Starkville, Miss. - A picture-perfect Sunday fall afternoon was the backdrop at the Mississippi State Softball Stadium as the Bulldogs swept Wallace State by scores of 3-0 and 6-4 to wrap up the fall exhibition schedule. The senior southpaw duo of Stephanie Becker and Kylie Vry picked up the wins in the circle for the Maroon and White.
"We were able to get everybody some great playing time this fall," Head Coach Vann Stuedeman said. "We want to give a big thank you to all the Bulldog fans that came out to our only home game this fall."
Becker was nearly unhittable in game one, striking out 10 batters in 5.2 scoreless innings pitched. The Chicago native allowed two hits and at one point in the game retired 10-straight Lady Lions. Freshman right hander Jacey Punches made her Starkville debut by closing out the game with two strikeouts and zero hits allowed.
"Sam Lenahan called some great pitches behind the plate and our defense was phenomenal today," Becker said.
The Bulldog bats scored all they needed to in the bottom of the first, which started with a base on balls by senior left fielder Jessica Cooley. Junior center fielder Jessica Offutt ripped a single to right field to put two runners on, before both runners executed a double steal to put two in scoring position for the junior catcher Sam Lenahan. The catcher lined a single to left, knocking in Cooley. The Wallace State left fielder mishandled the ball on the hop, allowing Offutt to also tap the dish. Junior pinch runner Rachael Zdeb scored on an RBI single by fellow junior Heidi Shape.
In game two, Vry picked up the win inside the circle, striking out six batters and giving up two hits in four innings of work. Punches returned again for a three-up, three-down fifth inning before junior Shana Sherrod closed out the game to pick up the save.
Offensively, it was a pair of two-run home runs that gave the Maroon and White the doubleheader sweep. After a triple to the gap in right by Offutt in the bottom of the third, Lenahan hit a two-run homer to left that tipped off the center fielder's glove and went over the fence for a 2-0 MSU lead.
One inning later, Cooley belted a no-doubter to the parking lot in center for the second two-run round-tripper of the game. State added another inning in the frame and one more in the sixth for its six-run total.
Wallace State's Kori Benson put the visitors on the board for the first time Sunday with a solo home run in the top of the sixth inning, with the Lady Lions adding their second run later in the inning. A throwing error with two outs in the top of the seventh gave Wallace State their final two runs.
With fall season done with, Stuedeman's squad returns to the Dawg Diamond Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013, for the 2013 season opener against South Alabama at 6 p.m. For more information the MSU softball program, follow the team on Twitter at @MStateSB and like the team on Facebook at Facebook.com/MStateSB.