STARKVILLE, Miss. – Good Friday was anything but that for the Mississippi State softball team, which lost both games to SEC West foe Auburn in a doubleheader at the MSU Softball Stadium. The Bulldogs (20-12, 1-7 SEC) fell by an 8-3 margin in game one, before giving up four runs to the Tigers (23-13, 4-7 SEC) in the final frame in a 7-5 loss in game two.
“It is like a well,” Head Coach Vann Stuedeman said. “When you look down in a well and you can’t see any water and you pump. As soon as you stop pumping, the water goes away. If you keep pumping, eventually the water will overflow and you will reap the benefits.”
GAME ONE RECAP
Auburn outscored Mississippi State by an 8-1 margin in the late innings for an 8-3 victory against the Maroon and White in game one of the double dip.
In her first game in the leadoff spot this season, junior catcher Sam Lenahan walked twice and scored a pair of runs. Cleanup slugger Briana Bell went 1-for-3 with her sixth home run of the season, while juniors Heidi Shape and Erin Nesbit also finished 1-for-3 at the plate.
Senior left-hander Stephanie Becker fell to 6-4 on the year after surrendering five runs on two hits and three walks in 4.2 innings in the starting nod. Junior righty Alison Owen replaced her and threw 1.1 hitless innings, before true freshman Jacey Punches closed out the game with an inning of work, giving up three runs (one earned) off two hits and a walk.
After an RBI single by Shape in the first which drove in Lenahan, Lenahan scored again in the third inning. Bell ripped a worm burner to the AU shortstop, but the Orange and Blue defender sailed the throw over the first baseman’s head, allowing Lenahan to tap the dish for an early 2-0 MSU lead.
The lead did not last long, as the visitors plated five runs on three hits and a trio of walks in the top of the fifth. Following a solo shot by MSU’s Bell in the bottom of the sixth to make it 5-3, Auburn added a trio of runs in the seventh to give the game its final score of 8-3.
The three-hole and cleanup combination of Brooke Lathan and Branndi Melereo for Auburn combined to drive in six of the Tigers’ eight runs.
GAME TWO RECAP
The Bulldogs jumped out to a 5-0 lead courtesy of two home runs by junior Logan Foulks, but gave up three in the third and four in the seventh for a heartbreaking 7-5 defeat in game two.
Foulks tied career highs with two home runs and five RBIs, while Lenahan went 2-for-4 with two runs. Freshman right fielder Loryn Nichols also had multiple hits, going 2-for-3 with a run scored and two stolen bases.
Becker came in with a save opportunity in the seventh thanks to a two-run lead, but gave up the final three runs to drop to 6-5 in her second defeat on the day. Owen started the game and struck out 14 in 6.2 innings of work, just two shy of the single-game school record set earlier in the season. The right hander gave up a career-high 10 hits that yielded the first four Auburn runs.
Starting the game off with a two-run homer in the first and a three-run long ball in the second, Foulks spotted MSU with an early 5-0 lead.
The Tigers clawed back with three runs in the third and trailed by two for three-consecutive innings until the top of the seventh. After a leadoff infield single by Tiffany Howard, Owen was replaced by Becker in the circle. The MSU southpaw retired her first batter before giving up a single and a two-RBI double that tied the game. Following a walk, Owen relieved Becker and relinquished a two-RBI double of her own that ended up being the game-winning runs for the visitors.
The series wraps up Saturday at 1 p.m., with an Easter egg hunt for all children taking place immediately following the series finale. Admission is free for those that can attend, but for those that cannot, live video and audio streaming of the series will be available online to HailStateTV subscribers (www.HailState.com/hstvlive).
For live in-game updates of MSU's conference clash, 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.
GIVEAWAY: 100 MSU Rally Towels
- "Daddy/Daughter Day at the Park"
- Easter Egg Hunt Following the Games
- Post Game Autograph Session & Kids Run the Bases
- In-Game Twitter Trivia Giveaways
- Barnes & Noble Softball Store on Site