News from MSU Media Relations--April 17th

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

Men's Golf
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. - The Mississippi State men's golf team is through the second round of action at the Southeastern Conference Championship, played at the par-70 Seaside Course in St. Simons Island, Ga. The Bulldogs followed their record-setting first round effort with a 292, bringing MSU's two-day total to 574.

State is in 10th place among the 12-team field and are merely three-strokes shy from cracking the top five. Georgia leads the field with a 560 through two rounds.

MSU is paced by sophomore Lee Heaton, who is in a tie for eighth place among the individual field and is 1-over-par through the first two rounds of play. True freshman Brad Mason of State trails Heaton by one stroke and is in a tie for 15th among the individual field. Mason has posted consecutive rounds of 71 and scored MSU's only eagle today on hole 15, which is a par 5.

Junior Evan Hugall is among the top 25 individuals, and is 4-over-par through the first 36 holes of competition. Bulldog true freshman Robi Calvesbert led State with four birdies made in the second round, and has a two-round score of 147. MSU's sophomore Brad Thompson rounds out the Bulldog lineup with a 164 through two days of action.

State will conclude play at the SEC Championship tomorrow morning at 7:50 CT. Live stats will be available at www.mstateathletics.com.


Men's Tennis
OXFORD, Miss. - The 49th-ranked Mississippi State men's tennis team dropped its final regular season match of the season to No. 18 Ole Miss on the road, 4-1. MSU fell to 9-11 on the season and 2-8 in Southeastern Conference action, Ole Miss improved to 16-5 and 7-4 in league play.

"We did not come out playing very well," said head coach Per Nilsson. "You cannot play the way we did and expect to beat a quality team like Ole Miss."

For the first time in four matches, MSU dropped the doubles point. The Bulldogs took an early lead in the attempt to claim the doubles point with an 8-2 victory at the No. 3 position. State's tandem of Louis Cant and Chris Doerr claimed their fifth-straight match by defeating Ole Miss' Harry Fowler and Adrian Skogeng. Ole Miss evened the score in doubles at the No. 2 slot. Bulldog duo Daniel Sanchez and Tanner Stump dropped an 8-6 decision to the Rebels 83rd-ranked duo Jonas Lutjen and Tucker Vorster. The doubles point was clinched in the Rebels favor at the No. 1 spot, where MState's 30th-ranked duo George Coupland and Artem Ilyushin had a four-match win streak snapped with an 8-6 setback to Ole Miss' No. 26 Chris and Marcel Thiemann.

State evened the score at one all with a straight-set victory at the No. 6 slot, by Sanchez who defeated the Rebels' Fowler, 6-4, 6-3. Sanchez ended the regular season with three-straight victories.

Ole Miss regained the lead with a come-from-behind victory at the No. 2 spot, where State's No. 87 Coupland had his three-match win streak snapped by 81st-ranked Vorster of Ole Miss. Coupland had a set lead early, but eventually dropped two-straight sets, picking up the loss.

The Rebels extended the lead on court three; State's Ilyushin dropped a close two-set battle to Lutjen of the Rebels, 6-4, 7-6(6). The Rebels clinched the match at the No. 5 position, where MSU sophomore Max Gregor dropped a tight two-set bout of his own to Ole Miss' Skogeng, 7-6(4), 6-2.

On court one, MSU's 63rd-ranked Cant held a 4-3 third-set lead when match play was suspended against No. 54 Marcel Thiemann of Ole Miss. Bulldog junior Antonio Lastre trailed 2-1 in the third set against Chris Thiemann when play was suspended.

"We have to shake this one off," said Nilsson. "We have a quick turnaround and we need to be ready for the SEC Tournament."

MSU will begin postseason play next weekend at the SEC Tournament, which will be played in Lexington, Ky.

#18 OLE MISS 4, #49 MISSISSIPPI STATE 1
Oxford, Miss. – 4/17/10

DOUBLES
No. 1 – #26 Chris Thiemann/Marcel Thiemann (Ole Miss) def. #30 George Coupland/Artem Ilyushin (MSU) 8-6; No. 2 – #83 Jonas Lutjen/Tucker Vorster (Ole Miss) def. Daniel Sanchez/Tanner Stump (MSU) 8-6; No. 3 – Louis Cant/Chris Doerr (MSU) def. Harry Fowler/Adrian Skogeng (Ole Miss) 8-2; (Order of Finish: 3,2,1).

SINGLES
No. 1 – #63 Cant (MSU) vs. #54 M. Thiemann (Ole Miss) 4-6, 6-3, 4-3, susp.; No. 2 – #81 Vorster (Ole Miss) def. #87 Coupland (MSU) 4-6, 6-3, 6-1; No. 3 – Lutjen (Ole Miss) def. Ilyushin (MSU) 6-4, 7-6(6); No. 4 – Antonio Lastre (MSU) vs. C. Thiemann (Ole Miss) 6-4, 6-7(3), 1-2; No. 5 – Skogeng (Ole Miss) def. Max Gregor (MSU) 7-6(4), 6-2; No. 6 – Sanchez (MSU) def. Fowler (Ole Miss) 6-4, 6-3; (Order of Finish: 6,2,3,5).


Women's Golf
TUSCALOOSA, Ala.- Mississippi State's women's golf team fired a spring-best 301 in the second round of the SEC Championship on Saturday. Every squad member set or tied her low single-round performance for the spring, while junior Mallory Batson and senior Leigh Phillips each recorded their lowest two-round totals of the 2009-10 season.

Junior Erika Thornton leads the Lady Bulldogs for the second-straight day after firing a 75 in today's round, standing tied for 40th overall at 151. Batson's total stands at 152 after today's team-best 74-stroke performance as she is currently tied for 46th individually. Phillips' season-low two-round total is 153, as she complete round two in 77 strokes to stand tied for 51st. Senior Gina Sharp fired a 76 and stands at 155, while sophomore Perry Katherine Furr fired a 76 and stands with a 158 total.

Hosting the event, 7th-ranked Alabama is tied with 24th-ranked Vanderbilt for the lead at 11-under-par heading into tomorrow's final round. 32nd-ranked Arkansas finds itself three strokes back and in third place, 16th-ranked Georgia stands fourth at 571 and 19th-ranked LSU round out the tournament top five after round two. Vanderbilt's Marina Alex and Georgia's Marta Silva Zamora are atop the individual leaderboard at 8-under-par.

Mississippi State will begin Sunday's final-round play at 8:30 a.m. CT.

RESULTS THROUGH ROUND TWO - SEC Championship
Tuscaloosa, Ala. - 04/17/10

t1. Alabama (287-278=565, -11), t1. Vanderbilt (284-281=565, -11), 3. Arkansas (280-288=568, -8), 4. Georgia (280-291=571, -5), 5. LSU (284-290=574, -2), 6. Auburn (289-288=577, +1), 7. South Carolina (289-290=579, +3), 8. Ole Miss (284-298=582, +6), 9. Tennessee (298-291=589, +13), t10. Florida (298-300=598, +22), t10. Kentucky (302-296=598, +22), 12. Mississippi State (309-301=610, +34)


Softball
COLUMBIA, S.C. - Mississippi State senior Chelsea Bramlett set the school single-season stolen base record as the Bulldog softball team split a Saturday afternoon doubleheader against South Carolina at Beckham Field in Columbia, S.C.

Mississippi State won a 2-1 decision in the opener before South Carolina won the second game 8-4 to force the rubber game on Sunday. The Bulldogs moved to 23-24 overall, 4-15 in SEC play while the Gamecocks went to 11-32 overall and 1-20 in league play.

Bramlett swiped three bases in the opener to tie the record before setting the new mark with her 55th in the opening inning of game two. The Cordova, Tenn., native remained perfect on the bases this season while swiping her 63rd-straight base going back to 2009.

Bramlett has now stolen 201 bases for her career, putting her second in SEC and NCAA Division I history.

"Chelsea has been great on the bases all year and throughout her career here at Mississippi State. It's nice to see her hard work pay off by setting the steals record again this year," MSU head coach Jay Miller said.

In the series opener, the Bulldogs scored both of their runs in their opening at-bat. Bramlett led off with a bouncing single through the right side of the infield. Two batters later, Ka'ili Smith and Brittany Bell walked to load the bases.

Jessie Bailey followed with a fielder's choice that retired Bramlett at home for the second out of the inning. State managed to get a pair of runs across, however, as South Carolina shortstop Evan Childs' throw to third on a Courtney Nesbit ground ball sailed wide of the bag to allow Smith and Bell to come home.

State starter Misty Flesher retired eight of the first 10 Gamecocks she faced before USC managed to cut the deficit to 2-1 with a run in the fourth.

Kaitlin Westfall led off with a double, but she was thrown out at home by MSU's Smith on a Childs single. Childs scored USC's lone run on an April Borchardt single.

Flesher improved to 10-8 on the year as she allowed the run on four hits with two strikeouts over four innings. Stephanie Becker tossed 2.1 scoreless innings before sophomore Lindsey Dunlap retired the final two batters to notch her second save of the season.

Just as they did in the series opener, State struck with a pair of runs in the top of the first inning of game two. Bramlett reached on a throwing error, and after stealing second, came home as Smith belted her 10th home run of the season. The Kapolei, Hawaii, native's 10 round-trippers tied Iyhia McMichael for the fifth-most in a season.

South Carolina answered with the tying runs in the bottom of the first before taking a 3-2 lead with a run in the third. Childs opened the third with a single. She took second on a passed ball and came home on a ground ball and a Bulldog throwing miscue.

State put a run across in the fifth to tie the game 3-3. With one out in the frame, freshman Jessica Cooley, who went 2-for-2 in the game, lined a triple down the line in right field. She scored as the next hitter, Jessie Spain, hit a sacrifice fly to right field.

The Gamecocks took a 6-3 lead with two outs in the bottom of the fourth. Laura Mendes kept the inning alive with a single. After a walk to Milks, Westfall lined a three-run home run over the fence in left field off Becker.

Becker took the loss to fall to 3-5 on the season. The Aurora, Ill., native allowed four runs, three earned, on six hits with a strikeout and a walk over four innings of work. Dunlap drew the start in game two and failed to get an out before returning in the fifth inning. The Hueytown, Ala., native surrendered four runs and four hits while walking four over two innings.

"We did a nice job in the circle in game one, but our pitching wasn't there in game two. We started out putting a couple of runs in the first inning but let them right back in the game in the bottom of the inning. We gave up the home run in the fourth, and if we hold them there, we have an opportunity," Miller said. "We have to get more hits. We hit the ball well, but they went right to the defender or they made a great defensive play. I didn't think our at-bats were bad overall, but we just couldn't get any results out of them."

After USC pushed across two more runs in the bottom of the sixth to take an 8-3 lead, State added its fourth run in the top of the seventh. Cooley collected her second hit of the game and moved to second on a Bramlett base hit before taking third on the Gamecocks' second miscue of the game. Bainbridge brought her home with a sacrifice fly.

Sunday's rubber game is set for a 1 p.m. CT first pitch and will be televised live on SportSouth.


Women's Tennis
STARKVILLE, Miss., - In front of a large crowd at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre, Mississippi State's women's tennis team (9-12, 1-10 SEC) fell to 17th-ranked Mississippi (14-4, 8-3) 4-0 Saturday afternoon in the final match for seniors Radka Ferancova and Valeriya Makarycheva.

"Our girls battled today," said Lady Bulldog head coach Daryl Greenan. "Ole Miss is ranked seventeenth in the country, and we knew it was going to be tough. We never quit though, and I am proud of that."

Mississippi powered through the doubles point, winning 8-1 on courts No. 2 and 3. At the second position, the Rebel tandem of Connor Vogel and Gabby Rangel ousted the State team of Radka Ferancova and Danielle Terpko, while the UM duo of Abby Guthrie and Laura Van de Stroet defeated MSU's pair of Valeriya Makarycheva and Mariia Ryzhova at the third position.

With the doubles point decided, the Rebels took another victory on the last court, as the 13th-ranked team of Kristi Boxx and Karen Nijssen took an 8-4 win over State's tandem of Olesya Tsigvintseva and Natalia Mayuk at the No. 1 position.

The Rebels were just as strong in singles, capturing wins on the bottom three courts to take a decisive 4-0 advantage. At the No. 4 position MSU's Ryzhova fell 6-2, 6-1 to UM's Abby Guthrie, while Makarycheva dropped a 6-2, 6-2 affair to Van de Stroet. Meanwhile, Mississippi clinched the match with a Rangel's 6-3, 6-3 triumph over Terpko at the sixth court. Play on the final three courts was then suspended, putting the final at 4-0.

Mississippi State returns to action next Thursday at the SEC Tournament in Athens, Ga.


Track and Field
AUBURN, Ala. - Mississippi State track and field teams ended competition at the War Eagle Invitational Saturday with top NCAA performances. MSU turned in Top 5 finishes in almost every event they competed in while at Hustell-Rosen Track.

"We had a great day today," head coach Al Schmidt said. "We had personal-best in a lot of events today."

The Bulldogs shined again in the sprinting events with Kendall May and Tavaris Tate leading the way. May won the 100-meter dash in 10.38 seconds, while Tate set a new facility record winning the 400-meter dash in 45.21 seconds.

"Our guys ran really well today," Schmidt said. "We had top finishes in the 100, 200 and 400."

MSU's 4x100-meter relay team also claimed the event crown running 40.23 seconds. In the 200-meter dash, State took third, fourth and sixth place. May was MSU's top finisher in 20.75 seconds followed by Tate in 20.84 seconds and Gerron Hendricks in 21.19 seconds respectively.

In addition to Tate's first place performance in the 400, MSU had three other runners finish in the Top 5. Dwight Mullings finished second, followed by O'Neal Wilder in third and Emmanuel Mayers in fifth.

Like the men's team, the Lady Bulldogs had a great day on the track. In the 400-meter dash Jody-Ann Muir ran a personal-best and 2nd all-time in MSU history 53.46 seconds to finish fifth. Crystal Wilson moved to third all-time with her seventh-place 53.86 second performance.

"The girls ran really great and got some times that will definitely put them in the NCAAs," Schmidt said.

Chelsea Rae Smyth finished second in the 800-meter run (2:15.25), while Chloe Phillips turned in a fifth-place performance in the 1500-meter run.

"Both Chelsea and Chloe had big PR's today," Schmidt said.

In the field events, senior Kendrick Poullard finished second in the triple jump and Josh tucker took second-place in the high jump. Patrick Johnson cleared 15 feet, 01 inches to finish third in the pole vault, and Laquinta Aaron finished fifth in the women's long jump.

"We just overall had a great meet, and are right where we need to be going into Penn Relays," Schmidt added. "We are coming along just as I would like us to be and are on our way to beign one of the best programns in the country."

MSU has a short week and travels to Philadelphia for the Penn Relays April 22-24.


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