STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTVA/MSU Athletics) – For the second-consecutive season, the Mississippi State softball team (32-22) is going dancing. Head Coach Vann Stuedeman and the Bulldogs were selected to participate in the 2013 NCAA Softball Tournament, the organization announced late Sunday night. The Maroon and White will open up tourney play against No. 19 Florida State (30-24) Friday at 3:30 p.m. CT in the NCAA Mobile Regional.
“Everything our conference does is designed to prepare us for postseason play,” Head Coach Vann Stuedeman said. “We have been in a Super Regional every single weekend since the beginning of SEC play.”
ESPN3 will broadcast the game live, with MSU play-by-play man Anthony Craven calling the action through free live audio streaming via HailStateTV. Making its 10th NCAA Tournament appearance, MSU will look to improve upon its (4-2) record on national television during Stuedeman’s tenure.
Tickets for the NCAA Mobile Regional will go on sale to the general public at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, May 14th. Tickets prices are $20.00 for an all-tournament pass.
Mississippi State will represent the Southeastern Conference, which sent a league-record 11 teams to the tournament. The Bulldogs have already played 16 of the 64 teams in the tournament this season, and have defeated four of the 16 teams which will host NCAA Regionals (Florida, Alabama, Texas A&M and LSU).
“We played a great schedule,” Stuedeman said. “We are battle tested and it is time to go dancing.”
The Lady Bulldogs are (9-18) all-time in the Big Dance, which includes an (0-1) record against Florida State. The Seminoles eliminated MSU from the 2009 NCAA Tournament in the Tallahassee Regional by a score of 5-0. The Bulldogs own a two-game winning streak against the Garnet and Gold, however, with both wins coming in March 2011 as part of the SEC/ACC Challenge. MSU owns a (7-6) overall record all-time against the Noles.
The Bulldogs are also no strangers to No. 18 South Alabama and Mississippi Valley State, the other two teams in the Mobile Regional. MSU lost a thrilling 3-2 contest to the Jaguars in Starkville Feb. 7, and defeated the Delta Devilettes by a 1-0 score last month. Stuedeman’s squad is (2-1) all-time against the Jaguars, and (23-1) all-time against its in-state counterparts.
Mobile has been a friendly place for Stuedeman and company, having gone a perfect (4-0) at the 2012 Mardi Gras Invitational in Stuedeman’s first weekend as the skipper of the Bulldogs.
NCAA Mobile Regional Schedule (All Times Central)
Game 1 – Friday, May 17, 3:30 p.m. - Mississippi State vs. Florida State*
Game 2 – Friday, May 17, 6 p.m. – Mississippi Valley State vs. South Alabama*
Game 3 – Saturday, May 18, 1 p.m. – Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2
Game 4 – Saturday, May 18, 3:30 p.m. – Loser of Game 1 vs. Loser of Game 2
Game 5 – Saturday, May 18, 6 p.m. – Loser of Game 3 vs. Winner of Game 4
Game 6 – Sunday, May 19, 3:30 p.m. – Winner of Game 3 vs. Winner of Game 5
Game 7 – Sunday, May 19, 6 p.m. – Winner of Game 6 vs. Loser of Game 6^
* Designated Home Team
^ If Necessary