her offense rallied to take a 7-6 advantage heading into the final inning.
Chelsea Bramlett and junior Jessie Bailey paced the Bulldogs (24-26, 6-19 SEC) at the plate. A day after tying MSU's career stolen-base record, Bramlett went 3-for-4 with two runs scored in the series finale. Bailey also collected three hits while driving in a pair of runs. Freshman Ka'ili Smith added a pair of hits and drove in a run while scoring twice.
Megan Yocke, who highlighted the five-run second with a grand slam, was hit by a pitch to lead-off the seventh. Cervantes then capped her 3-for-4, three-RBI day with a line shot over the wall in left field.
Nurnberg fell to 9-10 as she gave up the two runs on three hits with five strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings in relief of starter Lindsey Dunlap. Dunlap lasted just 1 2/3 innings, surrendering six runs on six hits with one strikeout and a pair of walks.
"I thought we did a nice job coming back today," MSU head coach Jay Miller said. "Kelsey did a great job in relief until she got a little tight in that last inning, and that ended up costing us the ball game. I thought we battled back really well and gave ourselves a chance to win the game going into the last inning."
The game-winning home run silenced a furious Mississippi State rally that started with a three-run third inning.
Smith led off the inning with a walk and moved to third on a Sammie Jo Bailey double to the center-field wall. Ali Bainbridge brought her home with a base hit through the right side, and Jessie Bailey followed with a single that scored her sister Sammie Jo and cut the UK lead to 6-4 while chasing UK starter Amber Matousek.
Jessie Bailey, who stole second and moved to third on a Jessie Spain fielder's choice, scored the inning's final run on a Courtney Nesbit ground-out to short.
The Bulldogs took advantage of Kentucky miscues and aggressive base-running to plate the tying run in the fourth and the go-ahead run in the sixth off Kentucky reliever Rachel Riley.
Riley picked up her second win of the weekend to move to 4-4 on the year. She allowed the two unearned runs on three hits while striking out three over five innings. Matousek lasted just two innings, surrendering five runs on seven hits with three strikeouts and a pair of walks.
Bramlett brought home the tying run as she reached on an error by UK second baseman Natalie Smith, advanced to third on a Brittany Bell sacrifice bunt and came home on a Smith base hit up the middle.
Smith and Bramlett came through again in the sixth to rally Mississippi State to a 7-6 lead. Bramlett dropped a lead-off single into shallow left field and moved to second on a Bell sacrifice bunt. Smith then followed with a sharply-hit ground ball to second base. Natalie Smith mishandled the ball at second, and Bramlett slid in ahead of the tag at home to put State on top.
The lead was State's second of the game as the Bulldogs jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Bell reached on a fielder's choice and took third on a Smith base hit through the right side of the infield. Sammie Jo Bailey plated Bell with a sacrifice fly to center. Smith, who took second on her base hit, moved to third on the sacrifice fly and scored as Jessie Bailey dropped a single just under the out-stretched glove of a diving Megan Aull in center field.
Kentucky cut the lead to 2-1 in the bottom of the first. Molly Johnson led off with a double, one of her three hits on the afternoon, and took third on a wild pitch. State got a fly-out to right and a bunt ground-out to first to keep Johnson at third, but Cervantes brought her home with a double off the glove of a leaping Smith in left-center.
The Bulldogs close out the regular season next Saturday and Sunday, hosting in-state rival Ole Miss at the MSU Softball Field. The two teams open the series with a doubleheader at 1 p.m. Saturday. State will honor seniors Kelsey Nurnberg, Sammie Jo Bailey and Gina McCloud prior to Sunday's 1 p.m. series finale.