"Don't be in a rush." Kayla McKinion didn't hear the advice offered to her by one of the fans of the Neshoba Central slow-pitch softball team on Tuesday night. You couldn't blame the junior outfielder for being locked in. After all, the bases were loaded and a short right-field porch at Lady Trojan Field beckoned. The only thing McKinion had to do was be patient, pick out her pitch, and let the hours of practice and training help her do the rest.
CALEDONIA -- Something had to give. As the Lafayette and Caledonia high school volleyball teams headed to the fifth set of their Mississippi High School Activities Association Class I playoff match on Tuesday night, the teams were deadlocked at two sets apiece and had taken turns assuming control of the match. The Lady Confederates started strong, but the Lady Commodores fought back. Lafayette then appeared on the brink of victory, but Caledonia fought back.
STARKVILLE -- Entering his third season as Mississippi State's men's basketball coach, Rick Ray hopes this year's newcomers help MSU end its postseason drought. The group includes sharp-shooting guard Maurice Dunlap, a freshman from Greenwood; 6-foot-9 post player Oliver Black, of Jackson Wingfield High School; and junior college transfer Travis Daniels and redshirt freshman Fallou Ndoye, who were on campus a year ago but will take the court for the first time as Bulldogs this season.
STARKVILLE -- The Mississippi State football team didn't miss a beat. Three weeks ago, minutes before No. 12 MSU was to face No. 6 Texas A&M, Dan Mullen learned senior wide receiver Jameon Lewis, one of MSU's most explosive and versatile offensive weapons, would miss the game with a lower leg injury. Seven days later, Lewis, who entered the season as the SEC's leading returning receiver, would miss his second-straight game, this one a showdown against No. 2 Auburn. Enter Gabe Myles.
WEST POINT -- After the second day of the Bulldog Invitational at Old Waverly Golf Course, Mississippi State's women's golf team holds a 22-stroke lead over the competition, more than quadrupling the five-stroke lead it held at the end of day one. As a team, MSU shot 11 strokes under par Tuesday to move to -14 under for the tournament. Memphis is in second place at +8, with South Florida and Florida International tied for third at +10.
Mississippi State's Offensive Keys vs. Kentucky
STARKVILLE -- April Reese was more than happy to provide the exclamation point. Clinging to a 13-12 lead in the second set, the Starkville High School volleyball team was locked in a long rally with Clinton on Tuesday in its Mississippi High School Activities Association Class III first-round playoff match.
SCOOBA -- The stakes remain high for the No. 1 East Mississippi Community College football team even though its postseason destination is set. EMCC is again in the running for a National Junior College Athletic Association national championship. Four more victories will give EMCC an unprecedented third national championship in four seasons.
With two or three weeks remaining in the regular season for each Mississippi High School Activities Association football team, we really have hit the stretch run.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- South Carolina coach Dawn Staley knows the work it took to reach the top of the Southeastern Conference. She understands it'll be an even greater challenge for the defending SEC champs to stay there.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Fresh off a 20-plus win season that ended with an impressive run in the Women's National Invitation Tournament, the Mississippi State women's basketball team was picked eighth and senior Martha Alwal was named Preseason All-SEC in a vote of select SEC and national media members that was announced Tuesday morning.
STARKVILLE -- Martha Alwal doesn't like to talk about herself. That's why you won't hear the 6-foot-4 center discussing how she earned first-team All-Southeastern Conference honors from the league coaches and The Associated Press last season after leading the team in scoring (14.9 points per game). You also won't hear Alwal bragging about how she was named to the SEC's All-Defensive team for the second-straight year or how she shared its defensive player of the year award after finishing third in the league in rebounding (8.8 per game) and first in blocked shots (2.7).
Chelsey Ray knows how deadly quicksand can be. An error can lead to another mistake and all of a sudden every member of the New Hope High School slow-pitch softball team has her head down. From there, look out because the dominoes start to fall in all of the wrong ways and, before they know it, the Lady Trojans are wondering what hit them.
WEST POINT -- Drew Riley is persistent. The Oak Hill Academy junior running back understands the notion you stick with something until a team adjusts or stops you. But nearly three days after one of his best rushing efforts of his career, even Riley admits he would have liked coach Tony Stanford to have called a different running play, if only to add a little variety to what had the feeling of a Bill Murray-flavored evening in West Point.
STARKVILLE -- Six days before his team takes the field as the nation's No. 1 team for the first time, Mississippi State football coach Dan Mullen took time Monday to set the stage for MSU's visit to Kentucky.
WEST POINT -- Mississippi State senior golfer Ally McDonald keeps tabs on the MSU football team like most of the other students on campus. While the football team in unchartered waters as the nation's No. 1 team this week, the women's golf team is doing its part to make a run at a national championship, too.
Five more wins. While fans and national writers realize how close the No. 3 Ole Miss football team is to an undefeated regular season, players and coaches are focused on one more win.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Alabama football coach Nick Saban wanted his team to lighten up. Play loose, have fun, stop fretting so much about those burdensome expectations surrounding the program.
The New Hope High School slow-pitch softball team couldn't have allowed itself to sink in the quicksand Saturday. After suffering a 10-run loss to Warren Central in Game 1 of the best-of-three Mississippi High School Activities Association Class 5A/6A North State playoff series, New Hope could have thought things weren't meant to be and started to look forward to a long nap on a four-hour bus ride back to Columbus.
STARKVILLE -- It has been a season of firsts for the Mississippi State football team. In Week 6, MSU used a 48-31 victory against Texas A&M to jump into The Associated Press top five for the first time in school history. A week later, it defeated No. 2 Auburn to complete a stretch of three-consecutive wins against top-10 opponents, another first in the program's 120-year existence. Less than 24 hours after that win, MSU climbed atop The AP Top 25 and the Amway Coaches Poll (USA Today) for the first time.
1. Alabama women's golf team will play for national title COLLEGE SPORTS
2. MSU has top seeds in NCAA tennis tournament COLLEGE SPORTS
3. MSU, Ole Miss post strong NCAA APR scores COLLEGE SPORTS
4. MSU men's tennis players win singles matches COLLEGE SPORTS