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Strong pitching carries MSU softball to Saturday sweep

The Bulldogs beat Mercer and Sam Houston State on Saturday.

Posted: Mar 3, 2018 11:25 PM

STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTVA/MSU Athletics) - Dominant pitching performances by freshman Emily Wiliams and senior Cassady Knudsen highlighted No. 25 Mississippi State softball's Saturday sweep pf Mercer, 7-1, and Sam Houston State, 9-0, to close the second day of competition at the Bulldog Slamboree at Nusz Park.

Behind a career-high 13 strikeouts, Williams tossed her first complete game as she led MSU to a 7-1 victory over Mercer (13-5) before Knudsen tossed her third one-hitter of the season in the Bulldogs' run-rule victory over Sam Houston State (5-12).

"It was important for us to get seven full innings out of Emily Williams in the first game," head coach Vann Stuedeman said. "She trudged through. She's got to learn to get her pitch number down a little bit, but it was important for her to feel that. Cassady (Knudsen) came out and threw another great game for us. The whole staff has really done a great job keeping us in games and giving us opportunities. It's fun to see freshmen to get in there and hit. We got people in to get reps, get people out of the game for rest and see good things happen for us."

Senior Reggie Harrison got the Bulldogs on the board in the first inning versus Mercer with a solo home run, her second blast of the season.

Williams and Mercer's Stella Preston traded two scoreless until Mercer evened the score in the top of the fourth. After two Williams' strikeouts, the Bears drew a two-out walk and an RBI double by Allie Jones locked the score up at 1-1.

MSU responded in the bottom of the fourth as junior Sarai Niu led off the inning with her first home run of the season with a deep shot to center field to put the Bulldogs back on top 2-1. Junior Emily Heimberger followed with a single to shortstop before senior Calyn Adams got on board with a one-out hit by pitch. Redshirt junior Bevia Robinson cleared the bases with a single up the middle to push the lead to 4-1. Back-to-back errors by the Bears allowed two more runs to score as State capped the five-run inning with a 6-1 lead.

Mercer loaded the bases in the top of the fifth with just one out after a single and two walks, but Williams responded like a veteran with a strikeout and a groundout back to her.

The final run of the game came in the bottom of the sixth as freshman Macey Petrey recorded her first collegiate hit – a home run to left field.

Williams closed the game with a career-high 13 strikeouts, her first double-digit strikeout performance of her career. She allowed just one run off five hits and six walks.

Game two featured another hot start for the State offense as all nine Bulldogs made a plate appearance in the first.

Junior Kat Moore led off the inning with a double to left field before Harrison singled up the middle, advancing on the throw to put two Bulldogs in scoring position. Niu plated the first run of the game with a single to right field before junior Emily Heimberger singled to third base to push the lead to 2-0.

Junior Carmen Carter pushed the lead to 4-0 after clearing the bases with her first double for the season before she came around to score on Adams' single to left center to give MSU a 5-0 lead after the first inning.

Moore knocked her second hit of the game as she led off the bottom of the second with a single to third base. After swiping second, Moore would score on Harrison's double to right field to push MSU's lead to 6-0.

The Bulldogs added two more runs in the bottom of the third as senior Morgan Bell led off the inning with a walk followed by a Carter single to right field. Adams knocked the second straight shot to center. Adams was thrown out trying to stretch out a double, but pinch runner freshman Grace Dabbs scored to make it 7-0 for the Bulldogs. After Robinson reached on a fielder's choice, Moore brought home the eighth run of the game with an RBI groundout to second.

Dabbs plated the final run of the game in the bottom of the fourth with her first collegiate triple, scoring freshman O'Neil Roberson, who reached on a fielder's choice.

Knudsen improved to 5-1 with her third one-hitter of the season. The right-hander struck out eight and allowed just two base runners via a walk in the top of the third.

ON DECK
Mississippi State closes out the Bulldog Slamboree on Sunday, March 3 with a rematch with Sam Houston State. First pitch is set for 2:00 p.m. CT.

2018 BULLDOG SLAMBOREE SCHEDULE
Friday, March 2
Game One – Sam Houston State def. Mercer, 1-0
Game Two – Mercer def. Lamar, 2-1
Game Three – Mississippi State def. Lamar, 6-3
Game Four – Sam Houston State def. Alcorn State, 5-3

Saturday, March 3
Game Five – Lamar def. Mercer, 2-1
Game Six – Mississippi State def. Mercer, 7-1
Game Seven – Mississippi State def. Sam Houston State, 9-0 (5)
Game Eight – Alcorn State vs. Sam Houston State – 4:30 p.m. CT
Game Nine – Alcorn State vs. Lamar – 7:00 p.m. CT

Sunday, March 4
Game Ten – Mercer vs. Alcorn State – 9:00 a.m. CT
Game Eleven – Lamar vs. Alcorn State – 11:30 a.m. CT
Game Twelve – Mississippi State vs. Sam Houston State – 2:00 p.m. CT

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 312608

Reported Deaths: 7221
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto21429257
Hinds20256414
Harrison17776308
Rankin13539278
Jackson13395246
Madison10051217
Lee9956173
Jones8364163
Forrest7633152
Lauderdale7215240
Lowndes6359144
Lamar620286
Lafayette6162118
Washington5320133
Bolivar4796132
Oktibbeha460398
Panola4545104
Pearl River4495145
Marshall4387103
Warren4368120
Pontotoc419372
Monroe4089133
Union408776
Neshoba4028176
Lincoln3939110
Hancock376686
Leflore3484125
Sunflower335290
Tate331684
Pike3290105
Scott314873
Alcorn310768
Yazoo310269
Itawamba299377
Copiah295865
Coahoma293979
Simpson293788
Tippah287268
Prentiss278560
Marion268680
Leake264973
Wayne262241
Grenada259985
Adams259882
Covington256281
Newton246961
George246748
Winston226981
Tishomingo225067
Jasper220748
Attala214273
Chickasaw207057
Holmes188672
Clay184654
Stone181433
Clarke178179
Tallahatchie177840
Calhoun169532
Yalobusha162936
Smith162034
Walthall133745
Greene130233
Lawrence128223
Noxubee126834
Montgomery126742
Perry126038
Amite123442
Carroll121628
Webster114532
Jefferson Davis106932
Tunica104626
Claiborne102130
Benton99025
Humphreys96133
Kemper95628
Franklin83323
Quitman79616
Choctaw75818
Wilkinson66830
Jefferson65428
Sharkey50217
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 528784

Reported Deaths: 10913
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson762251516
Mobile40864804
Madison34569501
Tuscaloosa25646451
Montgomery24264585
Shelby23355246
Baldwin20993306
Lee15800168
Calhoun14457312
Morgan14250279
Etowah13796352
Marshall12166222
Houston10506280
Elmore10017205
Limestone9935150
Cullman9617193
St. Clair9584237
Lauderdale9397238
DeKalb8813185
Talladega8183175
Walker7205279
Autauga6910107
Jackson6793110
Blount6621135
Colbert6282134
Coffee5491115
Dale4810111
Russell437938
Chilton4244111
Franklin423882
Covington4105117
Tallapoosa4004150
Escambia392675
Chambers3545123
Dallas3536150
Clarke350360
Marion3092100
Pike309177
Lawrence299698
Winston273572
Bibb259763
Marengo248564
Geneva247075
Pickens233559
Barbour230256
Hale221776
Butler215469
Fayette211962
Henry188544
Cherokee183845
Randolph179241
Monroe176240
Washington166839
Macon158649
Clay153356
Crenshaw151657
Cleburne148341
Lamar141234
Lowndes138453
Wilcox126528
Bullock122941
Conecuh110028
Perry107526
Coosa106828
Sumter104132
Greene92234
Choctaw60324
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