The Mississippi State softball team started the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic in Cathedral City, California by splitting a double header with two top 25 opponents.
In their first game of the day, Mississippi State squared off against #15 Arizona State. The Sun Devils jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead, striking first with a 2 run double in the 1st inning. MSU would cut that lead to 2-1 thanks to a Mia Davidson homer in the 4th inning, but another double from Arizona State in the 7th would prevent Mississippi State from getting any closer.
Holly Ward took the circle for MSU against ASU and pitched a full 7 innings. In that time, Ward allowed 5 hits and walked a pair, but she held Arizona State to 3 runs at the plate. Ward also struck 6 in her performance. However, it would not be enough to get the win.
As solid as Ward was, she was unfortunately showed up by Giselle Juarez from Arizona State. Juarez also threw a complete game, but she struck out 12 of the 24 Mississippi State batters that she faced and only allowed one hit, one earned run, and issued one walk.
Mississippi State ultimately fell 3-1. However, that would not be the end of their day.
The Bulldogs quickly bounced back after that defeat and responded incredibly against #23 Nebraska. While they were held to 1 hit in their game against Arizona State, the Bulldogs jumped ahead and earned 14 hits on their way to scoring 9 runs in the second game of the day.
Reggie Harrison and Calyn Adams led the way for the Bulldogs as both would hit home runs in the 3rd inning to get Mississippi State on the board with a 4-0 lead. A wild pitch would later allow a run in the 4th inning but Harrison would drive two more in after that, giving State a 7-0 lead after 4 complete innings. MSU would go on to end the game 9-0 via a run rule thanks to a pair of RBI singles in the 5th inning.
Cassady Knudsen was the starting pitcher for Mississippi State against the Cornhuskers and she struck out 7 of the 20 batters she faced. Though she gave up 4 hits and walked one batter, Knudsen was able to keep her opponents off the board.
Vann Stuedeman’s squad is now 10-2 and will be playing in the Mary Nutter Classic through the weekend. The Bulldogs will face Oklahoma State at 3:00 today, San Jose State at 7:00 tomorrow, and Cal State Fullerton at 9:30 after that. MSU will return to Starkville to host the Bulldogs Slamboree on Friday, March 2nd.