MSU softball blanked by South Carolina

Holly Ward prepares to release a pitch for Mississippi State.
By: 
CHRISTIAN SPEENEY
For Starkville Daily News

It was a game of inches for the Mississippi State Bulldogs Friday night.
That led to a tough start to Super Bulldog Weekend for coach Vann Stuedeman’s softball squad as MSU lost by a score of 3-0 in a highly defensive match up against the Gamecocks.
In a game that featured a total of 13 hits, with five for the Bulldogs, chances came few and short between, as they struggled to put runners in scoring position for much of the night.
Despite looking ready to pounce early off of a triple in the first inning by short stop Reggie Harrison, MSU was unable to capitalize, and failed to place another runner on third for the rest of the contest.
“The best two stats in softball are on-base percentage and RBIs,” Stuedeman said. “We need someone to get those hits, and someone to hit them in.”
While struggling to find consistency throughout the order on offense, it’s fair to say that defense was the cause of many woes for Stuedeman's staff against the Gamecocks.
The Bulldogs had two infield errors against South Carolina, both of which led to runs for the Gamecocks.
“In the first inning, we had to get four outs, and in the second inning, we had to get six outs," Stuedeman said. "Holly (Ward) gave up five well hit hits, and one of them went over the fence,” Stuedeman said, “I don’t know what the score’s going to be (today), but I think that the more outs that we have to get, the tougher we make it (on ourselves) to score.”
Two bright spots for the Bulldogs’ offense came from catcher Calyn Adams and left fielder Bevia Robinson. Adams recorded two hits against the Gamecocks, and found herself to be the games hardest out, while Robinson, despite recently dropping to the bottom of the order, got on base both times she stepped to the plate recording a single, a walk, and two stolen bases.
“I just do what I do,” Robinson stated, “I get on (base), and give my teammates behind me the opportunity to get me around. Coach Vann believes in me, and I just use my speed to the best of my ability and was able to steal a base.”
Stuedeman later explained her decision to drop Robinson down the order in recent games.
“In the last 10 games she’s 3-for-30 in getting on base, so I was just trying to give her a break to get back into her groove,” Stuedeman said, “It was more of a 10 game thing, not a 50 or 30 game thing. It was more of a recent trend. We wanted to give her a break, and give her some better pitches to see.”
Friday’s lost drops the Bulldogs to an overall record of 27-13 and 2-8 in SEC competition with the team’s only conference wins coming against Texas A&M and Alabama.
Saturday’s rematch against the Gamecocks will be a pivotal one as the two continue to battle it out for placement in the SEC.

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