Mississippi State Bulldogs Rally Past No. 4 Tennessee for Series Win

Alison Owen came on in relief of Alexis Silkwood and picked up her third win in four appearances against top five foes. - Photo Credit: Bill Simmonds

Trailing 5-4 headed into the top of the sixth, the Mississippi State Bulldogs put seven runs on the board in the top of the sixth to take an 11-4 lead, and they held on for the victory.

After falling behind for the first time in the game after the bottom of the fifth inning, the Mississippi State Bulldogs put seven runs on the board in the top of the sixth to push past the No. 4 Tennessee Volunteers Sunday in Knoxville on the way to a 11-7 victory and a second consecutive series victory over a top-five opponent.

In the sixth inning, Heidi Shape tied the contest at 5-5 when an RBI single scored Kayla Winkfield, and Caroline Seitz put the Bulldogs (35-15, 7-11) ahead 6-5 with an RBI-single to left field that scored Katie Bailey.

The bleeding continued as Logan Foulks singled to drive in another run, and after a bunt by Julia Echols scored another run, Tennessee (38-6, 12-6) committed a throwing error that allowed Seitz and Shape to score, giving Mississippi State a 10-5 lead.

The Bulldogs tacked on another run when Foulks scored after a Winkfeild single and a throwing error by Tennessee to put Mississippi State ahead 11-5.

The Bulldogs put their first runs of the game on the board in the top of third when Bailey drew a walk to open the inning and Seitz drove her in with a two-out single with left field, and Seitz later scored on a throwing error on a ball put in play by Foulks to put Mississippi State ahead 2-0.

The Lady Vols cut the lead to 2-1 in the home half of the third when Haley Tobler singled to short, and Madison Shipman scored on an error.

In the top of the fifth, Foulks increased the Mississippi State lead to 4-1 when she smacked to two-run homer that also scored Olivia Golden, who was in the game to run for Seitz after she hit a triple.

Tennessee rallied furiously in fifth inning to take the a 5-4 lead.  Shipman hit a solo homer, one of two homers for her on the day, to cut the lead to 4-2.  The Lady Vols picked up a walk and a double with their next two batters, prompting Mississippi State coach Vann Stuedeman to bring in Alison Owen for starter Alexis Silkwood.

After Owen (17-9) entered the game, Hannah Akamine hit a two-RBI single, and Alley Perkins drove in the fourth run of the inning for the Lady Vols to give Tennessee the lead.

After the Bulldogs exploded in the top of the sixth, Tennessee managed to close the gap to 11-7 after Megan Geer walked and scored on a two-run shot by Shipman.

Owen pitched 2.2 innings to pick up the victory, striking out three while allowing three hits and giving up three earned runs. Silkwood, who started the game, lasted 4.1, striking out four and giving up five hits and four runs, three of which were earned.

Ellen Renfroe took the loss for Tennessee, going 4.1 innings and giving up eight runs, seven earned.

The Bulldogs return to action for their last home stand of the season and a three game set with Arkansas.  When Owen takes the circle, she will be one strike out short of tying Stephanie Becker's career strikeout mark of 451 strikeouts.

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