STARKVILLE, Miss. - One day after earning Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Week honors for the second-consecutive week, Mississippi State softball junior right-hander Alison Owen was named College Sports Madness' National Pitcher of the Week, the website announced Tuesday. Owen joins teammate Jessica Cooley (2012) and former MSU All-American Iyhia McMichael (2003 and 2004) as the only Bulldogs ever to earn a national weekly honor.
Owen and the rest of her teammates will get their final tune-up before conference play this Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., as the Maroon and White battle Memphis (7-12) as part of Catholic Student Association Night at the MSU Softball Stadium. The first 50 fans to show up at the Dawg Diamond will receive Chick-fil-A coupons, and can watch MSU professor Whit Waide throw out the first pitch.
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).
After going 5-0 this past weekend at the 2013 D9 Citrus Classic in Orlando, Fla., MSU improved to 14-4, the program's best start through 18 games since the 2008 squad went 15-3 and won 40-plus games for the second time in school history. Should State win its ninth-consecutive game Wednesday, it will tie for the seventh-longest winning streak in school history.
A big part of the Sunshine State success was the pitching efforts of Owen and senior lefty Stephanie Becker. Owen made four appearances, tallying three complete-game victories and a save. Her 0.38 ERA on the weekend was aided by her the no-hitter Saturday vs. Fordham, the school's 14th no-no in school history. Becker was lights out as well, finishing the weekend 2-0 with a 1.58 ERA. On ESPN3 Saturday vs. LIU-Brooklyn, Becker tossed her first complete-game one hitter of the season. On the season, the Bulldogs have shut out six opponents in 18 games, one more than they did in 57 total games last season.
Offensively, it was the dynamic junior duo of Logan Foulks and Sam Lenahan that paved the way for the five triumphs. Hitting out of the 3-4 spot in the order all weekend, the Bully Bombers combined to hit .536 with four home runs, 12 RBIs, two doubles and a slugging percentage of more than 1.000. Two of the five victories in Orlando were of the run-rule variety, giving MSU already half of its 2012 total of eight in 57 games a year ago.
Following the non-conference showdown vs. Memphis, the Bulldogs open up SEC play this weekend with a three-game series against No. 12 LSU. Starkville's Team takes on the Purple and Gold Friday at 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m.
For live in-game updates of MSU's four-game homestand this upcoming week, 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.
Season-Long Marketing Promotions:
General In-Game Promotions:
Foul Ball Frenzy - Receive a FREE Coupon When You Return a Foul Ball to the Marketing Table
Bring 'em Homers - MSU Softball T-Shirts will Be Thrown into the Stands for Number of Runs Scored
Load the Bases - One Lucky Fan will Receive a FREE Coupon for a Local Starkville Business
Grand Slam! - Four MSU Softball T-Shirts will be Thrown into the Stands
MSU Double Play - Double Bubble Gum will be Thrown into the Stands
MSU Hits a Double - One Lucky Fan will Receive a FREE Coupon for a Local Starkville Business
MSU Strikes-Out Opponent - One Lucky Fan will Receive a FREE MSU Softball TShirt
Bottom of 1st - Lead off Hit - One Lucky Fan will Receive a FREE Coupon for a Local Starkville Business
Top of 2nd - Sit 'em Down 1, 2, 3 - One Lucky Fan will Receive a FREE Coupon for a Local Starkville Business
Top of 3rd - Movie Trivia - One Lucky Fan will Receive TWO FREE Movie Tickets for Correctly Answering the Movie Trivia
Bottom of 4th - Chicken Dance! - One Lucky Fan will Receive a FREE Coupon for a Local Starkville Business
Top of 5th - Name That Tune - One Lucky Fan will Receive a $5 iTunes Giftcard for Correctly Naming the Song Being Played
Bottom of 6th - Take the Plate with the Bulldogs - One Lucky Fan will Receive 1, 2 or 3 FREE Coupons for a Local Starkville Business Based on the Hit (Single, Double or Triple)
Top of 7th - Player Trivia - One Lucky Fan will Receive a FREE Coupon for a Local Starkville Business for Correctly Answering the Player Trivia Question
Wednesday, March 6th - Memphis (5:30 p.m.)
- Chick-Fil-A Coupons to first 50 fans
- "Catholic Student Association Night at the Park"
- First Pitch - Whit Waide (MSU 2011 Professor of the Year)