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Happy Wednesday, Bulldogs.

I hope everyone enjoyed the Easter holidays, and it was certainly a change of pace to not have a single athletic event on campus after Super Bulldog Weekend last weekend.

In fact, I write you now from Los Angeles, where I’m meeting with other athletic directors from across the country as we discuss and plan for the future.

On arrival, I very much enjoyed getting to see a pair of former Bulldog greats with their teams in Dodger Stadium, even watching Paul Maholm pitch as he and Jonathan Papelbon represented the Dodgers and Phillies (as well as Mississippi State, of course) in a fun game and evening.

It starts to seem like professional Bulldogs are everywhere when I travel these days, as I actually shared a flight with Johnthan Banks on the way to Atlanta as he was making way for Tampa and training camp with the Buccaneers.

It’s getting close to that time of year when we’ll send off another crop of our student-athletes to futures all across the spectrum. It’s sad to say goodbye but always makes me proud to see them enjoying success!

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As I mention that this weekend is the final home series for softball this season, I have to commend Coach Vann Stuedeman and the team for their tremendous job the past two weeks. The Bulldogs took down back-to-back top five teams, beating No. 3 Alabama at home on SBW and following it up by claiming the series against No. 4 Tennessee in Knoxville over the weekend. The fruits of hard work in that program are showing and we’re excited to watch it happen.

Perhaps as impressive as anything, it was a freshman - Alexis Silkwood - who threw a shutout on Friday against the Vols to get the first win of the series, a performance which helped her to win SEC Pitcher of the Week, following senior Alison Owen receiving the same honor last week.

This weekend against Arkansas we’ll be celebrating a successful senior class who helped build the foundation for Coach Stuedeman’s program and we’ll enjoy one last chance to see this team at home before the postseason begins.

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You may grow tired of the regular reminders, but the coming SEC Network is very important to our conference and the 14 member institutions for a variety of reasons.

First, it will eventually serve as the primary way to watch MSU sports (as well as other schools), particularly everything that isn’t football. Though, on that note, it’s worth sharing that every team will have at least one game (if not more) broadcast on the SEC Network during the 2014 football season, so it’s best to be prepared. Through televised, online and mobile channels, the SEC Network will offer unprecedented quality and programming concerning our school and conference.

Beyond the entertainment benefits, the SEC Network will also serve as a significant contributor to our athletic budget. It will take time before the big revenue is seen, but investments toward the success of the network are already being made here and across all campuses, with a potentially grand payoff.

Make sure to visit www.GetSECNetwork.com to let your provider know you want to be able to watch. And if you haven’t yet seen it, ESPN produced 14 30-second commercials highlighting a tradition at each school, with the Left Field Lounge taking center stage for MSU. You can check out ours, as well the other 13, here.

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- Make sure you plan to be in Starkville this weekend, as our nationally ranked Diamond Dawgs host Texas A&M in a big weekend series, with the first game coming on ESPNU on Thursday night. We love opportunities to showcase ourselves to a national audience and having a great crowd makes the experience that much better.

- Congratulations to our men’s (21st) and women’s (25th) track teams for re-entering the Top 25 after big performances over the weekend, including a first-place finish amongst NCAA runners by sophomore Brandon McBride in the 800-meter sprint. That time also set an MSU record in the outdoor 800m.

- Since the last update, men’s tennis, women’s tennis and women’s golf have all competed in the SEC Tournament, for which performances we congratulate them and look forward to the rest of the postseason in the NCAA Tournament.

- Starting Friday, our men’s golf team will have its turn in the SEC Tournament, and we wish them luck all weekend.

Thank you all for your support, and don’t forget to wear maroon on Friday! Or any day you like, I suppose.

Hail State!

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We appreciate what you do for Mississippi State Athletics and want to encourage you to get others involved.  There are three things you can do to help the athletic department at Mississippi State reach its desired goals –

1.  Buy Season Tickets

2.  Financially Support the Bulldog Club

3.  Get Others To Do The Same

Thanks for taking the time to read this Update.   

Hail State!

Scott Stricklin