|Mississippi State 12, Charleston Southern 4
|Mizzou 11, Ole Miss 0
|Florida 6, Tennessee 5
|Alabama 6, South Carolina 4
|Georgia at Auburn
|Kentucky at LSU
|Arkansas at Texas A&M
Mississippi State Rallies for 12 Unanswered Runs In Win
Charleston, S.C. - Trailing 4-0 heading to the top of the fourth, the Mississippi State softball team exploded for eight runs on four hits on its way to a 12-4 five-inning triumph at Charleston Southern Friday afternoon at the CSU Softball Stadium. State's largest come-from-behind win in two years improved the Bulldogs to 20-6 overall, while the host Buccaneers fell to 5-19 on the season.
"The whole goal is the process," Head Coach Vann Stuedeman said. "It was not fun to get down early, but it was nice to see us respond that way, have some experience with it and walk away from today knowing we can do it in the future."
The Bulldogs wrapped up their spring break road trip with a perfect 4-0 record, with wins against CSU, Jacksonville State and a doubleheader sweep of College of Charleston. Stuedeman's offense outscored opponents by an average of eight runs on the week (39-7), highlighted by a season-high eight-run fourth inning Friday, its most in a single frame since plating eight in the first inning against Jackson State on April 10, 2012. State finished the road trip with three-consecutive run-rule victories for the first time since winning five-straight game-shortened contests from Feb. 29-March 3, 2012. The 13-game non-conference winning streak is tied for the third-longest such streak in school history.
Redshirt sophomore designated player Briana Bell had the best day of her career, recording career highs with two home runs and five RBIs to go along with a career-best tying two hits and two runs. Redshirt junior Erin Nesbit tallied a career-high three hits, scoring once and driving in a teammate. Junior slugger Sam Lenahan started at catcher and went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs and runs thanks to a double and a triple.
"When Briana finds her barrel, it's going to be well hit," Stuedeman explained. "She is so competitive and resilient at the plate. She was on fire today."
In the circle, senior left-hander Stephanie Becker replaced starter Kylie Vry with zero outs in the first inning to earn her sixth win of the season (6-1). The southpaw gave up just one hit for the game, striking out eight in five shutout innings. In her last five appearances toeing the rubber, Becker has fanned 33 batters, gone 3-0 and registered a near-perfect 0.30 ERA.
After outscoring its opponents on spring break by a 12-0 margin in the first, the tables turned on MSU in the opening frame Friday. Charleston Southern leadoff hitter Trea Steele was hit by a pitch to start the contest, and scored thanks to a two-run home run by Stephanie Sbardella. Marci Christian followed up the long ball with one of her own, a solo shot to center field to make it 3-0 in favor of the home team. A throwing error by the Bulldogs' third baseman allowed Jana Matthews to reach first and take second, before scoring on a double to the gap in left center by Linzy Rother.
Down four runs heading to the fourth inning, the light switched turned on and the Bully Bombers started bombing balls throughout the softball complex. After senior Jessica Cooley walked, Bell detonated her first long shot of the day with a two-run bleacher blast to left. Nesbit then singled through the left side and advanced to second once senior Shelby Fisher reached on a fielder's choice when the CSU second baseman sailed a throw past shortstop trying to force Nesbit out. Freshman Loryn Nichols loaded the bases with a single through the 5-6 hole.
With the bases juiced, Offutt knocked in the third MSU run with a groundout to third, followed by a suicide squeeze by junior Heidi Shape that plated Fisher. After Shape stole second to join Nichols in scoring position, Lenahan cleared the bases with her first triple in 104 games. Cooley was then hit in her second at-bat of the inning and immediately swiped second, which in turn led to the bases being covered again thanks to a base on balls by Bell. Nesbit was then hit by a pitch to knock "Slammin'" Sam in. The eighth and final run of the fourth came when Fisher hit a laser on the ground to shortstop, allowing Cooley to tap the dish for the second time in the inning thanks to another Buccaneer defensive miscue.
Getting their second wind in the fifth, the Bulldogs matched the inning total with a five spot in the frame. State started with two quick outs before Lenahan doubled down the left-field line. The slugger scored easily when junior Logan Foulks barely missed a home run with a standup double off the top of the wall in right field. Having entered the game in the bottom of the fourth, sophomore Ashley Phillips put runners at the corners when she reached on a fielding error by the CSU third baseman. Both runners were brought home when Bell muscled one over the left field wall again for her second home run and the final three runs of the game.
Starkville's Team returns home Wednesday to finish its home-and-home against No. 22 Louisiana-Lafayette. First pitch is slated for 6 p.m. CT at the MSU Softball Stadium. Admission is free for those that can attend, but for those that cannot, live video and audio streaming of the game will be available online to HailStateTV subscribers (www.HailState.com/hstvlive).
"We need all the Maroon and White faithful out at the MSU Softball Stadium this Wednesday night," Stuedeman said. "Be loud, bring your support and help us win."
For live in-game updates of MSU's non-conference clash with the Ragin' Cajuns, follow the program on Twitter at @MStateSB. For pictures, like the team on Facebook at Facebook.com/MStateSB and visit the team's Instagram account at MStateSB. For pregame and postgame video, check out MSU's official YouTube channel at YouTube.com/HailState.
Mizzou Pitchers Combine to No-Hit Ole Miss
OXFORD, Miss. - No. 8 Mizzou hit and pitched past Ole Miss to an 11-0 victory on Friday at the Ole Miss Softball Complex, using both Chelsea Thomas (Pleastantville, Iowa) and Nicole Hudson (Webb City, Mo.) to no-hit the Rebels. The Tigers were led offensively by Hudson and sophomore 3B Angela Randazzo (Poway, Calif.), who both batted 2-for-2. Hudson homered, doubled and drew two walks, while Randazzo doubled, tripled and drew one walk.
The win improved Mizzou's record to 13-2 overall and 2-1 in Southeastern Conference action, while Ole Miss dropped to 18-13 (1-3 SEC).
Thomas pitched 2.0 innings, striking out four batters before giving way to Hudson when Mizzou led 6-0. Hudson picked up the win (5-0) with 3.0 innings pitched, also striking out four.
The Tigers jumped out to a 2-0 lead on the Rebels in the first inning with freshman 2B Emily Crane (Troy, Mo.) and senior catcher Jenna Marston (St. Louis, Mo.) getting hit by pitches to start the game. Hudson walked to load the bases and a wild pitch brought Crane in for a 1-0 lead. Junior utility player Mackenzie Sykes (Blue Springs, Mo.) drew a walk to load the bases again, and Randazzo followed with her walk to bring home Marston for Mizzou's second run.
Mizzou added more runs with scoring outbursts in the third and fourth innings. A two-out rally scored four runs in third inning action. With Sykes on base after a fielder's choice forced out Hudson for the Tigers' second out, Randazzo stroked a deep double to left center to bring around Mizzou's left fielder. A fielding error by Ole Miss scored Randazzo and sophomore SS Corrin Genovese (East Amherst, N.Y.) followed with a double off the left field wall, scoring sophomore CF Kayla Kingsley (Oklahoma City, Okla.) and freshman RF Sarah Moore (Chino Hills, Calif.) to set the score at 6-0.
Marston led off the Tigers' efforts in the fourth with a single up the middle. Hudson followed by nearly hitting her first home run of the game, with her blast bouncing back into right field off the top of the outfield wall. The effort scored Marston to set the score at 7-0. Roth made it to base safely on a fielder's choice at shortstop with junior Brianna Corwin (Kansas City, Mo.) entering afterwards as a pinch runner. The triple from Randazzo cleared the bases, giving Mizzou a 9-0 advantage. Moore singled in Mizzou's 10th run of the game to score senior IF Princess Krebs (Lithonia, Ga.), who had pinch run for Randazzo.
In fifth inning action, Hudson launched her eighth home run of the season to push Mizzou's lead to 11-0. Hudson returned to the circle to close out the game, recording two strikeouts and sending a flyout to center field to seal the win.
Ole Miss pitcher Madi Osias took the loss (3-1), lasting 0.1 inning with two runs surrendered, one strikeout and three walks issued. Mizzou racked up nine hits in the contest, scoring six off Rebel Shelby Jo Fenter and three off Lauren Lindsey.
Mizzou continues its series with the Rebels with a 2 p.m. start on Saturday. The series will close with a 1 p.m. start on Sunday.
Fans are encouraged to check MUTigers.com and the softball team's social media outlets, @MizzouSoftball and Facebook, for updates and information throughout the season.
Florida Walks Its Way to Win Over Tennessee
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – No. 3 Florida softball emerged from an eight-inning battle victorious over No. 6 Tennessee Friday night, pulling out a 6-5 win in a dogfight series opener at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium in front of 1,044 Orange and Blue-clad fans, UF’s largest home crowd of the season.
Junior Stephanie Tofft (Lincoln, Calif.) drew a bases-loaded RBI walk in the bottom of the eighth to walk things off for Florida, which improved to 26-2 overall this season and 3-1 in Southeastern Conference play. Tennessee moved to 22-5 on the year, 2-2 in league play. Friday’s eight-inning game between Florida and Tennessee marked the second consecutive extra-inning contest between the two squads after last year’s 2-1, eight-inning affair at the SEC Tournament in Tuscaloosa.
The Gators and Lady Vols went tit-for-tat in the runs column throughout the span of the game until the decisive run in the bottom of the eighth, both squads putting up two spots in the first inning and one run in the fourth, while Florida struck with a two-run sixth, followed by Tennessee’s two-run seventh to force extras between the two SEC Eastern Division rivals.
UF improved to 5-1 against ranked opponents in 2013 and 2-1 in extra-inning games this season, chalking up its10th come-from-behind victory of the year.
Junior Hannah Rogers (Lake Wales, Fla.) worked seven innings combined, tossing the first six before being relieved by sophomore Lauren Haeger (Peoria, Ariz.) in the seventh, and then coming back in to finish things out in the eighth by forcing a three up, three down inning for Tennessee. Rogers improved to 14-2 in the circle, giving up just two earned runs and one walk, while fanning three Lady Vols.
Florida juiced the bags in the eighth, starting with a sophomore Katie Medina (Downey, Calif.) leadoff double that chased UT starter Ivy Renfroe (9-2) from the circle in favor of relief pitcher Cheyanne Tarango. Freshman Taylore Fuller (Trenton, Fla.) kept things rolling for the Gators, using pinch hit single through the left side for runners on first and second, no outs, before the Vols opted to intentionally walk leadoff batter freshman Kelsey Stewart (Wichita, Kan.) to pitch to Tofft. Tofft took three straight balls before a Tarango strike, then plated Medina for the 6-5 Florida victory with a ball on a 3-1 count.
Prior to Florida’s extra-inning work, a back-and-forth battle between the two league foes proved entertaining for all fans in attendance. Tennessee was first to strike with a two-run homer from Tarango herself in the top of the first before Florida countered with two runs of its own in the bottom of the initial stanza, thanks to senior Kelsey Horton (Valrico, Fla.) and freshman Taylor Schwarz (Palm Beach, Fla.) RBI singles, both to left field for a 2-2 ballgame.
After scoreless second and third innings for both squads, the Vols went ahead, 3-2, in the top of fourth after capitalizing on a Gator defensive miscue, while the Orange and Blue countered in the home half of the inning with a Medina RBI single to knot things up at 3-all.
The Gators then took a 5-3 lead over the Vols in the bottom of the sixth, first going ahead 4-3 on a Renfroe wild pitch before Stewart connected for an RBI single to extend UF’s lead to two runs. The Lady Vols battled back though and made things interesting in the top of the seventh with two outs when third baseman Raven Chavanne beat out an infield hit to short to set up a Lauren Gibson two-run homer that tied the game, 5-5.
Tennessee held UF scoreless in the seventh as the Gators left two runners on, but Rogers returned the favor in the top of the eighth, sitting the side down via a groundout, pop up and fly out to set up UF’s eighth-inning success in the home half of the stanza.
Schwarz and Medina were both 2-for-3 on the day for the Gators, while Stewart and Horton checked in 2-for-4 at the plate for the Gators. Tofft was 1-for-4 with the RBI that counted most.
Both Tennessee and Florida put up 11 hits in the series opener, while the Gators drew six walks to Tennessee’s two. Sophomore Briana Little (Middleburg, Fla.) inched one hit-by-pitch closer to the school record (15) with her 12th of the season in the seventh inning Friday.
Madison Shipman led Tennessee with a 4-for-4 performance, while Kat Dotson went 3-for-4 to combine for seven of UT’s 11 hits on the night.
The Gators and Vols will be back at it Saturday in the second game of the series at 11 a.m., a game to be broadcast on ESPNU, the first nationally televised softball contest of the season. Michele Smith and Pam Ward will call the action from KSP Stadium.
Bama Takes Series Opener Over USC
COLUMBIA, S.C. - A solid relief effort by sophomore Leslie Jury and timely hitting propelled the Alabama softball team to a series opening, 6-4 victory at South Carolina, Friday night. The game was the first ever played at the new Carolina Softball Stadium. With the victory, the Crimson Tide improves to 24-3 overall and 2-2 in Southeastern Conference play.
Jury, playing in her home state for the first time, came in relief and allowed just one hit and struck out two in 2 1/3 innings pitched.
A big fourth and seventh innings proved to be the difference as Alabama outhit South Carolina, 8-6. Junior Kaila Hunt paced the Tide with three hits and two RBI.
After South Carolina opened the scoring with two runs in the third inning, the Tide promptly took the lead in a hurry on the strength of three home runs in the fourth inning.
Hunt started things in the frame, this time clearing the wall in left-center to lead off the fourth inning to pull Alabama to within one. The home run was her eighth on the season. The shot came an at-bat after the junior tattooed the wall in left-center in the first inning.
UA then evened the score two batters later as sophomore Danielle Richard hit a solo shot over the wall in left. The home run was the fourth on the season for the third baseman. Freshman Leona Lafaele then gave the Tide the lead with a lined shot that left the yard in a hurry, landing on the South Carolina track well beyond the wall down the left field line. The home run was a career first for the rookie.
Hunt added to the Tide lead in the fifth inning, when an infield single was able to score senior Kayla Braud all the way from second to make it a 4-2 advantage.
The Gamecocks rallied to tie it in the bottom of the fifth with two runs of their own. Two innings later the Tide would strike again. Freshman Haylie McCleney provided the heroics with a two-run triple to give Alabama the final 6-4 margin. A single by freshman Andrea Hawkins and Braud reaching on an error got things going for the Tide.
The two teams will meet for game two of the series on Saturday. It will mark the first time the Tide are on TV this season as it will air live on CSS with Melissa Lee and Cheri Kempf calling the action. First pitch is set for 11 a.m. CT.
No. 25 Georgia Downs Auburn in Conference Opener
AUBURN, Ala. - The 25th-ranked University of Georgia softball team picked up a 9-3 win over the Auburn Tigers in its Southeastern Conference opener on Friday, March 15 at Moore Field in Auburn, Ala. The Bulldogs moved to 19-7 on the year and 1-0 in the SEC, while Auburn fell to 20-8 and 1-3 in league play.
Paige Wilson and Tina Iosefa each finished with two hits and three RBI to lead the team. Auburn's Morgan Estell, Brooke Lathan and Emily Carosone each finished with two hits for the Tigers.
Geri Ann Glasco earned her 11th win of the season to improve to 11-1 on the year. She allowed three runs on nine hits in the complete game performance. Hilary Mavromat suffered the loss to drop to 5-3 on the year. She allowed five runs on five hits and three walks in two innings of work.
Georgia took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first after Anna Swafford led off the game with a single to put a runner on for Wilson who lifted a ball over the left centerfield wall to give the Bulldogs the early lead.
The Bulldogs used a three run third to extend its lead to 5-0. Glasco led off with a single off the right field wall. Iosefa then belted a home run high and deep over the center field wall to make it a 4-0 game. The homer was Iosefa's fourth in four games. Kaylee Puailoa followed with a double down the right field line to put a runner at second for Christine Olney, who extended her hit streak to nine games with a RBI-single to make it a 5-0 game.
Auburn got a pair of runs back in the bottom of the third after an error and a single put runners on for Lathan, who delivered a RBI single to left field that made it a 5-1 game. The second run came two batters later on a fielder's choice by Carosone.
The Tigers scored a run in the bottom of the fourth that cut Georgia's lead to 5-3. A one-out single put McKenzie Kirkpatrick at first for Estell who doubled to right to score Kirkpatrick for a two-out RBI.
The Bulldogs tacked on three runs in the top of the sixth to make it an 8-3 game. Katie Browne led off the inning with a single before Katie Sowers, who came in to pinch run, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Samantha LaZear. Wilson recorded a RBI-single the scored Sowers for Georgia's sixth run of the game. Glasco followed with a long single to left that scored Wilson and extended the Bulldog lead to 7-3. The ball was misplayed, allowing Glasco to move to third for Iosefa, who singled to short and drove in Glasco for the eighth Georgia run of the game.
Georgia scored one run on four errors in the top of the seventh. Tess Sito, Olney and Browne each reached on Auburn fielding errors, with Sito coming around to score on a wild pitch to extend the Bulldog lead to 9-3.
Georgia and Auburn will play again tomorrow at 2 p.m.
LSU Downs UK 7-1
BATON ROUGE - Rachele Fico continued her strong showing in SEC play and tossed a one-hitter fueled by nine strikeouts as the No. 13 LSU softball team registered a 7-1 victory over Kentucky Friday in the first game of three-game weekend set at Tiger Park.
For Fico, she became the fourth pitcher in program history to surpass 700 career strikeouts. She joins former All-Americans Britni Sneed, Kristin Schmidt and Emily Turner on the prestigious list.
The victory enabled Fico to improve to 13-3 on the season. She was touched up for one run on one hit and totaled nine strikeouts against four walks.
LSU (21-5, 3-1 SEC) has won seven of its last nine outings and remained in sole possession of first place in the SEC Western Division. The Wildcats (19-5, 2-2 SEC) lost for only the second time over their last 13 outings going back to February 16.
LSU's offense pounded out 10 hits sparked by a 3-for-3 effort by Simone Heyward at the bottom of the lineup. The three hits for Heyward were a career-high.
A.J. Andrews, Sandra Simmons and Tammy Wray collected two RBIs apiece for the Tigers.
Aggies Beat Razorbacks in Walk-Off Fashion
COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Junior Allison Garrett used a single to shallow-centerfield by freshman Cali Lanphear and an error by the Razorbacks to score the 2-1, walk-off run as the No. 5 Texas A&M softball team topped Arkansas in game one of the Aggies first-ever home Southeastern Conference series at the Aggie Softball Complex on Friday.
The Aggies (24-2, 2-1 SEC) and Razorbacks (19-8, 0-1 SEC) played in front of a crowd of 1,051 and will rematch in game two of the three-contest series tomorrow at 4 p.m. The broadcast of that game will be available locally on Sports Radio 1150 AM, and worldwide on AggieAthletics.com.
A pitchers’ duel that produced nine strikeouts by Aggie senior Mel Dumezich was determined by Garrett’s walk-off run in seven innings. Dumezich (17-1) allowed four hits on the night, but just one earned run for her 17th victory of the season and second in SEC play. Arkansas reliever Kimmy Beasley (3-4) pitched just 0.1innings, but gave up a hit and an unearned run to take the loss.
A&M’s first run of the game came in the form of a first-inning home run over left-centerfield by Meagan May. The at-bat was the senior’s first since taking an eight-game sabbatical for a hand injury.
Arkansas didn’t take long to respond to the Aggies’ 1-0 lead, sending a runner across the plate on an RBI double in the top of the second. The Razorbacks continued to put runners on base with four walks and four hits, but the game remained locked in a 1-1 tie.
The Hogs loaded the bases in the top of the fifth, but Dumezich convinced the final batter to swing to end the inning with runners at every spot.
The top of the seventh also had a dramatic ending as a pair of two-out singles put runners on for the Razorbacks. Leadoff runner Devon Wallace attempted to take two bags on Stephanie Canfield’s base hit to right field, but sure-armed Aggie right fielder Cassie Tysarczyk accepted the challenge and nailed the glove of third baseman Amber Garza who completed the tag-out to close the frame.
A&M struggled to get runners on base, but in the bottom of the seventh, junior Nicole Morgan sat back and took a four-pitch walk before she was replaced by Garrett. A sacrifice bunt by Dumezich sent the pinch runner to second before freshman Cali Lanphear picked up just the second hit of the day for the Aggies with a single lobbed into shallow right field.
The base hit sent Garrett to third, and she was waved as the throw from right field flew past the catcher toward the third-base dugout. Garrett scored on the throwing error and the Aggies took game one of the series, 2-1 in walk-off fashion.
The Aggies and Razorbacks will meet again tomorrow at the Aggie Softball Complex at 4 p.m. CDT. To learn more about Texas A&M softball, log on to AggieAthletics.com and follow @AggieSoftball on Twitter.