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Nusz Park impresses in SEC tourney debut

Posted 5/17/2016 in Local Columns

In 2011, Ole Miss brought prestige to the state when it played host to the Southeastern Conference softball tournament for the first time. Ole Miss spent more than $1 million in renovations to prepare its stadium for the eight-team tournament after it had passed on earlier invitations to serve as tournament host. The enthusiasm was dampened, however, when the home team won three conference games and failed to qualify for the event. This season, the roles were reversed. Mississippi State made the field as the last of the 12 seeds.

Critical pass propels Rasdon at Magnolia

Posted 5/16/2016 in Local Sports

If Hunter Rasdon hoped to win the Comp Cams Super Late Model race Saturday at Magnolia Motor Speedway, he had just a narrow window to do it. Rasdon, of Jonesboro, Arkansas, started second and opened a multi-second lead over the field, moving freely between the high and low sides of the track before Ronny Lee Hollingsworth, of Northport, Alabama, climbed from fifth to second by lap 10 and took Rasdon on the high-side in turns 3 and 4.


No. 3 MSU sweeps Auburn

Posted 5/16/2016 in College Sports

AUBURN, Ala. -- The No. 3 Mississippi State baseball team used strong pitching from Konnor Pilkington, Ryan Rigby, and Reid Humphreys and hit three home runs Sunday to beat Auburn 10-3 at Plainsman Park. The victory helped MSU (37-14-1) complete a three-game sweep of the Southeastern Conference series. The win was the Bulldogs' seventh straight in the league and pushed them to 18-9 in the SEC, while Auburn fell to 22-30 and 8-19.



Ole Miss softball earns first NCAA bid

Posted 5/16/2016 in College Sports

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- The Ole Miss softball team added another chapter to its history-making season Sunday when it received its first bid to the NCAA tournament as one of 11 teams from the Southeastern Conference.


Howard's blast caps Auburn's SEC tournament title

Posted 5/14/2016 in College Sports

STARKVILLE -- Tiffany Howard had done almost everything. Hit .415? Stroke doubles and triples and lead the team in hits? No problem. Earn Southeastern Conference All-Freshman and All-Defensive honors as well as National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-Southeast Region and All-America accolades? The Auburn outfielder accomplished that last season.


No. 3 MSU pounds Auburn

Posted 5/14/2016 in College Sports

AUBURN, Ala. -- The No. 3 Mississippi State baseball team pounded out 21 hits Saturday to take a 16-6 win against Auburn at Plainsman Park. The victory helped MSU (36-14, 1, 17-9 SEC) clinch its eighth SEC series of the season, while Auburn fell to 22-29 and 8-18. MSU enters the final four games of the regular season in sole possession of second place in the Western Division. It is within two games of the overall lead in the standings.



Lartigue's walk-off home run lifts Ole Miss

Posted 5/14/2016 in College Sports

OXFORD -- Henri Lartigue's three-run home run, his second walk-off of the season, lifted the No. 6 Ole Miss baseball team to a 7-5 victory against Kentucky on Saturday evening at Swayze Field. The Rebels (39-13, 17-10 Southeastern Conference) rallied from a five-run deficit to complete a three-game sweep of the Wildcats (29-23, 13-14).



Auburn earns two big wins to reach title game

Posted 5/14/2016 in College Sports

STARKVILLE -- Friday was a pretty good day at the office for the Auburn softball team. After defeating No. 5 seed Alabama earlier in the day, No. 4 seeded Auburn knocked off No. 1 seed and top-ranked Florida 2-1 in the semifinals of the Southeastern Conference tournament at Nusz Park.


Alabama-Auburn rivalry helping softball grow in SEC

Posted 5/14/2016 in Local Columns

In the summer of 2013, the world of college softball was surprised to learn Clint Myers was leaving the Arizona State softball program to take over as head coach at Auburn. In eight seasons as head coach of the Sun Devils, Myers had led his alma mater to seven Women's College World Series appearances and two national championships.


Bell, Simmons lead LSU past Tennessee

Posted 5/14/2016 in College Sports

STARKVILLE -- LSU senior infielder Bianka Bell has fond memories of watching her older sister, Briana, play softball for Mississippi State. Now she is making memories at MSU's new field, Nusz Park. Bell hit a solo home run and teammate Sandra Simmons hit a game-winning two-run shot Friday afternoon to help No. 7 seed LSU beat No. 3 seed Tennessee 3-1 in eight innings in the semifinals of the Southeastern Conference tournament.


No. 1 Florida survives Ole Miss in quarterfinals

Posted 5/13/2016 in College Sports

STARKVILLE -- Ole Miss senior pitcher Madi Osias looks forward to hanging out with her teammates this weekend. "There is no school and this is the first weekend all year where we have not had games to play," Osias said. "I will be honest with you, this is going to be a lot of fun. We are going to hang out and bond and just enjoy being with each other. "It will be a long weekend because there is so much excitement about what lies ahead."

Dedwylder back in NeSmith title race

Posted 5/13/2016 in Local Sports

Scott Dedwylder is back. Not that the 2012 Mississippi State Championship Challenge Series points champion ever left, at least not entirely. In October 2013, Dedwylder, of Vossburg, lost his home to a fire. Priorities realigned, he couldn't afford to chase points full time in Super Late Models. He filled in for Chase Washington for several races before returning to the track full time in 2014, his final season in Super Late Models, a division in which he'd competed since 1998.


Simmons, LSU break through to beat Kentucky

Posted 5/13/2016 in College Sports

STARKVILLE -- Sandra Simmons is tough. The LSU senior has developed a reputation as being one of the Southeastern Conference's most tenacious players. Simmons showed that attitude in the LSU softball team's victory against Texas A&M on Wednesday. She delivered again Thursday, hitting a three-run home run to lift No. 12 LSU past No. 11 Kentucky 3-1 in the quarterfinals of the SEC tournament at Nusz Park.



No. 3 MSU set to face old friend Thompson, Auburn

Posted 5/13/2016 in College Sports

STARKVILLE -- Butch Thompson would have sacrificed almost anything to get Dakota Hudson. The former Mississippi State baseball pitching coach went to see the right-hander pitch for his Sequatchie County High School team one night in a game in Dunlap, Tennessee, which is right outside of Chattanooga. Coaches from four other Southeastern Conference teams were there that night, so Thompson knew it was going to be a challenge to get Hudson to become a Bulldog. He left not knowing what Hudson was going to do, but he received a call from Hudson halfway back to Starkville and Hudson gave him a verbal commitment.



Gregg, Tennessee eliminate South Carolina

Posted 5/13/2016 in College Sports

STARKVILLE -- Growing up as an Atlanta Braves fan, Meghan Gregg decided to replicate her swing after a Brave. Gregg didn't pattern her swing off Chipper Jones, one of the best Braves in the last 15 years. Instead, she watched Andruw Jones when he stepped into the batter's box.



Two-out hitting lifts No. 6 Ole Miss past Kentucky

Posted 5/13/2016 in College Sports

OXFORD -- Tate Blackman, Colby Bortles Henri Lartigue, and Errol Robinson had two hits Thursday to lead the No. 6 Ole Miss baseball team to a 3-1 victory against Kentucky at Swayze Field.



Ole Miss confirms Tunsil's text messages happened

Posted 5/13/2016 in College Sports

According to numerous reports, Ole Miss officials have determined a text message conversation published to Miami Dolphins rookie Laremy Tunsil's Instagram account during the NFL draft did happen last year, but the school is still looking into whether the messages were altered before they were published.



No. 3 MSU baseball team beats Troy

Posted 5/12/2016 in College Sports

TROY, Ala. -- The No. 3 Mississippi State baseball team had 12 hits and used a four-run first inning to earn a 7-3 victory against Troy on Wednesday night at Riddle-Pace Field.



Landry plays key role in LSU's victory against Texas A&M

Posted 5/12/2016 in College Sports

STARKVILLE -- Bailey Landry's mind-set doesn't change. Regardless of the situation, the junior right fielder tries to go to the plate or to take the field with the same attitude every time. No. 12 LSU needed Landry to do that Wednesday in the bottom of the seventh inning against No. 16 Texas A&M.



Snaer, South Carolina rally past Missouri

Posted 5/12/2016 in College Sports

STARKVILLE -- Kaylea Snaer knows she needs to step up for the South Carolina softball team. As the team leader in batting average, Snaer has to deliver when she has opportunities to drive in a run. Snaer's ability to follow the advice of hitting coach Calvin Beamon on Wednesday helped her make the most of her chance, as she hit a three-run home run in the seventh inning that forced extra innings and helped send South Carolina to a 7-4 victory against No. 17 Missouri in eight innings in the first round of the Southeastern Conference tournament at Nusz Park.



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