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.

Cases: 319948

Reported Deaths: 7371
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22285267
Hinds20719421
Harrison18431317
Rankin13901282
Jackson13718248
Madison10263224
Lee10059176
Jones8467167
Forrest7832153
Lauderdale7261242
Lowndes6517150
Lamar635188
Lafayette6313121
Washington5425137
Bolivar4841133
Panola4670110
Oktibbeha466198
Pearl River4605147
Marshall4574105
Warren4440121
Pontotoc425873
Monroe4157135
Union415777
Neshoba4063179
Lincoln4008112
Hancock386987
Leflore3515125
Tate342486
Sunflower339491
Pike3371111
Alcorn327272
Scott320374
Yazoo314171
Adams308086
Itawamba305178
Copiah299966
Coahoma298784
Simpson298589
Tippah291968
Prentiss284161
Leake272074
Marion271280
Covington267283
Wayne264642
Grenada264087
George252251
Newton248663
Tishomingo231868
Winston230181
Jasper222148
Attala215073
Chickasaw210559
Holmes190474
Stone188433
Clay187954
Tallahatchie180041
Clarke178980
Calhoun174132
Yalobusha167840
Smith164134
Walthall135347
Greene131834
Lawrence131124
Montgomery128643
Noxubee128034
Perry127238
Amite126242
Carroll122330
Webster115032
Jefferson Davis108234
Tunica108127
Claiborne103130
Benton102325
Humphreys97533
Kemper96629
Franklin85023
Quitman82216
Choctaw79118
Wilkinson69632
Jefferson66228
Sharkey50917
Issaquena1696
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 548657

Reported Deaths: 11306
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson810031566
Mobile42105831
Madison35690525
Tuscaloosa26173458
Shelby25607254
Montgomery25081614
Baldwin21868314
Lee16278176
Calhoun14719327
Morgan14629285
Etowah14175364
Marshall12453230
Houston10781287
Elmore10293214
Limestone10179157
St. Clair10162251
Cullman9952201
Lauderdale9603250
DeKalb8972190
Talladega8460184
Walker7338280
Autauga7241113
Blount6945139
Jackson6932113
Colbert6413140
Coffee5635127
Dale4928116
Russell454841
Chilton4476116
Franklin431382
Covington4275122
Tallapoosa4138155
Escambia401680
Chambers3728124
Dallas3607158
Clarke353061
Marion3240107
Pike314378
Lawrence3133100
Winston283472
Bibb268564
Geneva257981
Marengo250565
Pickens236962
Barbour234559
Hale227278
Butler224271
Fayette218862
Henry194543
Randolph187544
Cherokee187345
Monroe180041
Washington170539
Macon163051
Clay160059
Crenshaw155957
Cleburne153444
Lamar146837
Lowndes142254
Wilcox126930
Bullock124342
Conecuh113630
Coosa111729
Perry108626
Sumter105732
Greene93634
Choctaw62125
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We will see the rainfall move out of our area overnight as a cold front moves through our area. We will see high pressure move into our area for a few days as we to through our Tuesday and Wednesday. However, more rainfalll in the forecast later in the week.
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