News from MSU Media Relations--May 8

The latest sports news from the MSU Media Relations Department...Baseball, Softball, Women's Basketball and MSU Athletics.

STARKVILLE, Miss. - A trio of Mississippi State baseball players have been named to the ESPN The Magazine 2009 Academic All-District VI team selected and announced this week by CoSIDA, the College Sports Information Directors of America.

Senior outfielder Grant Hogue of Hattiesburg, Miss., was accorded first-team honors while junior second baseman Jet Butler of Pensacola, Fla., and junior third baseman Russ Sneed of Senatobia, Miss., earned second-team honors. Hogue and the first-team selections from the other seven districts become candidates for this year's ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America Team, to be announced later this spring.

Mississippi State was one of three SEC schools represented on CoSIDA's academic all-district teams and contributed three of the league's five honorees for 2009.

Hogue, who graduated last weekend with a 3.80 GPA in marketing, enters the weekend with a .320 batting average and shares the SEC lead with 28 stolen bases, the second-highest single season stolen base total at State. In just two seasons at State Hogue has climbed past three-year and four-year Bulldog standouts to rank fifth with 53 career pilfers.

Sneed also completed his undergraduate degree work at MSU this spring. He leads the Diamond Dogs with a .350 earned run average, 56 hits and ranks second on the club with nine home runs and 41 RBI. Butler has enjoyed a career-best season at State. He ranks among the team's leaders at the plate with a .331 batting average, and as the Bulldogs' starting second baseman has had a hand in 26 of State's SEC-leading 50 double plays.

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Junior Chelsea Bramlett and senior Sammie Jo Bailey were named ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District VI First Team, while junior Jessie Bailey and sophomore Ali Bainbridge were second-team selections on the list released Thursday by the College Sports Information Directors of America.

Bramlett and Sammie Jo Bailey were named first team for the second straight year. Jessie Bailey earned second-team accolades for the second-consecutive season, while Bainbridge received the honor in her first year of eligibility. Bramlett went on to become the school's third third-team academic all-American in 2008.

"We are very proud of Chelsea, Sammie Jo, Jessie and Ali," MSU head coach Jay Miller said. "We constantly stress academics to our players, so it's nice to see them recognized for their excellence in the classroom. This is a great honor not only for these four players, but for the Bulldog softball program and Mississippi State University."

Bramlett, a First Team All-SEC selection, tallied a 3.63 GPA in physical education. She leads the team and the Southeastern Conference with a .485 batting average that stands third nationally. She has also stolen an SEC- and national-best 51 stolen bases, a new single-season school record. The Cordova, Tenn., native has stolen an MSU career-record 143 stolen bases.

Sammie Jo Bailey received first team all-district accolades for the second-straight year after putting together a 3.97 average in business information systems. Bailey was named to the SEC Community Service Team last week, and she has been awarded the highest grade-point average on the Bulldog softball team and among MSU female student-athletes three times. The Lithonia, Ga., native has hit at a .263 clip this season with a team second-most eight doubles and 22 RBI.

Her sister Jessie has posted a 3.96 GPA in pre-accounting at MSU. A starter in all 52 games this season, Bailey has hit at a .245 clip with six doubles and 19 RBI. Her four home runs tie Bainbridge for the team lead.

Bainbridge enters the final week of the regular season hitting .294. The Vestavia Hills, Ala., native, who holds a 3.80 GPA in elementary education, has hit seven doubles and two triples while driving in a team second-most 30 runs. Bainbridge has also been stellar on defense, posting a .990 fielding percentage.

Mississippi State closes the regular season on Friday, hosting Mississippi Valley State in a 3 p.m. doubleheader at the MSU Softball Field.

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State's Chelsea Bramlett was named First Team All-SEC Catcher for the second-straight season, and Ka'ili Smith was tabbed to the second team and the all-freshman squad on Wednesday as the Southeastern Conference released its 2009 postseason softball awards that are voted on by the league's coaches.

"It's nice to see Chelsea and Ka'ili recognized by the SEC coaches for their outstanding seasons," Bulldog head coach Jay Miller said. "Both of them work hard every day to become better players, and it's great to see that hard work pay off with these awards."

Bramlett became the fifth Bulldog to receive All-SEC honors three times. Prior to her first-team nod in 2008, she earned second-team honors as a freshman (2007).

Bramlett earned the nod following a stellar campaign where she has hit a league-best and national third-highest .485. The Cordova, Tenn., native also became the first Bulldog to reach 50 stolen bases in a season, swiping a school-record and SEC-best 51 en route to passing Iyhia McMichael for MSU's top career mark.

In addition to holding the league's top batting average, Bramlett finished the SEC slate second in the conference with a .433 average. She also scored 20 runs and stole 16-of-19 bases against SEC squads.

Smith earned second team outfield honors in addition to becoming the sixth Bulldog to claim Freshman All-SEC accolades. Smith's all-freshman honor marks the third-straight year the Bulldogs have landed a newcomer on the squad.

The Kapolei, Hawaii, native, who was named SEC Freshman of the Week for the second time this season on Monday, was one of State's top hitters down the stretch. After hitting .257 through her first 13 games, she has gone on to post a .324 average while leading the team in doubles (10), triples (4) and RBI (32).

Smith batted at a .338 clip her first year of league play. Over the 27-game SEC slate, she drove in a team-high 17 runs behind six extra-base hits (four doubles, a triple and a home run).

Mississippi State (26-26, 8-19 SEC) closes out the regular season Friday, hosting Mississippi Valley State in a 3 p.m. doubleheader at the MSU Softball Field.

Women's Basketball
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State upcoming senior Alexis Rack has been selected to participate in the USA Basketball 2009 National Team Trials which will be held May 14-17 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.

A native of Franklin, La., Rack will be competing for a spot on the 2009 World University Games Team that will play in the World University Games to be held in Belgrade, Serbia July 1-11. Finalists will be chosen from the team trials to participate in a training camp in which the 12-member team will be chosen from.

"This is an amazing opportunity for me," said Rack. "I never really thought much about doing something like this but I am now very excited about it and can't wait to go."

A junior this past season, Rack helped lead Mississippi State to the second round of the NCAA Tournament in Columbus, Ohio, pacing State in scoring (14.9 ppg) and assists (4.3 apg). For her efforts, she was named to the All-Southeastern Conference First Team and was the recipient of the Gillom Trophy for the top women's collegiate basketball player in the state of Mississippi.

In just three seasons, Rack has scored 1,179 points, placing her 10th all time at Mississippi State. She also holds the school record for career three-point field goals made and three-point field goal attempts.

MSU Athletics
STARKVILLE, Miss. - All of Mississippi State's 16 varsity sports surpassed the minimum Academic Progress Rate for the 2007-08 school year, and all but one has exceeded the 925 ratio for the four-year period, according to the recently released APR study by the NCAA.

The report is derived from the NCAA Division I Academic Progress Rate data submitted by Mississippi State for the 2004-05, 2005-06, 2006-07, and 2007-08 academic years. Four years of data are compiled to calculate a team's multi-year APR.

The APR is based upon each student-athlete's opportunity to earn two points during each regular academic term, one if the student-athlete is academically eligible and another if the student-athlete returns to the institution for the following academic term. Each individual sport's APR number is derived by dividing the number of points earned by the number of points possible. A score below 900 could bring historical penalties, which could include playing or practice time restrictions and/or post-season bans. Contemporaneous penalties, which could include loss of scholarships, could be assessed for scores under 925.

Women's golf (992) and women's cross country (991) posted the department's highest APR scores during the four-year period. Men's golf (989) totaled the best ratio on the men's side. All three of those sports matched or exceeded their '08 scores.

Softball (988), basketball (977), track and field (972), soccer (968), tennis (967) and volleyball (927) all finished above the 925 threshold that averts contemporaneous penalties. All women's sports reached their '08 numbers, except volleyball (929).

Baseball (973), cross country (963), track and field (959), tennis (942), and football (933) all exceeded the 925 mark. While men's basketball (913) posted an APR jump from a year ago (901), no contemporaneous penalties were assessed because no student-athlete in the four-year cohort triggered the criteria for sanctions. All men's sports, with the exception of cross country (967) and tennis (947), surpassed last year's reported scores.

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