STARKVILLE, Miss. – A brief Southeastern Conference break welcomes Mississippi State into spring-break week with two midweek games in Georgia. The Bulldogs, who are tied for the best 24-game start in program history at 20-4, play at Kennesaw State at 4 p.m. CT Tuesday and at Georgia State at 3 p.m. Wednesday.
Kennesaw State (10-10) owns a 2-1 lead in the all-time series and all three meetings have taken place since February of 2007. MSU won the initial matchup 6-0 before dropping 4-0 and 3-2 decisions. In Kennesaw, the Bulldogs lost the only meeting, which is also the most recent in the series, taking place Feb. 26, 2011.
In that game, MSU took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning on an RBI single from current volunteer assistant coach Jessica Cooley. The Owls answered with a two-run home run from Sharon Swanson in the third inning and a Brittany Moore solo long ball in the fourth. The Bulldogs got a run back in the seventh with a Briana Bell double down the left-field line that scored a run, but they could not even the score.
The Bulldogs are 3-1 against Georgia State (11-8) but only two of the meetings have come since MSU restarted its softball program in 1997. Mississippi State won 17-1 in 1985 and 2-0 in 1986 and the teams did not meet again until Georgia State won 8-5 in 2011. The Bulldogs won the last meeting 9-1 in five innings on Feb. 9, 2013, in Starkville.
During last season’s contest, Ashley Phillips and Logan Foulks each drove in two runs while Cooley plated four. MSU got on the board in the bottom of the third with a trio of runs, scoring one on an error and two on a Foulks home run. The Bulldogs exploded for six runs in the bottom of the fifth inning with a Cooley grand slam and a Phillips two-run double. Alison Owen earned her first victory in the contest as she threw four innings, struck out five and allowed one hit.
After the two mid-week games, MSU heads to Athens for a three-game series against No. 18/19 Georgia. Friday’s first pitch is slated for 5 p.m. CT while Saturday is at 1 p.m. and Sunday at noon. The Sunday game will be televised on FSN.