STARKVILLE, Miss. – For the third-straight season, Mississippi State has advanced to the NCAA Tournament. The Bulldogs (38-19) travel to the Lafayette Regional and will play Texas (33-21) in the opening round, starting at 3 p.m. CT on Friday. Texas Southern and host Louisiana complete the regional field.
All of Mississippi State’s games during the Lafayette Regional will be broadcast live on ESPN3. Melissa Lee (play by play) and Kayla Braud (analyst) will call the action.
For MSU, the postseason NCAA trip is the program’s 11th to the event. The three consecutive tournament bids are the most for the Bulldogs since going to the NCAA’s main event from 2007-09. Vann Stuedeman has led her teams to an NCAA Tournament appearance in each of her three seasons as head coach.
The Bulldogs’ 38-19 record is the second-best 57-game mark in program history. The 38 wins are tied for the fourth most in a campaign by a Mississippi State squad.
The Longhorns hold a 3-0 lead in the all-time series, but the squads have not played each other since the 2005 NCAA Tournament. Texas won 1-0 in 14 innings on March 1, 2002, before eliminating the Bulldogs from the 2005 NCAA event with consecutive 2-0 victories in Austin.
In the last meeting, Olympian Cat Osterman recorded her second victory in as many contests with the Bulldogs. Osterman twirled a perfect game in the first meeting of the weekend with Mississippi State. Osterman allowed a walk, hit by pitch and hit in the second matchup. On offense for the Longhorns, Jacqueline Williams’ two-run double with two outs in the top of the fourth inning plated Lacy Robinson and Wynter Turner to account for the game’s only runs.
This season, Mississippi State played 10 teams that qualified for the 2014 NCAA Tournament, going 9-17. The Bulldogs went 2-1 against Alabama and Tennessee and 1-2 versus Missouri, LSU and Auburn. MSU lost its only matchups with South Alabama, UAB and Baylor while downing Ohio. Mississippi State also went 0-3 versus Georgia and 1-3 against Kentucky.
A victory on Friday would put Mississippi State in the noon CT Saturday contest against the winner of the Louisiana versus Texas Southern contest. If the Bulldogs lose, they would play the loser of the Ragin’ Cajuns versus Tigers game at 3 p.m.