Softball Set For Two Key Non-Conference Matchups
STARKVILLE, Miss. – Coming off a thrilling walk-off win against Auburn this past Saturday, the Mississippi State softball team (21-12, 2-7 SEC) will play a pair of non-conference games this week, starting with a Tuesday night home affair vs. Jackson State at 6 p.m. The Maroon and White then travel to Ridgeland, Miss., for a 6 p.m. neutral-site game against UAB at Freedom Ridge Park.
Jackson State at home represents the beginning a three-city tour of five-games in six days that wraps up this weekend with a road series at No. 3 Florida (35-3, 10-2 SEC). Jackson State is 19-21 overall, but the Tigers are first place in the SWAC Eastern Division with a 6-1 mark. Leading the way for JSU is speedster Jasmine Warren, who is ninth in the NCAA with 28 stolen bases.
Mississippi State is 6-0 all-time against JSU, including two victories (11-2 in 6, 12-3 in 5) in Head Coach Vann Stuedeman’s debut season a year ago. Admission is free for all softball fans who can attend Tuesday’s home game against JSU, but for those that cannot, live video and audio streaming of the game will be available online to HailStateTV subscribers (www.HailState.com/hstvlive).
On Wednesday, the Maroon and White will head west to Ridgeland as it battles the Blazers for the second time in eight days. The Bulldogs had the tying runner in scoring position in the final two innings last Tuesday in Birmingham, but ultimately fell to UAB by a narrow 2-1 margin.
With the win, UAB picked up its third win all-time against MSU (3-13). The rematch between the two NCAA Tournament teams from 2012 will feature the 33rd (MSU) and 34th (UAB) ranked teams in this week’s NCAA RPI. The Green and Gold are led by southpaw pitcher Lannah Campbell, who is the ace on a pitching staff that is 18th nationally in ERA. Admission for the game at Freedom Ridge Park is $6.
The Bulldogs have an ace of their own in junior right-hander Alison Owen, who leads the country in fewest walks allowed per game (0.41) and is top-20 in the country in fewest hits allowed per game (3.9, 13th), strikeouts per seven innings (9.6, 14th) and shutouts (5, 17th). Offensively, MSU is paced by junior slugger Sam Lenahan, who is 22nd in the nation with a .538 on-base percentage.
For live in-game updates of MSU's midweek non-conference clashes, 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.