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Mississippi State Softball Dominates Houston Cougars

In the second game of the Bulldog Kickoff invitational, the home team had another dominant effort en route to a run-rule victory in the 6th inning.

Kelly Price/

Game two of the early season felt remarkably like last nights matchup, as Mississippi State (2-0) and its opportunistic offense and dominant pitching led to a huge 9-1 win in 6 innings against the University of Houston Cougars (1-1).

MSU started sophomore Cassady Knudsen and she got her first win of the season after facing 20 batters and throwing 82 pitches in 5 complete innings of work. Knudsen allowed 1 unearned run and struck out 3 batters. Freshman Regan Green would get her first appearance of her career by striking out 2 batters late in the game. Houston countered with Presley Bell who allowed 7 runs, 4 of which were earned, in 2.1 innings of work. She was replaced by Shelby Miller who allowed 2 runs, 1 earned, in 3.1 innings.

Like last night, the game started out quietly for both teams, but MSU jumped out to a large lead in the 2nd inning. The Bulldogs piled on 4 runs in the inning that started with a powerful 2 run homerun from freshman Sarai Niu, the first of her career and first for Mississippi State on the season. After a handful of groundouts and errors, MSU would then add the other 2 runs in the inning. The burst of offense would continue in the 3rd as Houston would commit 2 more errors, give up 3 hits, allowing the Maroon and White to tack 3 runs onto the board, bringing their total to 7-0 through 3 innings.

Also similar to last night, after the introduction of a new pitcher, Mississippi State's bats were quieted down some. The Bulldogs would score again in a 4th inning that included a handful of walks (including the bases loaded walk that brought the run in) and Houston's 5th error, but only 1 hit for the home team. The Bulldogs were held scoreless in the 5th inning, and didn't score again until the 6th on Amanda Ivy's game winning single that brought in Niu.

The Bulldogs sole run came in the 5th inning, in which Knudsen ran into a little bit of trouble. The Cougars would get 2 hits and force an error which would help bring in their run, but MSU's fielding would end the threat and leave 2 runners stranded before any other damage could be done.

So far on the weekend in regards to impressive stats, MSU has outscored its opponents 15-1, stolen 8 bases, and struck out 13 batters. The Bulldogs will return to action tomorrow at 2:00 to face Tennessee Tech in the first game of a double header. After this matchup, MSU will face Alabama A&M. Houston and Mississippi State will face each other again on Sunday.