STARKVILLE, Miss. (MSU Athletics/WTVA) - Big barrels were in play on Sunday as Mississippi State softball (30-19, 7-14 SEC) slugged three home runs to secure a 10-2 run-rule victory over Missouri (29-21, 10-11 SEC) to clinch the series sweep at Nusz Park.
Sophomore Mia Davidson and senior Kat Moore both slugged two-run homers in the bottom of the fifth to walk off the 10-2 victory to pick up Mississippi State’s first series sweep on the Tigers in program history.
Every Bulldog in the starting lineup recorded at least one hit as State closed the game with 13 total, while three Bulldogs tallied multi-hit contests. Junior Fa Leilua led the way at the plate as she went 3-for-3 with a double and a two-run home run. Redshirt sophomore Montana Davidson went 2-for-3 with a home run and a double to record a career-high four RBI.
Sophomore Emily Williams tossed the complete game to improve to 11-7 on the season. The lone Missouri runs were scored on two solo home runs as the right-hander gave up just four hits and six walks, while striking out two. Williams stranded a total of nine base runners.
Williams and Missouri starting pitcher Madi Norman traded two scoreless innings before the Tigers got on the board in the top of the with a Jazmyn Rollin solo home run.
Leilua led off the bottom of the second with a double to left field. Missouri answered with two quick outa to keep Leilua stranded at second, but Montana Davidson went yard with a bomb to left field to give State a 2-1 lead.
Missouri answered again in the top of the fourth, tying the contest with a solo homer to left field from Emma Raabe to lead off the inning.
State went right back to work in the bottom of the fourth as senior Emily Heimberger led off the inning with a walk before moving herself into scoring position with a stolen base. Leilua put the Bulldogs back in front with a two-run homer over the Nusz Park scoreboard.
Moore continued the rally with a walk before junior Candace Denis reached safely with a bunt single in front of home plate. Montana Davidson cleared the bases with a double up the middle to extend the lead to 6-2.
After Heimberger got on board with a one-out single to catcher in the bottom of the fifth, Davidson slugged her 25th home run of her sophomore season with a shot to straightaway center. Leilua followed up with a walk before walked off the final game of the year at Nusz Park with a homer to center.
For the seventh time over her eight seasons at the helm of Mississippi State softball, Vann Stuedeman has led the program to at least 30 wins. Stuedeman has racked up 271 wins over her tenure. She is now 24 wins shy of tying Jay Muller for the program record of most wins by a head coach.
HOW SWEEP IT IS!
For the first time in program history, Mississippi State swept Missouri in a three-game series. The series sweep was the first for the Bulldogs since taking three off Arkansas in Fayetteville over the 2015 campaign. It was Mississippi State’s first sweep at Nusz Park since winning three over in-state rival Ole Miss in 2013.
Kat Moore became the third Bulldog to reach double-digit home runs this season as she slugged her 10th of her senior campaign against the Tigers on Sunday. Moore is now tied with Morgan Bell (2018), Sam Lenahan (2014), Jessica Cooley (2013) and Iyhia McMichael (2004) for Mississippi State’s senior home run record.
ONE SWING AWAY
Mia Davidson inched closer to etching her name on top of both the SEC and Mississippi State’s record book as she slugged her 25th homer of the season in Sunday’s series finale.
Davidson is now tied with Georgia’s Alex Hugo (2014) and Alabama’s Kelly Kretschman (1998) for the SEC’s single-season home run record. Should Davidson hit her 26th home run, she will jump into a tie for 19th in NCAA softball single-season history.
Davidson’s home run with the 44th of her career, which ties All-American Kellie Wilkerson (1999-02) for Mississippi State’s career record. Just a sophomore, Davidson is now just 14 home runs shy of cracking into the SEC’s career top 10 list for home runs.
Mia now has 61 RBI over her sophomore campaign. She is just the third Bulldog in program history to record at least 60 RBI over a season. She is four away from tying Wilkerson for the program record of 65, which she set in 1999.
MISSOURI SERIES RESULTS
Friday, April 26
Mississippi State def. Missouri, 8-3
Saturday, April 27
Mississippi State def. Missouri, 6-3
Sunday, April 28
Mississippi State def. Missouri, 10-2 [5 inn.]
Mississippi State closes out the regular season next weekend as the Bulldogs trek to Gainesville for a three-game series versus No. 7/10 Florida. The finale weekend of the regular season begins on Friday, May 3 at 5 p.m. CT.