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What a fun time it is to be a Bulldog. We’ve got five Mississippi State teams in the postseason at this very moment and another one coming soon when baseball finishes the regular season.
In addition to so much on-field success, we said farewell to our graduating seniors over the weekend, made visits all across Our State (and a couple others) on the Road Dawgs Tour and I attended SEC meetings in Florida, all since my last column.
It’s been a fun couple weeks and we’ve got even more coming.
TENNIS IN ROUND OF 16
I join everyone else in congratulating Coach Nilsson and our men’s tennis team for winning both the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament on campus over the weekend (downing Austin Peay and Harvard) and now I wish them luck as they face No. 6 Tennessee tomorrow at Noon CT in the prestigious Round of 16 at the University of Illinois. It’s the first time since 2001 for MSU to make it to the Round of 16 (11th in school history) and this is a very big accomplishment.
Our Dawgs are ranked No. 10 nationally and, upon making the NCAA Tournament for the third-straight year, have backed up their credentials once again.
Three Bulldogs will also compete in the NCAA Individual Championships following the team competition. Romain Bogaerts (ranked No. 6 nationally) and Malte Stropp (No. 57) are in the NCAA Singles draw, while Stropp and Jordan Angus (No. 13) have made the NCAA Doubles field.
WOMEN’S GOLF OFF TO NATIONALS NEXT WEEK
If any of you were keeping up online over the weekend, you saw what a truly remarkable final round Coach Brown-Lemm’s golf team put together on Saturday in the Central Regional of the NCAA Tournament. In sixth place and one shot out of missing the cut for nationals when the day started, the group fired off a school-record score, coming in at 7-under par and finishing in third place for the weekend, advancing our team to the NCAA Championships in Athens, Ga., next week for the first time ever. MSU is one of only 24 teams still left playing in the country.
In addition to the impressive outing by the team, sophomore Ally McDonald was named GolfWeek.com’s Player of the Week after having the best single weekend in program history, firing a 10-under par 206 for the tournament, winning the regional easily, with the closest competitors sitting five strokes behind. Well done, ladies.
MEN’S GOLF BEGINS REGIONAL PLAY THURSDAY
Staying on the greens, congratulations as well to Coach Homan’s men’s golf team for completing one of the best seasons in program history and being selected to the NCAA Regional in Baton Rouge. Play begins tomorrow on LSU’s course, where our team competed in the fall and hopes to have even more success.
They’ll be led by two more student-athletes I should commend in juniors Chad Ramey and Axel Boasson, who were both named All-SEC after extremely successful seasons.
SOFTBALL SELECTED FOR NCAA TOURNAMENT
For the second-consecutive year, Coach Stuedeman has her Bulldogs in a regional, which is not bad considering this is only her second year at MSU. Job well done to her and the team, who will play Florida State in Mobile, Ala., on Friday at 3:30 p.m. CT in their first game of the regional. It is being hosted by South Alabama and includes another school from Our State - Mississippi Valley State.
A couple of stats I came across earlier this week: of the 48 teams in the postseason, MSU has already played 16 of them. Even more impressive: of the 16 host teams, our Bulldogs have already beaten four of them. The strength of the SEC across the board never ceases to impress me, and it has our teams well-prepared for the postseason.
TRACK AND FIELD DOMINANT AT SEC’S
Continuing their successful season of already having two individual National Champions, Coach Dudley’s track and field teams haven’t stopped running for a moment. We had four Bulldogs earn top-five finishes on the final day of competition at the SEC Championships over the weekend and an impressive weekend showing from top-to-bottom.
Our runners, leapers and throwers will keep it all rolling when they head to preliminaries in North Carolina next weekend and I’m excited to see how well our Bulldogs keep doing this summer.
BASEBALL REGULAR-SEASON FINALE THIS WEEKEND
We welcome South Carolina to campus this weekend for the final baseball series of the regular season, but with your support in the stands, we hope it won’t be the last time Coach Cohen’s club gets to play at Dudy Noble this season. The stretch run of the SEC slate has been as intriguing as ever, and I’m excited to see how our Bulldogs finish it off.
We’re expecting to hit the five million mark in all-time attendance this weekend, an accomplishment Bulldogs past and present can celebrate together. We’re also expecting to set a single-season attendance record. We like our baseball around here.
A quick reminder: the series begins Thursday night at Dudy Noble, so make plans to join us for an early and extended weekend on campus. It’s Hawaiian T-shirt night on Thursday and we’ll be giving out lei’s to the first 750 people. I’ll have on my best floral print and look forward to seeing you all there.
LAST DAWG TALK ON SUNDAY AT BUFFALO WILD WINGS
I also want to remind you that our last Dawg Talk with John Cohen of the year will be on Sunday night at 7 p.m. at Buffalo Wild Wings in Starkville. It’s early this time due to the SEC Tournament beginning in Hoover early in the week. I hope to see you there for Coach Cohen’s final show and a good dinner.
On Monday, however, my Hail State radio show continues at Fairpark Grill in Tupelo, yet another chance for fun radio and a great meal.
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