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Mississippi State Bulldogs Shutout Incarnate Word in Softball Play in Mississippi Gulf Coast Classic

A big third inning and a solid pitching performance by Cori Cooper gave the Bulldogs a win over Incarnate Word.

Kelly Price | MSU Athletics |

Mississippi State freshman Cori Cooper turned in a nine strikeout, complete game, shoutout performance, and the Bulldogs exploded for four runs in the third to break the game open in a 6-0 win over Incarnate Word Saturday in Gulfport.

Cooper saw the first eleven Cardinal hitters go up and down, striking out six of them, before Alex Alonzo singled with two outs in the top of the fourth.

For Cooper, the shutout was her second in two career starts at Mississippi State.  She tossed a complete game, one-hitter in her Maroon and White debut last weekend.

"She is a really strong pitcher that has command of several pitches," said Mississippi State coach Vann Stuedeman. "It is nice to see a freshman come out and toss two shutouts in her first two starts."

The Bulldogs (11-1) put their first run on the board during the first inning after Emily Heimberger singled, stole second, and scored on an RBI double by Caroline Seitz to put Mississippi State ahead 1-0 before Seitz was thrown out trying to extend the hit to a triple.

Mississippi State extended its lead in the bottom of the third taking advantage of a one-out walk by Madison Cousineau, who later scored on an RBI single by Kayla Winkfield and a double by Mackenzie Toler that scored Heimberger.  With Toler on second and Seitz, who reached earlier on a fielder's choice on third, Sarai Niu hit a single to score both base runners, pushing the Bulldogs out to a 5-0 lead.

In all, the Cardinals never advanced a runner past first base in the contest until Alonzo doubled to lead off the top of the seventh.

Cooper (2-0) only allowed three hits in the contest.

The batters are way better and you have to be on your pitch on every single pitch and keep focused the entire game.

Heimberger, Seitz, Toler, and Niu all had two hits in the contest. Niu picked up two RBIs as well to lead the team.

Danielle Ramirez picked up the only other hit for Incarnate Word, a single in the sixth.