Softball Wins Record 13th Road Game With 3-1 Victory At Auburn
"If you are a fan of college athletics, you have to get out and watch games like tonight," Head Coach Vann Stuedeman said. "The results inside the circle were a complete staff effort. This was a great team win."
Becker showed up to pitch Friday with a no-hitter through her first 4.1 innings of work. The southpaw from Chicago recorded her first 12 outs via fly balls, finishing with 5.0 scoreless innings en route to her 18th win of the year. Becker struck out one and walked one before being replaced by fellow junior lefty Kylie Vry, who yielded one run in 1.1 innings of relief. Dunlap came in with one out and the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh, completing the win in clutch fashion without allowing a hit.
All-SEC candidates Brittany Bell and Ka'ili Smith were the catalysts for a Bulldog offense that scored all three runs on two outs. In the leadoff spot, Bell went 2-for-3 with two runs and a double, while Smith finished 1-for-2 with a game-winning two-run home run and a walk.
The Bulldogs struck first blood with in the top of the first, which began when Bell ripped a hard-hit single past a diving shortstop for a leadoff single. Following a sacrifice bunt by junior left fielder Jessica Cooley to advance Bell to second and a strikeout by Smith, Lenahan stepped into the box with two outs. The sophomore dribbled a pitch down the first-base line, but was called safe after sprinting out the first baseman's throw to the second baseman at the bag. Bell never stopped hustling as the play unfolded, scoring all the way from second for the first run of the game.
Just like the first frame, Bell was the first MSU runner on base in the third with a one-out double off the giant blue wall in left field. Smith came up for the second time in as many at-bats with a runner in scoring position. This time was different from the first at-bat, as the senior launched a 2-2 offering over the wall in left for a two-out, two-run home run.
Auburn's lone run came on a bases-loaded Lauren Guzman sacrifice fly in the bottom of the seventh.
Game two of the series begins Saturday at 1 p.m. and can be heard for free online through HailStateTV at www.hailstate.com/hstvlive. For more information regarding MSU softball and their postseason push, follow the team on Twitter at @MStateSB and like the team at Facebook.com/MStateSB.
● Mississippi State broke the school record with its 13th true road victory this season. The previous record of 12 was set first in 1998 and tied in 2001.
● The Bulldogs have won 14 of their last 15 games, including 12 consecutive, their longest stretch since the 2006 team opened the season with a school-record 16-straight victories.
● Stuedeman's Bulldogs have won a school-record six-straight games in the state of Alabama.
● Starkville's Team improved to 28-21 all-time against Auburn, including a 12-11 record on the Plains.
● The Maroon and White improved to 17-2 when scoring first and a perfect 22-0 when holding a lead after the third inning.
● Ka'ili Smith has hit two home runs in her last four games after tallying two total in her 39 games before the four-game stretch.
● Since moving to the leadoff spot in the second game of the doubleheader sweep at Arkansas on April 6, Brittany Bell has scored 12 runs in 15 games.
● Twelve of the 13 outs junior left-hander Stephanie Becker recorded was via a fly ball.