News from MSU Media Relations--May 6

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

Football
STARKVILLE, Miss. - The weekly syndicated television program SEC-TV will feature a segment on Mississippi State head football coach Dan Mullen when the program airs later this week. The show will air on Thursday, May 7 at 5:30 p.m. (CT) on Fox Sports South, Fox Sports Carolinas and Fox Sports Tennessee. It will also be shown on SportSouth Friday morning at 8:30 a.m. (CT).

SEC-TV has Coach Mullen "mic'd up" at spring practice and provides exclusive insight into how the team will perform during the 2009 football season. The footage was shot as a Fox Sports crew was on the Mississippi State campus for nearly a full week working on a behind-the-scenes half-hour show that will air later this summer. Details of that program and its air times will be announced early in June.

Coach Mullen and members of the athletic department staff and the alumni association are currently travelling around the Southeast as part of the Road Dawgs Tour. Today's events are in Clarksdale and Greenwood, Miss., with tomorrow taking place in Natchez. Next week the Tour travels to Laurel, Pascagoula, New Orleans, Jackson, Tenn., and Corinth.


Softball
STARKVILLE, Miss. - The Mississippi State softball team has scheduled a doubleheader with Mississippi Valley State for this Friday, May 8, beginning at 3 p.m. at the MSU Softball Field.

The Bulldogs entertain the Delta Devilettes sporting a 26-26 overall record and 8-19 SEC mark. MVSU makes the trip to Starkville with a 33-12 record. Mississippi Valley State recently captured its sixth straight Southwestern Athletic Conference championship with a perfect 17-0 ledger.

Head coach Jay Miller's MSU squad closed Southeastern Conference play last weekend, sweeping a Saturday doubleheader with Ole Miss before having Sunday's finale cancelled by rain.

Saturday's 6-2 and 8-0 wins kept the Bulldogs in the chase for an NCAA Tournament at-large bid after Auburn secured the final spot in the SEC Tournament with a 6-1 win over LSU Saturday afternoon.

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State freshman outfielder Ka'ili Smith has been named the Southeastern Conference Softball Freshman of the Week following the Bulldogs' sweep of Ole Miss, the league office announced Monday afternoon.

Smith hit .429 on Saturday as Mississippi State claimed 6-2 and 8-0 wins over the Rebels to improve to 26-26 overall and 8-19 in league play. The Kapolei, Hawaii, native added her team-leading 10th double of the season and drove in two runs while scoring another.

"It's great to see Ka'ili's contributions to our ball club recognized by the SEC. She had another outstanding effort against Ole Miss and was a big reason for us being able to sweep Saturday's two games," MSU head coach Jay Miller said. "It has been exciting to watch the progress that Ka'ili has made during her freshman season. She has a very bright future ahead of her."

The SEC Freshman of the Week honor is Smith's second of the season and the fourth for a Bulldog. She received the award back on March 9 after earning all-tournament honors for the Pepsi Malihini Kipa Aloha Tournament in her home state of Hawaii. Pitcher Lindsey Dunlap earned the award March 30 and April 20.

Her stellar showing at that tournament proved to be a turning point to her freshman campaign. Smith headed back to her home state hitting .273, but since returning, she has hit .330 with four doubles, a triple, a home run, 21 RBI and 11 runs scored.

Smith stands second on the team with a .324 overall batting average (48-for-148). In addition to her team-high 10 doubles, she paces State in triples (4) and RBI (32) while scoring 21 runs.

Smith and her Bulldog teammates close the regular season Friday, hosting Mississippi Valley State in a 3 p.m. doubleheader at the MSU Softball Field. Admission to all MSU home softball games is free.

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State senior infielder Sammie Jo Bailey has been named to the Southeastern Conference's 2009 Community Service Team for softball, the league office announced Tuesday.

The SEC Community Service Team highlights an athlete from each league school who gives back to her community in service efforts.

"Sammie Jo is the epitome of a student-athlete," MSU head coach Jay Miller said. "She is very active in the community and on campus, and she represents the Bulldog softball program and Mississippi State University in a first-class manner. Sammie Jo works very hard whether it is on the field, in the classroom or out in the community. She has had an outstanding career at Mississippi State, and it is great to see her hard work and dedication recognized by the Southeastern Conference."

The Lithonia, Ga., native currently serves as treasurer of MSU's M-Club student-athlete service organization and president of the student-athlete advisory council.

During her four-year career in Starkville, Bailey has been a representative for the Bully Choices Student-Athlete Committee, which works with the Bully Choices Alcohol Education Program. She has also built bookshelves and provided books for a local family through the Day One Leadership Community. Bailey devotes time on a regular basis to go read books at local schools through Bully's Book Blitz.

Bailey's other community service activities include the M-Club Thanksgiving Food Drive, the SEC "Together We Can" Food Drive, Operation Christmas Child, campus trash pick-up and painting paw prints on MSU campus streets.

An excellent student in the classroom, Bailey has been named NFCA All-America Scholar-Athlete and Academic All-SEC three times during her career. She has also received Mississippi State's Halbrook Award (presented to the highest GPA among female student-athletes) and the Newsome Award (given to MSU softball's top GPA) on three occasions.

This season Bailey was named State's female nominee for the prestigious SEC Boyd-McWhorter Post-Graduate Scholarship. She also recently became Mississippi State's first student-athlete to receive a summer internship at ESPN.

Bailey has been a starter on the Bulldog infield all four years of her collegiate career. A .267 career hitter, Bailey has hit a school seventh-most 14 home runs to go along with 26 doubles, a triple, 96 RBI (10th-most in MSU history) and 68 runs scored.

She also closes her career as one of the top defenders in school annals. Bailey ranks fourth all-time in fielding percentage (.981) and second in total chances (1,427) and putouts (1,302).

Playing her final SEC series last weekend, she hit .667 (4-for-6) with two doubles and five RBI. The outstanding weekend raised her season average to .263. She has a team second-most eight doubles, 22 RBI and 11 runs scored.

Bailey and her Bulldog teammates close the regular season Friday, May 8, hosting Mississippi Valley in a doubleheader beginning at 3 p.m. at the MSU Softball Field.


Men's Golf
STARKVILLE, Miss. - The Mississippi State men's golf team has been selected for NCAA postseason play for the second straight season as they earned an at-large bid into the 2009 Division I Men's Regionals. The Bulldogs have been selected as an 11-seed in regional play to be held May 14-16 at the University of Texas Golf Club in Austin, Texas.

Currently ranked 58th nationally, State will be looking to make its second straight appearance at the NCAA Men's Division I Championship that will be held May 26-30 at the Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio.

"We are happy to be back in postseason again this season," said Mississippi State head coach Clay Homan. "Hopefully we will see the same result as last year and can advance to the next round. We are in a very strong regional with some fine teams and we are going to have to play really good golf to advance."

The Bulldogs are one of 11 Southeastern Conference teams that made the field. Joining MSU in the Austin Regional is Stanford, Florida, Texas Tech, Texas, UNLV, California, Lamar, Michigan, Texas-Arlington, Virginia Tech, New Mexico State and Jackson State.

The regional selection this season marks the seventh in school history with State's best finish coming last season at the NCAA East Regional where they finished fourth.


Volleyball
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State will be serving up an expanded menu of volleyball instruction and training this summer with the 2009 Mississippi State University Volleyball Camp, scheduled July 11-27 on the MSU campus.

This year's camp offering includes four sessions designed to enhance the development and skills of volleyball players in grades four through 12. The four-session camp begins July 11 with a first-ever Serving Camp (grades 4-12), continues July 15-17 with a Volleyball Skills Camp (grades 9-12) and Junior Bulldog Camp (grades 4-8), and concludes July 24-27 with a high school Team Camp (grades 9-12).

The MSU Volleyball Camp in under the direction of MSU head volleyball coach Jenny Hazelwood, and the camp staff includes Bulldog assistant coaches Branden Higa and Lindi Bankowski, current and former MSU players, and coaches from the ranks of collegiate, high school and club volleyball.

Camp sessions will be conducted at the Newell-Grissom Building, the on-campus home of Bulldog Volleyball, and the Sanderson Recreation Center, one of the nation's top collegiate recreational facilities.

Camp information and registration is available online at www.MStateAthletics.com. For additional details, contact the MSU Volleyball Office (662-325-2722).


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