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Bulldog Slamboree Preview: Mississippi State Softball vs Sam Houston State

Hail State Pics/Mississippi State Athletics

Mississippi State’s final opponents of the Bulldog Slamboree comes in the second team from Texas to play in the invitational, the Sam Houston State Bearkats. Mississippi State and Sam Houston State will actually face each other twice this weekend, once on Saturday in the second game of a doubleheader for MSU and then once on Sunday afternoon.

SHSU’s season has the worst record of any team that Mississippi State will play this weekend at 3-11 with the Bearkats coming off of a doubleheader sweep at the hands of the Aggies.

What does Sam Houston State look like at the plate?

At the time of writing this, SHSU’s athletic department hasn’t updated their stats after losing badly to the Aggies. That said, their stats through their first 12 games will give a fairly accurate picture about how Sam Houston State went 3-9 in that stretch.

The Bearkats have a grand total of 30 runs in their first 12 games, meaning Sam Houston State scored 2.5 runs per game while their opponents put up 5.5 runs per game. Their batting average was a paltry .215 during this stretch. It should be noted that these numbers likely didn’t improve much, if any after their games against Texas A&M.

Mississippi State’s offense has been considerably more productive than that of their opponents from Huntsville, Texas. Batting .318 with a slugging percentage of .504 along with 11 home runs on the year should be encouraging numbers for all Mississippi State fans. Those numbers have led to MSU scoring 5.1 runs per game.

Advantage: Mississippi State

How are their pitchers performing?

Along with having a less than stellar record, the Bearkats haven’t had the most reliable pitching in their first 12 games. A total ERA of 4.73 for their pitching staff should be a slight cause of concern when facing more productive offenses.

The Bulldogs, so far, don’t have those same sort of issues. Mississippi State’s team ERA comes out to an impressive 0.63. Considering that ERA along with the face Vann Stuedeman’s team has also struck out 138 of their opponents’ batters and MSU fans should be proud of what the Bulldogs are capable of.

Advantage: Mississippi State

What’s the verdict on this matchup?

So far, Mississippi State looks like a much better team, which really should not come as much of a surprise to anyone who has been paying attention. The Bulldogs’ batters have been far better at connecting and producing all while MSU’s pitchers have played far more reliably.

These are two games that Mississippi State should come away with. Whether or not they will is a different discussion that’ll be played out on the diamond. But these are games that MSU should win.