COLUMBIA, Mo. (WTVA/MSU Athletics) – Texas A&M’s Trinity Harrington took a no-hitter into the sixth inning, but 11th-seed Mississippi State (36-20) broke through with three timely hits in the sixth to plate two runs to knock off sixth-seed Texas A&M (40-16), 2-0, to advance to the quarterfinals of the SEC Championship.
The win is a milestone under the helm of head coach Vann Stuedeman as it is the first tournament win in her tenure. It is also the first time MSU has won a game in the conference tournament since 2005.
“It was a really great game today,” Stuedeman said. “Texas A&M is an incredible team and Trinity Harrington is an incredible pitcher. We knew it was going to be a lot of fun with two drop-ball pitchers in the circle. Our seniors are really going some big things for us, so far in this tournament.”
Senior Morgan Bell was the hero of the game with an RBI double to plate the go-ahead run. Senior Reggie Harrison plated the insurance run with an RBI single.
In the circle, senior Holly Ward tossed the complete game, allowing just three hits and four walks. The right-hander struck out four in the contest. The shutout was the 18th of the season, which sets a new MSU program record.
The Bulldogs got two runners on in the top of the first with Texas A&M error and walk, but the Bulldogs left both runners in scoring position. MSU would not see a base runner again until the top of the fifth as Harrington retired 12 straight to take a no- hitter into the bottom of the sixth.
Junior Emily Heimberger broke up the no-no to lead off the sixth with an infield single to second base before Bell delivered a one-out double to left center to plate the first run of the game. After moving pinch runner freshman Macey Petrey to third on a ground out, Harrison blooped a single in front of the plate to score the insurance run.
Ward allowed a two-out single in the seventh to bring the tying run to the plate, but the right-hander struck out the side to clinch the victory.
The Bulldogs advance to the quarterfinals of the SEC Championship and will return to the field on Thursday, May 10 to battle No. 3 South Carolina at 11 a.m. CT on the SEC Network.
Wednesday’s victory was another record-shattering win in the Vann Stuedeman ere as the Bulldog pitching staff earned its 18th shutout of the season to break the single-season record that was set in 1998.
Holly Ward has tossed eight shutouts this seasons, which ties Autumn Anderson (1998) for the single-season record.
#VANNTASTIC TOURNEY START
Today’s victory over Texas A&M was the first SEC Championship win for Mississippi State under the Vann Stuedeman era. It is the first win in the tournament for Mississippi State since 2005 when MSU topped South Carolina, 4-1. The Bulldogs are now 12-24 all-time at the tournament.
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