State edges No. 7 Georgia in softball

Staff Writer

Kat Moore started it and finished it at the plate for the Mississippi State Bulldogs on Saturday afternoon.

After getting a base hit to start a four-run first inning for MSU, Moore had another hit in the seventh inning that was thrown away at first base to plate the winning run for the home team and State defeated the Georgia Bulldogs 5-4 at Nusz Park.

“We just really wanted to get this win,” Moore said. “We gritted it out. With every pitch, we just wanted it.”

MSU (27-5, 3-2)  was able to even the series with Georgia (28-3, 6-2) and set up a deciding matchup today at 2 p.m.

Coach Vann Stuedeman was happy to see her Bulldogs bounce back to get the victory after Friday night’s disappointing 4-2 loss.

“Last night was heartbreaking and you’ve got to like the fight in the Dogs,” Stuedeman said. “I’m proud of the grit and determination. (Georgia) is not used to losing.”

In the seventh frame, Calyn Adams and Bevia Robinson had back-to-back singles to get back to Moore at the top of the order.

Moore battled Georgia hurler Mary Wilson Avant and got the swinging bunt that she beat at first base. Maddie Dorsett, who pinch ran for Adams, raced home with the winning run when the softball got away at first base.
“Kat is a spark plug off the field, on the field and wherever she goes,” Stuedeman said of her junior leadoff hitter. “She is so fun to be around. It’s funny. We were giving her the drag bunt and she was having a little trouble getting it down. The game knows and she gets a swinging bunt, makes it happen and it’s tough to defend.”

State blasted its way to a 4-0 advantage in the first inning.

After Moore singled to lead off the frame, Mia Davidson hit a two-run home run to center field, then Sarai Niu was hit by a pitch with one out and Reggie Harrison stepped up to deliver a two-run shot.

That was all the home standing Bulldogs could get offensively for a while and Georgia was able to chip away little by little with two runs in the fourth, one in the fifth and one in the seventh to tie the game at 4-4.
Pitchers Holly Ward and Cassidy Knudsen kept Mississippi State in the game as they scattered 10 hits.

“Holly Ward grinded it out for us,” Stuedeman said. “She just kept dealing. Cassady coming in there and did a good job. They got one timely hit.”

Ward worked the first six innings, while Knudsen (10-2) tossed one inning to get the win.