STARKVILLE, Miss. - Off to the second-best start in program history at 11-0, the Mississippi State softball team continues its four-game home stand this weekend, welcoming Iowa to Starkville. The Friday and Saturday games will be at 3 p.m. CT while the Sunday contest is set for a 10 a.m. start.
The only team in Bulldog history to start with a better record than the current group is the 2006 squad that began at 16-0. The 2008 group also started with an 11-0 record. Overall, the current 11-game winning streak is tied for the fourth longest in program history. The 2006 group holds the record for longest winning streak at 16 games.
The Hawkeyes hold a narrow 2-1 lead in the all-time series, but the programs have not faced each other since 2004, when MSU earned a 2-1 victory in eight innings.
In the last meeting, Iowa pitcher Lisa Birocci’s errant throw with one out in the bottom of the eighth brought home Keri McFarling for the game-winning run. The Bulldogs tallied one hit apiece from six players, including Hayle Guess, who singled and drove in a key run in the fourth. Iowa’s Kylie Murray drove in a run on a two-for-four performance.
MSU starter Melissa Massey picked up the complete-game victory after striking out four and allowing just one earned run on five hits. Iowa starter Ali Arnold struck out five and surrendered just one earned run in four innings of work. Birocci suffered the loss, despite surrendering just one hit in three-and-a-third innings.
During Friday’s series opener, HailState water bottles will be given away to the first 100 fans who enter the stadium. Saturday will be Girl Scout Day. Softball girl scout patches will be presented to the scouts in the stands. Every Sunday this spring at the MSU Softball Stadium is Kids Day. At the field will be free face tattoos and ice cream for fans, and kids in eighth grade and under can run the bases after the game.
Following this weekend’s action, the Bulldogs return to the diamond Friday, Feb. 28, at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Softball Classic in Gulfport, Miss., with a 2 p.m. contest against UTSA and an 8 p.m. game versus No. 15 Baylor.