Mississippi State coach Vann Stuedeman picked up her 100th win as a head coach, and the Bulldogs have a three game winning streak against top-five opponents thanks to a dominate performance from Alexis Silkwood in the circle and Sam Lenahan's two-run homer in the seventh inning that proved to be the difference in the squad's 2-0 victory over No. 4 Tennessee Friday night in Knoxville.
Silkwood (11-5) pitched a complete game shutout against the Volunteers, striking out eleven and scattering three hits, to keep Mississippi State in position to take the lead in the top of the seventh inning.
The Bulldogs (34-14, 6-10) took the plate in the seventh inning still looking for their first hit of the game against Tennessee starter Ellen Renfroe (23-4). Freshman Caroline Seitz broke up the no-hitter, and after reaching base, she was replaced as a runner by Amanda Ivy. With one out and Ivy on, Lenahan deposited an offering from Renfroe over the fence for a two-run homer. The two RBIs gave Lenahan 141 RBIs for her career, good for fifth all time at Mississippi State. The homer was her 29th, leaving her two roundtrippers short of third place on that list.
With Tennessee (36-6, 11-5) down to their final three outs, Silkwood retired the side in order using a strikeout, a live ball touched by a runner and a foul ball fly out to end the game.
The Volunteers twice had scoring opportunities, but each time Silkwood came up with a strikeout to escape danger. In the second and fifth innings, Tennessee had runners on first and second with two outs, but Silkwood ended the threats with strikeouts.
Game two of the series is set for 2 PM (ET) tomorrow at Sherri Parker Lee Stadium in Knoxville. UTSports.com will have free live video of the contest.
**No word on estimated damages from Tyler Bratton celebrating the win.**