Holding a 7-3 record all-time against the Gamecocks, the Bulldogs will look to pick up win number eight riding a wave of recent non-conference success. Head Coach Vann Stuedeman and the Maroon and White have won 28 of their last 34 games against teams outside the Southeastern Conference, including the last nine consecutive. The Bulldogs won their only meeting ever at University Field in Jacksonville back on April 25, 2001, a narrow 3-2 victory against the home team.
State is 8-2 over its last 10 games, tied with top-10 Texas A&M for the best SEC West record in its last 10 games. Pitching has been a big reason why the Bulldogs are 10 games above .500 this year. Stuedeman's staff owns an impressive 1.71 ERA, ranking 24th in the country out of 289 Division I softball teams. The Dawgs are led in the circle by two-time SEC Pitcher of the Week Alison Owen, who leads the nation in fewest walks allowed per seven innings (0.17) and is third in fewest hits allowed per seven innings (2.78). In addition, southpaw teammate Stephanie Becker ranks 18th nationally in strikeouts per seven innings (9.6), which also leads the SEC.
Offensively, Starkville's Team is generating runs thanks to its speed on the bases. Ranking 24th last season in stolen bases per game (1.67), MSU is 10th nationally in 2013 with 2.32 swipes per game. Knocking in 38 percent of the base runners is the junior slugging combo of Logan Foulks and Sam Lenahan. Combined, the three and four-hole hitters in the MSU lineup are batting .339 (42-for-124) with 32 RBIs and 24 runs scored, courtesy of 11 home runs and nine doubles.
Following the road game in Jacksonville, MSU travels to beautiful Charleston, S.C., for the conclusion of its four-game spring break road trip. The Bulldogs play a doubleheader at the College of Charleston starting at 3 p.m. CT on Thursday, March 14, before wrapping up the roadstand Friday, March 15, as the Maroon and White play at Charleston Southern at 12 p.m. CT.
For live in-game updates of MSU's contest against the Gamecocks Tuesday, 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.