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Mississippi State loses to Auburn 3-2

The Bulldogs drop their conference opener to the 3rd ranked Auburn Tigers in 14 innings with a score that will bring back some haunting memories for MSU fans.

Kelly Price/

Though both teams boast a strong capability to score runs, though with completely different methods, it was the pitching that shined in tonight's SEC opener. In what was the purest definition of a pitcher's duel, the Mississippi State Bulldogs (18-7, 0-1 SEC) fell 3-2 to Auburn (25-3, 2-2 SEC) in 14 innings to open SEC play.

The scoring started early on in the game, but there was a large drought that plagued both teams. Auburn struck first, snagging a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning with a two-out RBI single. MSU would then fight back in the third inning, taking a 2-1 lead with a Kayla Winkfield RBI groundout that scored Emily Heimberger and a Caroline Seitz RBI single that brought Loryn Nichols home. In the bottom of the sixth, Auburn got their 42nd homerun of the year to tie the game up at 2-2. Both teams would then be held scoreless until the top of the 14th where the Tigers would score the winning run off of a wild pitch.

Alexis Silkwood carried the Bulldogs for 13.1 innings and silenced some of the hottest bats in the country. The junior took on a team that had scored 10.5 runs per game and held them to three runs in what was quite literally almost the equivalent to two complete games.

Silkwood threw 216 total pitches, setting a new school record for pitches thrown in a game. She also set a new school record for batters faced with 58. Silkwood may have walked nine and only struck out four, but her performance tonight was one of the greatest ever for the maroon and white.

Unfortunately, Mississippi State's bats were also kept quiet in the 14 inning affair. Out of 47 at bats, the Bulldogs were only able to get six hits (none of which were for extra bases) and produce two runs.

The Bulldogs and Tigers will return to action tomorrow at 2:00 at Nusz Park for the second game of the series.