Charleston, S.C. - Wrapping up a weeklong spring break road trip, the 17-6 Mississippi State softball team travels to Charleston, S.C., for three non-conference games. The Bulldogs will take on College of Charleston Thursday, March 14, in a doubleheader starting at 3 p.m. CT, before concluding its four-game road trip with a single game at Charleston Southern at 12 p.m. CT on Friday, March 15.
The Bulldogs have never faced College of Charleston (11-7) in softball, but are 2-0 all-time against Charleston Southern (5-16). State defeated the Buccaneers by scores of 19-2 (five innings) and 5-1 in Starkville at the Bulldog Classic on March 7-8, 2008.
Stuedeman's squad is coming off its 10th-straight non-conference victory, a 7-2 triumph at Jacksonville State Tuesday night. The Bully Bombers pounded out seven runs on 10 hits, tallying season highs with three doubles and nine walks. Ranking 10th in the country in stolen bases per game, five of MSU's nine starters stole a base. In the circle, senior left-hander Stephanie Becker struck out 11 batters in 4.0 innings of work to pick up her fifth victory of the 2013.
Leading the way on offense for the Maroon and White is junior Sam Lenahan, who is hitting .362 with 19 RBIs thanks in part to seven doubles and five home runs. The Lawrenceville, Ga., native is top 15 in the country in walks per game with a team-high 23 base on balls, and has tapped the dish 12 times. In road games alone, the right-handed slugger is mashing the ball at a .464 clip with an .857 slugging percentage.
Pitching wise, MSU is anchored by the dynamic duo of junior right-hander Alison Owen and the lefty Becker. Owen, already a two-time SEC Pitcher of the Week this season, is 9-3 thanks to the NCAA's best strikeout-to-walk ratio (115-to-3). Becker, who is top 20 in the country in strikeouts per seven innings, is 5-1 on the year with a 2.66 ERA.
Starkville's Team returns home next Wednesday to finish its home-and-home against nationally-ranked Louisiana-Lafayette. First pitch is slated for 6 p.m. at the MSU Softball Stadium. 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).
For live in-game updates of MSU's games in Charleston, 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.