LOCAL COLUMNS

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MSU beats Cal State Fullerton at its game

Posted 6/4/2016 in Local Columns

For much of Saturday's showdown between the top-seeded Mississippi State baseball team and second-seeded Cal State Fullerton, the Bulldog faithful were there, 10,656 of them. They just didn't seem to know what to do. This wasn't what they were accustomed to.

Walters column: Riley, Falcons find perfect match for first state championship

Posted 5/21/2016 in Local Columns

Today, The Dispatch presents its annual All-Area Prep Basketball Players and Coaches of the Year.

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.

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.

Walters column: SEC dominance extends to softball

Posted 5/10/2016 in Local Columns

STARKVILLE -- Southeastern Conference fans like to beat their chests year round about playing in the best football conference in the nation.

Smith helping Ole Miss make history

Posted 5/10/2016 in Local Columns

Television personalities Beth Mowins, Michele Smith, and Kayla Braud held a spirited debate Sunday about the merits of Florida's Tim Walton and Kentucky's Rachel Lawson being named Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year during the SEC Network's coverage of softball.

Minichino column: MSU women needing adjustments going forward

Posted 3/28/2016 in Local Columns

What a ride. The Mississippi State women's basketball team arrived back in Starkville on Saturday with the carnage of a 98-38 loss to three-time reigning national champion Connecticut fresh on its mind.

Minichino column: Riley changes landscape for Columbus basketball

Posted 3/26/2016 in Local Columns

The target was on the back of the Columbus High School boys basketball team from the day Luther Riley was hired.

MSU faces two 'must-win' games on road to postseason

Posted 3/22/2016 in Local Columns

The Mississippi State softball team will play important games against Southeastern Louisiana (tonight) and Central Arkansas (Wednesday, SEC Network) at Nusz Park. While the MSU-SLU and MSU-UCA games won't determine bids to the Women's College World Series, both are big for the Bulldogs. MSU is 19-8 and 1-2 in the Southeastern Conference after winning one of three league games against No. 3 Auburn last weekend. In the first Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) figures released by the NCAA on Monday, MSU checked in at No. 31. That number will be more than sufficient for MSU to earn a fifth-straight regional berth under fifth-year coach Vann Stuedeman.

Slimantics: MSU women show toughness needed to be Sweet

Posted 3/21/2016 in Local Columns

Roughly 15 minutes after Mississippi State point guard Morgan William dribbled away the final frantic seconds and heaved the ball into the air as a roaring crowd of 7,094 at Humphrey Coliseum erupted in celebration of a 74-72 victory against Michigan State, Spartans' coach Suzy Merchant sat before her post-game press conference with a glum trio of players.

Expectations rise for MSU's next step in NCAAs

Posted 3/16/2016 in Local Columns

The awards continue to roll in for the Mississippi State women's basketball team. On Tuesday, sophomore Victoria Vivians and junior Dominique Dillingham were named to The Associated Press' All-Southeastern Conference team. Vivians, the Bulldogs' leading scorer at 17.2 points per game, earned first-team honors, while Dillingham, who leads the team with 49 charges taken, received honorable mention accolades. The honors were the latest to come in another history-making season that will continue at 1:30 p.m. Friday (ESPN2) when No. 5 seed MSU (26-7) plays host to No. 12 seed Chattanooga (24-7) in the first round of the NCAA tournament's Bridgeport Regional at Humphrey Coliseum.

Minichino Column: MSU women waiting on selection

Posted 3/12/2016 in Local Columns

It appears to be a number's game at this point for the Mississippi State women's basketball team.

Love for game fueled Schmidt's passion

Posted 3/9/2016 in Local Columns

Glenn Schmidt always believed a career in coaching would be fulfilling. Turns out her 39-year coaching career was that and then some. After 13 seasons at Starkville Academy, Schmidt informed the Board of Trustees at the school last week she was retiring and wouldn't return as girls basketball coach and athletic director.

 

Time for SEC to pick one site for women -- or build arena

Posted 3/2/2016 in Local Columns

It's time for the Southeastern Conference to pick a site for its annual women's basketball tournament. By the time most of your read this, the first games in this year's event in Jacksonville, Florida -- Alabama vs. LSU and Ole Miss vs. Vanderbilt -- already will have been played. The five-day marathon comes on the heels of a 16-game regular season that seeded all 14 teams for the chance to earn the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Jacksonville is the 14th city to play host to the marquee event for what remains one of the nation's best women's basketball conferences. An event of this magnitude deserves a site that will show it off and a fan base that will create a great environment for the all of the games.

 

Minichino column: MSU women look for more history

Posted 2/27/2016 in Local Columns

The stretch run is here, and the Mississippi State women's basketball team is poised to add a new entry to another history-making season.

MSU women have chance for defining victory tonight

Posted 2/18/2016 in Local Columns

STARKVILLE A few weeks ago, ESPN.com's Charlie Creme called the Mississippi State women's basketball team's 65-63 overtime victory against Tennessee a "season-saver." It didn't matter that the win was MSU's first in 37 meetings against Tennessee. Creme was more concerned about how the victory bolstered the Bulldogs' resume for NCAA tournament consideration. As ESPN's women's basketball "bracketologist," Creme believed the win solidified MSU's standing to earn one of the top 16 seeds and a chance to play host to the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament.

MSU shooting for first regional at new home

Posted 2/11/2016 in Local Columns

The games count for real now. For the past two decades, the Mississippi State softball team has been a model of consistency. On an annual basis, the team has won more games than it lost and, more often than not, has made postseason play. It has earned a few national rankings, but it hasn't reached elite status in the Southeastern Conference.

Tigers' Sunday best adds to special day

Posted 2/6/2016 in Local Columns

Tyrone Shorter sets the tone in every way for the Noxubee County High School football team. Whether it's his desire to keep the program's field house spotless or his edict that his players wear a buttoned-down shirt, a tie, and a blazer on Fridays during the season, Shorter wants his players to look and to act like one of the top programs in the state of Mississippi.

Plenty of factors can help MSU women improve on last season

Posted 2/3/2016 in Local Columns

STARKVILLE At 8:25 p.m. on Wednesday April 15, the Mississippi State women's basketball team officially became the hunted. On that night, MSU coach Vic Schaefer said to the crowd at the team's annual banquet that the Bulldogs would face a different road in 2015-16. In many ways, the 2014-15 season was a coming out party for MSU. It rode wins over Mercer, Arkansas State, West Virginia, and Western Kentucky to a Preseason Women's National Invitation Tournament title that served notice to the rest of the nation. Those victories were part of an 18-0 start that helped the Bulldogs climb back into the national rankings and sent them on their way to a return trip to the NCAA tournament.

Minichino column: Path exists to get MSU women into Top 16

Posted 2/1/2016 in Local Columns

"Season saver" and "gauntlet" carry extra meaning with a month to go before the Southeastern Conference women's basketball tournament.

 

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