STARKVILLE, Miss. – After a brief Southeastern Conference break Tuesday at Memphis, Mississippi State jumps back into league play this weekend with a three-game series at No. 21/21 Auburn. Friday’s contest begins at 6 p.m. CT and the Saturday and Sunday tilts are set for 1 p.m. starts.
The Bulldogs enter this weekend’s three-game series at Auburn with a 22-8 record. The team is off to the third-best 30-game start by an MSU club, just one win behind the 2006 and the 2000 squads’ program-best 23-7 mark.
Mississippi State owns a 29-25 record in the all-time series against Auburn. The teams have played nearly even softball in the last 11 games as the Tigers have taken six and the Bulldogs five. MSU is 12-13 in true road games versus the Tigers with the team going 1-2 in the 2012 trip to Auburn.
A year ago in Starkville, MSU lost the first two contests before taking the third game. In the opener, the Bulldogs held a 2-0 lead going to the top of the fifth before Auburn scored five runs in the fifth and three in the seventh to win 8-3. A bases-loaded walk to Brooke Lathan provided the game-winning run and Branndi Melero followed with a two-run single for the insurance runs. Game two had the Bulldogs up 5-0 after two innings, but Auburn plated three in the third and four in the seventh to win 7-5. MSU’s Logan Foulks went three-for-four with all five RBI and scored twice to lead the offense. Loryn Nichols and Sam Lenahan each chipped in with two hits. Lathan tied the score in the seventh with a two-run double and a Caitlin Schultze two-run double drove in the game-winning run. Sunday, MSU bounced back with a 4-3 victory with three runs in the bottom of the seventh for the walk-off win. The Bulldogs trailed 3-1 going into the frame, but a one-out Lenahan two-run homer to right evened the score. With two down, Foulks walked and pinch runner Ashley Phillips scored on a Briana Bell single to right field.
Tuesday at Memphis, a key stolen base by junior Julia Echols and a critical fielding error by Memphis allowed Mississippi State to come away with a 2-1 victory. With two outs in the top of the seventh and the score tied 1-1, Echols walked, stole second and scored on a fielding error by Tiger shortstop Brittany Vaughn to account for the game-winning run.
The trip to Auburn ends MSU’s extended road trip. The Bulldogs are back in Starkville Tuesday to take on Southeastern Louisiana at 5 p.m. CT and host Samford on Wednesday at 6 p.m.