STARKVILLE, Miss. – The 21st-ranked Mississippi State softball team returns home from a six-game road trip this weekend, hosting Georgetown and Mississippi Valley State Saturday and Sunday in the 2008 Bully Bash. The two-day tournament is part of MSU’s annual Super Bulldog Weekend festivities.
Georgetown and Mississippi Valley State kick off the two-day event at 2 p.m. on Saturday. Head coach Jay Miller’s Bulldogs take the field against MVSU at 4 p.m. and Georgetown at 6 p.m. Sunday’s action begins at 10 a.m., while State will face the Hoyas and MVSU at noon and 2 p.m., respectively. Admission to all MSU home softball games is free.
The Bulldogs return to the MSU Softball Field with a 26-11 overall record after dropping a pair of hard-fought decisions to No. 8 LSU Wednesday afternoon in Baton Rouge.
Senior Courtney Bures continued her hot hitting against the Tigers Wednesday night, collecting four hits in six at-bats with a run scored to improve her hit streak to a season-long nine games. The Haymarket, Va., native has jumped her average to .393 on the season, and she leads the team with nine doubles while ranking second in home runs (3) and RBI (21). She has also scored 24 times, which is third best on the club. Through 11 SEC games, Bures is hitting .469 with four doubles, a triple, a home run, three RBI and seven runs.
Since becoming a regular in the line-up during SEC play, freshman Courtney Nesbit has been swinging a hot bat. The Acworth, Ga., native continued her torrid pace Wednesday, going 5-for-6 with a run scored in the two games against LSU. Nesbit, the reigning SEC Freshman of the Week, is hitting .421 on the year with two doubles, six RBI and four runs scored. In six SEC outings, Nesbit is hitting at a .625 clip (10-for-16) with a double, two RBI and a run.
Sophomore Chelsea Bramlett continues to hit over .400 on the season. The starter behind the plate in all 37 games this season, Bramlett is hitting at a .411 clip (53-for-129) with two doubles, a team second-best three triples, a home run, 17 RBI and 30 runs scored. Bramlett currently ranks sixth nationally with 28 stolen bases in 29 attempts on the year.
Junior Kelsey Nurnberg has compiled a team-high 13-5 record in the circle this season for a Bulldog pitching staff that has issued the fewest walks in the league. Nurnberg holds a 1.86 ERA, giving up 47 runs, 33 earned, with 65 strikeouts and 106 hits in a team-leading 124 innings.
Freshmen Misty Flesher and Elizabeth Woolven have also pitched well for the Bulldogs this season. Flesher, a native of Lone Grove, Okla., sits at 10-6 on the year, giving up 28 earned runs and 74 hits while striking out 62 compared to just 14 walks over 85 and a third innings. A Nettleton, Miss., product, Woolven improved her earned-run average to 1.30 after holding LSU to three hits over the final three innings of the opening game of Wednesday’s doubleheader. Woolven sits at 3-0 on the year, while her four saves tie her for the league lead and second nationally.
Georgetown enters the weekend with a 15-23 record. The Bulldogs and Hoyas will be meeting for the first time in school history, but MSU will meet a familiar foe in the Delta Devilettes.
MSU and Valley will be facing off for the 11th and 12th times since 2003, with the Bulldogs holding a 9-1 lead in the series after opening the 2008 home slate with a 10-0 win. State and Valley will meet for the fourth time this season on Tuesday as the Bulldogs travel to Itta Bena.