Mississippi State's Lindsey Williams (22) stands in at the plate during a Feb. 12 game against Alabama State at Nusz Park. The Bulldogs get their 2021 SEC slate underway March 12 at Ole Miss. Photo by: Austin Perryman/MSU Athletics
January 15, 2021 12:30:04 PM
The Mississippi State softball team never even got to start last year's Southeastern Conference schedule.
But as of Friday, the Bulldogs know who they'll be up against for their 2021 conference slate. The SEC released its 24-game conference schedule Friday morning, featuring eight weekend series for each team.
While Mississippi State's nonconference schedule has yet to be announced, the news marked a step toward a long-awaited return to play for the Bulldogs, who went 25-3 last year before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down everyone's season.
"We are thrilled to be making strides towards getting back on the field after a long hiatus," head coach Samantha Ricketts said in a news release from Mississippi State. "The leadership and collaboration from Commissioner (Greg) Sankey, the SEC office, and each institution has been tremendous in the collective effort to return to competition this year. We are looking forward to providing our student athletes the championship experience that comes along with competing in the Southeastern Conference and are ready to start the season."
Mississippi State will begin its "second season" -- the SEC slate -- March 12 at Ole Miss in Oxford. The Bulldogs will return home to host Florida for the first time since 2018 the following week.
MSU will alternate home and road series for the entirety of its conference schedule. The Bulldogs will travel to Arkansas, Missouri and South Carolina while hosting Tennessee, Texas A&M and Georgia. Their series against the Razorbacks, Gamecocks and fellow Bulldogs will be the first meetings between the two teams since 2018.
All game times for Mississippi State's 24 SEC contests have yet to be announced. Additionally, each of the conference's teams will play one series -- to be determined -- that runs from Saturday through Monday rather than Friday through Sunday. The Monday night game will be broadcast on the SEC Network.
The SEC tournament will run from May 12 to May 15 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
Mississippi State's 2021 SEC schedule
March 12-14: at Ole Miss
March 19-21: vs. Florida
March 26-28: at Arkansas
April 9-11: vs. Tennessee
April 16-18: at Missouri
April 23-25: vs. Texas A&M
April 30-May 2: at South Carolina
May 7-May 9: vs. Georgia
Theo DeRosa reports on high school sports and Mississippi State softball for The Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter at @Theo_DeRosa.