BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – With a complete-game shutout Friday at No. 4/4 Tennessee and another strong start Sunday against the Lady Vols, freshman Alexis Silkwood has been named the Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Week. It is the first such honor of Silkwood’s career and her third league award this year as she was selected as the SEC Freshman of the Week on Feb. 17 and March 3.
It is the second-straight week a Bulldog has been named the SEC Pitcher of the Week as senior Alison Owen received the award on April 14. For Mississippi State, it is the second time in program history with back-to-back SEC Pitcher of the Week selections as Owen won the award on Feb. 25 and March 4, 2013.
During last week’s four games, Silkwood went 2-0 while helping the Bulldogs to a 3-1 record, including the series victory at No. 4/4 Tennessee. She held batters to a .200 average and struck out 23 in 15.1 innings of work. Left-handed batters hit .125 off of her and she held opponents to just four hits in 25 at-bats with runners in scoring position (.160 batting average against).
With the weekend’s two wins at Tennessee, Mississippi State became the first program to win the series against both Alabama and Tennessee in the same season since Florida in 2011. MSU improved to 35-15 overall, tied with the 2008 squad for the best 50-game mark in program history.
To begin the week, Silkwood pitched four innings in relief at Jackson State and earned the win. She held the Tigers to two unearned runs on four hits and eight strikeouts. She fanned seven of the first 10 batters faced, including striking out the side in order in the fourth and tallying four whiffs in the sixth inning.
Friday at No. 4/4 Tennessee, the East Alton, Ill., product picked up the win in the complete-game performance. She struck out 11 batters, tied for the third most in a Southeastern Conference game in program history. Silkwood allowed just three singles and walked a trio. Of the three singles, only one was with fewer than two outs. Silkwood had only two innings with more than one runner reaching base, in the second and fifth. She retired the final seven batters in order to seal the victory.
She finished her week Sunday with four-and-a-third innings versus the Lady Vols, leaving with a 4-2 lead in the bottom of the fifth. She stranded seven Tennessee batters through the first three innings and allowed just one hit with a runner in scoring position in the game. She fanned five and allowed five hits.
Joining Silkwood on this week's SEC honorees are Florida Player of the Week Stephanie Tofft and LSU Freshman of the Week Sahvanna Jaquish.
The Bulldogs return to action this weekend with a three-game series against Arkansas as part of senior weekend. First pitch Friday is set for 5 p.m. CT while the Saturday and Sunday contests will start at noon.