April 27, 2013 11:04:01 PM
STARKVILLE -- Mississippi State is quite simply looking for a little lady luck on the softball diamond.
The Bulldogs dropped their fourth straight Southeastern Conference game Saturday afternoon, falling to South Carolina 3-0 at the MSU Softball Field.
A three-game conference series which began as a celebration of Senior Weekend and was supposed to include punching a ticket for the conference tournament, instead finds MSU trying to salvage the series finale at 1 p.m. today.
"We just have to be able to execute bunts early in the game," MSU head coach Vann Stuedeman said. "We had a couple of opportunities where we were trying to bunt and we were popping them up.
"Heidi Shape had a really nice well-hit ball to start the game. We just have to pick up from that momentum, keep going with that and not leave her stranded."
MSU has now fallen to 31-18 overall and 7-13 in league play. The Top 10 teams make the conference tournament. The Bulldogs close their conference schedule next week at Texas A&M.
USC (29-20, 6-14) scored all three of its runs in the fifth inning. The big blow was a two-run homer by Ashlyn Masters.
"It shows that when you lose focus, one pitch (can hurt you)," said MSU pitcher Alison Owen, who pitched the complete game and took the loss. "You just have to stay focused every single pitch and not take a pitch off. I took a pitch off, she took a good hack and got a good ball."
After a difficult 8-3 defeat in the series opener Friday night, MSU managed three hits Saturday.
Scott is sports copy editor and reporter