MSU softball holds media day

The Bulldogs open the season Friday, Feb. 9.

Posted: Feb 6, 2018 11:43 PM

STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTVA/MSU Athletics) - With the Bulldog Kickoff Classic and the 2018 season just three days away, the Mississippi State softball program held its annual media day at the Leo Seal Jr. Football Complex.

Head coach Vann Stuedeman, senior infielder Morgan Bell and senior pitcher Holly Ward addressed the media on Tuesday, answering questions ranging from the potential of the newcomers to this weekend’s competition at the Bulldog Kickoff Classic.

A full transcript of today’s media session is below.

Stuedeman and the Bulldogs open their season Friday, Feb. 9 against Mississippi Valley State (3 p.m. CT) and Omaha (5:30 p.m. CT). MSU will then face off against Missouri State on Saturday, Feb. 10 at 12:30 p.m. CT. The field will then be seeded to determine the remaining weekend schedule. All of Friday and Saturday’s contests will be streamed on the SEC Network + via WatchESPN and the WatchESPN app. Admission is free to all fans.

For more on Mississippi State softball, follow the Bulldogs on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram by searching for "HailStateSB." You can also find all-access coverage of the program on SnapChat by searching for "HailStateSnap".

Head Coach Vann Stuedeman

Opening statement…

“Thank you all for being here. This is Vanntastic. I’m impressed and very thankful for you all being here. Softball at Nusz Park is kicking off here on Friday, and we are fired up. We’ve got a great mix of old and new, seniority and freshmen punches. I’m looking forward to seeing these girls take over. We’ve been led by Alexis Silkwood, Caroline Seitz and Amanda Ivy for a long time. The juniors that are now seniors are getting to step into that role now. I’m excited to see them shine. I’m proud of the work they have put in with their leadership skills. We have nine freshmen and a tenth new person who’s a transfer, so these seniors and juniors have done a great job of getting those kids in our culture. They have led those kids in the direction that Bulldog softball is to be played. They’ve done a great job of being an extension of the coaching staff. I’m proud of their leadership skills, and I’m ready to see them get out and get the spotlight.”

On the potential of this team this season…

“We will be heavily relying on two senior pitchers, Holly Ward and Cassidy Knudsen. We’re replacing Alexis Silkwood, who pitched 153 innings, so we will need to eat that up. It is really on Holly to decide how good we are going to be. Morgan Bell will have to pick up for Caroline Seitz and Olivia Golden. We don’t need to have just one Caroline Seitz. If everyone in the lineup increases two or three RBIs, we cover through a spread. We can all pitch in just a little bit and eat up the RBIs we were getting from Caroline. In the circle, we have two seniors and three newcomers: a redshirt sophomore, sophomore transfer and a true freshman. It’s going to be Vann-style and Bulldog-style softball-- pitch by committee. I think our team is as good as anyone out there. Our league is incredible. We sent all 13 teams to the NCAA playoffs last year. I don’t see a drop off this year. I see everyone returning. On any given day, we can win against any given opponent.”

On preparing newcomers…

“We’ve relied a lot on these juniors and seniors. This group of juniors and seniors has had interesting careers in that they’ve played behind a lot of people here. The junior class came in very scared, so as juniors they have really grown. It has impressed me every day. They do something to show how much they’ve grown up. I’ve relied on this junior and senior class to say to these freshmen, who are not scared, ‘seize the moment and don’t wait like we did’. You can say it all you want, but it’s impactful when it comes from girls like Kat Moore and Sarai Nui. The thing about softball in the last five years is it has blown up on TV. With the SEC Network and ESPN, it’s awesome and such a great venue. The kids coming in have watched people on TV. This is real and making a huge impact. That is something new to me that we’re trying to battle. Those junior kids had to believe they were as good as the kids they were seeing on TV. The freshmen class has played on TV. They’ve put the summer league games on TV. You’re able to recruit on the computer now. In summer ball, these newcomers are getting the exposure, so they are more prepared for the college frenzy. I think you will be surprised. We have some very good freshmen.“

Sr. RHP Holly Ward

On taking on more responsibility at the pitcher’s mound…

“We’re really excited. Like Vann said we really focus on a staff. It’s just like previous years, we’re just going to continue to roll with the punches. We all play a major role, so we’re just really excited for that.”

On advice to new pitchers…

“We are all just excited, and we’re ready. The advice that I give them would be that to know that you can. And that’s something that I’ve learned from pitching in the SEC and being a senior. If you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right. Just go out there and know you can and dominate the best you can.”

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 113081

Reported Deaths: 3231
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7823176
DeSoto676778
Harrison490283
Jackson439383
Rankin385986
Madison375793
Lee349079
Forrest298078
Jones285384
Washington253799
Lafayette244042
Lauderdale2398134
Lamar219038
Bolivar199477
Oktibbeha197654
Neshoba1820111
Lowndes175562
Panola167638
Leflore163287
Sunflower158849
Warren153255
Monroe146572
Pontotoc145219
Pike137256
Lincoln136856
Marshall136226
Copiah135736
Coahoma124036
Scott123829
Grenada120638
Yazoo119933
Simpson119549
Union116025
Leake113940
Holmes113760
Tate113639
Itawamba111325
Pearl River110559
Adams105243
Prentiss102919
Wayne99421
Alcorn96712
George95718
Covington94525
Marion93342
Tippah86521
Newton84927
Chickasaw83225
Winston82621
Tallahatchie82525
Tishomingo79741
Hancock78727
Attala78126
Clarke72750
Clay68421
Jasper67417
Walthall63327
Calhoun61812
Noxubee59617
Smith58516
Claiborne53416
Montgomery53123
Tunica52317
Yalobusha51314
Lawrence50414
Perry48423
Carroll46812
Greene45918
Stone45514
Amite42013
Humphreys41916
Quitman4176
Jefferson Davis40011
Webster36613
Wilkinson33120
Kemper32115
Benton3194
Sharkey28014
Jefferson27110
Franklin2373
Choctaw2036
Issaquena1064
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 154942

Reported Deaths: 2660
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson22720374
Mobile14405314
Tuscaloosa10066137
Montgomery9820196
Madison907894
Shelby715361
Lee646165
Baldwin644369
Marshall431048
Calhoun416059
Etowah412249
Morgan400033
Houston365532
DeKalb325428
Elmore312852
St. Clair283842
Limestone273630
Walker269993
Talladega259135
Cullman231024
Lauderdale212540
Jackson205515
Autauga202130
Franklin201731
Colbert193330
Russell19053
Blount187325
Dallas186027
Chilton182632
Escambia171428
Coffee16829
Covington166629
Dale163851
Chambers133043
Pike131313
Tallapoosa129587
Clarke127317
Marion105029
Butler99840
Barbour9969
Marengo98222
Winston90613
Geneva8447
Lawrence81131
Pickens81117
Randolph80514
Bibb80114
Hale74830
Cherokee72314
Clay72212
Lowndes70228
Henry6386
Bullock63717
Monroe63610
Washington62312
Crenshaw59830
Perry5816
Wilcox55912
Fayette55713
Conecuh55613
Cleburne5327
Macon53020
Sumter46821
Lamar4595
Choctaw38712
Greene34016
Coosa1993
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