MSU softball sweeps Sunday to win Bulldog Kickoff Classic

The Bulldogs blanked Missouri State and Mississippi Valley State.

Posted: Feb 11, 2018 11:28 PM

STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTVA/Ole Miss Athletics) - Power hitting and shutdown pitching carried Mississippi State softball to a Sunday sweep of Missouri State and Mississippi Valley State at Nusz Park to clinch the Bulldog Kickoff Classic title.

Senior right-hander Holly Ward tossed her second shutout of the weekend as the Bulldogs topped Missouri State (2-1) by a 5-0 final. Freshman right-hander Emily Williams earned her first collegiate victory in her debut in the circle as State claimed an 8-0 victory over Mississippi Valley State (0-4) in six innings.

MSU opened the 2018 season with four consecutive shutouts, marking the first time in program history that the Bulldogs have blanked opponents in four straight games to open a campaign. The Bulldogs are also off to their first 4-0 start since the 2016 season.

“Another good day, especially being patient to sit out the rain all day yesterday,” said head coach Vann Stuedeman. “I think it took us a little bit this morning to get started against Missouri State. Kat Moore had a great day. Offensively, we have to make some adjustments a little quicker. Pitching-wise, I feel like we need to throw a few more strikes. We had too many walks in the first game. I’m really excited about Emily Williams and Candace Denis’ debut on the mound. We got a lot of good freshmen in there. O’Neil Roberson was another freshman who had a good day. It doesn’t show up in the box score that well, but it does in the quality at-bat chart. She put a lot of barrel on the ball for us. Good to see the stuff from the new people and see sparks from the returners.”

Missouri State and the Bulldogs were locked in a pitching duel over the first four innings as Ward and the Bears’ Kaitlin Beason held batters to a combined six hits. State broke through in the bottom of the fifth as junior outfielder Kat Moore sparked the offense with a leadoff double to centerfield. Freshman Mia Davidson followed with her second home run of the weekend with a monster shot to right field to give State a 2-0 lead.

After getting on board with a walk, senior shortstop Reggie Harrison worked her way to third with a stolen base and taking advantage of Missouri State throwing error on a throw down to second. Harrison came around to score on senior utility player Morgan Bell’s double to right field. Junior utility player Emily Heimberger tripled to center to plate pinch runner sophomore Maddie Dorsett to cap the four-run inning.

Redshirt junior Bevia Robinson and Moore knocked back-to-back singles in the top of the sixth to move Bulldog into scoring position. Harrison rocketed a fly ball into foul territory toward left field, allowing Robinson to score the final run. Ward closed the game with an 1-2-3 inning to record the complete game shutout. Over 7.0 innings, the right-hander allowed two hits, issued four walks and struck out seven.

In Sunday’s finale, Williams earned her first career start in the circle, holding MSVU to one hit while striking out seven over her 4.0 innings of work to earn her first career victory.

The Devilettes kept MSU off the board in the first inning, but the Bulldogs answered in the bottom of the second. Freshman infielder O’Neil Roberson knocked her first collegiate hit with a one-out single to right field. She advanced to third on Heimberger’s bunt single as the speedy junior was able to reach second on an MVSU error. Robinson singled to center to plate Roberson, before Dorsett earned pick up an RBI on a groundout to give MSU an 2-0 lead.

The Dogs would not score again until the fourth inning as Heimberger and Robinson manufactured a run with back-to-back singles. MSU broke out the offense in the fifth inning with Moore’s leadoff homer before Bell capitalized with a three-run bomb of her own to push the score to 7-0.

MSU capped the run-rule victory in the sixth inning as pinch hitter Lexi Malone knocked an infield single to the pitcher. Davidson advanced her to third with a single through the left side. Freshmen pinch hitter Macey Petrey capped the walk-off victory with an RBI on her grounder to short to wrap up MSU’s perfect weekend.

Sophomore right-hander Candace Denis pitched the final two innings, striking out two without allowing a hit.

ON DECK

MSU returns to action on Thursday, Feb. 15 against UT Martin at 4:00 p.m. at Nusz Park before hosting the February Freezer over Friday, Feb. 16 to Sunday, Feb. 18, MSU’s second tournament of the season. The tournament field features Murray State, Drake and South Alabama.

2018 Bulldog Kickoff Classic Results
Friday, Feb. 9
Game 1 – Omaha def. Missouri State, 2-1
Game 2 – Missouri State def. Mississippi Valley State, 4-0
Game 3 - Mississippi State def. Mississippi Valley State, 10-0 (5 inn.)
Game 4 - Mississippi State def. Omaha, 8-0 (5 inn.)

Sunday, Feb. 11
Game 5 – Missouri State def. Omaha, 16-2 (5 inn.)
Game 6 – Omaha def. Mississippi Valley State, 2-1
Game 7 – Mississippi State def. Missouri State, 5-0
Game 8 – Mississippi State def. Mississippi Valley State, 8-0 (6 inn.)

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 97049

Reported Deaths: 2919
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7148160
DeSoto562361
Harrison388374
Jackson352170
Madison331289
Rankin330879
Lee274870
Forrest250075
Jones249879
Washington225977
Lafayette219340
Lauderdale2064125
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Oktibbeha180152
Lamar172435
Neshoba1580104
Lowndes157958
Panola150731
Sunflower147346
Leflore141381
Warren140950
Pontotoc127916
Pike124051
Monroe123669
Copiah119233
Scott117627
Coahoma116229
Marshall111117
Lincoln110453
Holmes109859
Grenada109536
Yazoo106230
Simpson104746
Tate100638
Union99824
Leake96138
Adams94237
Wayne90521
Pearl River89453
Marion86835
Prentiss86317
Itawamba83121
Covington82723
Alcorn82311
George78213
Tallahatchie77421
Newton77324
Winston74219
Tishomingo69138
Chickasaw68524
Tippah67217
Attala67025
Clarke60346
Walthall60226
Clay59618
Hancock58822
Jasper57715
Noxubee55116
Smith53615
Calhoun52212
Tunica49715
Claiborne46516
Montgomery46520
Yalobusha43614
Lawrence43313
Perry42419
Greene38717
Humphreys37815
Quitman3775
Stone37512
Jefferson Davis34211
Webster33813
Amite33210
Carroll32012
Wilkinson30518
Kemper29015
Sharkey26613
Jefferson2439
Benton2283
Franklin1933
Choctaw1866
Issaquena1053
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 136055

Reported Deaths: 2364
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson19752350
Mobile13449292
Montgomery8852184
Tuscaloosa8654118
Madison792778
Shelby601349
Lee592760
Baldwin552650
Marshall396143
Calhoun353444
Etowah352145
Morgan331428
Houston292021
Elmore267348
DeKalb243221
St. Clair233036
Walker231984
Talladega217129
Limestone211920
Cullman190720
Dallas179126
Franklin178129
Autauga177325
Russell17633
Lauderdale172333
Colbert166626
Blount161715
Escambia161124
Chilton158830
Jackson158111
Covington140327
Dale139244
Coffee13596
Pike120510
Chambers116842
Tallapoosa116485
Clarke110016
Marion96829
Butler91339
Barbour8857
Winston74512
Marengo72420
Pickens66614
Bibb65610
Lowndes65427
Randolph65413
Hale64428
Geneva6344
Lawrence62123
Cherokee61213
Bullock60614
Monroe5908
Clay5878
Washington55913
Perry5416
Crenshaw54032
Conecuh53611
Wilcox53211
Henry5075
Macon48318
Fayette4628
Sumter43819
Cleburne3825
Lamar3702
Choctaw35112
Greene30315
Coosa1723
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