MSU's Silkwood becomes all-time winningest softball pitcher

Mississippi State's Alexis Silkwood
Staff Writer

It was only fitting that Mississippi State pitcher Alexis Silkwood finished Saturday’s softball game with a strikeout
By getting South Carolina’s Kaylea Snaer out swinging, Silkwood became the all-time winningest pitcher in MSU history.
Silkwood went the distance in the circle to pick up her 56th career victory as the Bulldogs defeated the Gamecocks 6-4 in Southeastern Conference action.
The third largest crowd in Nusz Park history of 1,413 watched and Silkwood was appreciative of the support while reaching a milestone.
“It’s awesome to see all of Starkville out here,” Silkwood said. “Playing in front of them, you can’t describe it. You want to go out there and fight until you don’t have any fight left. It’s fun to go out there and not only do it for the girl next to you, but do it for Starkville, do it for this university and do it for all the little girls that play softball.”
After the final out was made, MSU coach Vann Stuedeman gave Silkwood a big bear hug down the first base line.
Stuedeman respects everything that her 5-4 senior hurler has meant to the program.
“She doesn’t get a whole lot of respect,” Stuedeman said. “She’s beaten everybody in the league. It’s like (State women’s basketball coach) Vic Schaefer said, ‘don’t care give her any credit.’ Don’t pick her because she’s better with her back against the wall. I’m really just happy for her.
“We’ve said since day one that she’s a Bulldog through and through. She’ll fight you, fight you, fight you and never go away. That’s all you can ask her to do is fight and that’s what she’s done by setting the career wins record for Mississippi State and I’m so proud of her.”
Silkwood scattered six hits, gave up four runs (all earned), walked three and struck out six to improve her record to 12-3.
Fellow senior Caroline Seitz said there is no question what the Bulldogs are going to get every time Silkwood takes the field for a game.
“You know Silkwood is going to go to war with me and my teammates every single day,” Seitz said. “To see her be so successful, I get chills just talking about it.”
The MSU offense gave Silkwood a 1-0 lead to work with in the first inning as Bevia Robinson walked and scored on a double by Seitz.
After a two-run home run by Taylor Williams gave South Carolina a 3-2 advantage in the second inning, the Bulldogs regained the lead with three runs in the third.
Calyn Adams drove in a pair of runs with a double and Katie Anne Bailey also had an RBI double.
Stuedeman liked seeing the Bulldog bats come around after being held to five hits in Friday night’s 3-0 loss to the Gamecocks.
“It was nice to see us barrel up a few and especially early to set the tone,” Stuedeman said. “Everybody was juiced in the lineup. Everybody wanted to get up to have her shot.”
MSU expanded the margin to 6-2 in the fourth inning on another RBI double by Seitz and a single to drive in a run by Adams.
The Bulldogs had five-straight doubles to get five of their six runs in the game.
“Coming off last night, we knew we were better than that and were better hitters than that,” Seitz said. “We just came out (Saturday) and just tried to stick what we needed to do.”
Adams led the 10-hit attack for MSU with two singles and a double, while Seitz had her two doubles and Bailey added a double and single. Robinson also had a double.
South Carolina scratched its way back into the game with one run in the fifth and one in the sixth, but Silkwood retired the side in order to close the seventh, including the strikeout of Snaer.
“I went out there and threw great pitches,” Silkwood said. “Right when I let go, I knew I was feeling good. I felt it and it was awesome. I turned around, saw all of my teammates and we all have bought in. We were all invested (Saturday) with every single pitch. It was a fun, fun, fun day.
The Bulldogs improved to 28-13 overall and 3-8 in the SEC, while the Gamecocks fell to 23-15 and 3-10.
The series concludes with Sunday’s third game starting at noon.