||MSU softball downs Kennesaw State
STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTVA/MSU Athletics) — With the opportunity to continue growing, the young Mississippi State softball team (17-3) did just that amidst a rain-delay to down Kennesaw State (10-5), 4-2, for another non-conference victory on Wednesday at the MSU Softball Field.
“I thought we did a good job answering back both times Kennesaw State scored tonight,” assistant coach Samantha Ricketts said. “The bottom of our lineup sparked us with Kayla Winkfield and Loryn Nichols finding their way on and Amanda Ivy driving in runs. KSU made some great defensive plays to minimize our innings. Alexis Silkwood was tough in the circle once again by picking up big strikeouts when we needed them.”
After giving up a run in the top of the second, the Bulldogs responded immediately in the bottom of the second. A lead-off double from sophomore Mackenzie Toler, followed by bunt from junior Kayla Winkfield led to a two-out, two-run single to right field by sophomore Amanda Ivy, putting State ahead 2-1 after two.
Following giving up an unearned run to KSU in the top of the fifth, the Bulldogs again answered immediately. Sophmore Katie Anne Bailey led off the bottom of the fifth with a single and advanced on a groundout by senior Julia Echols. Sophomore Caroline Seitz launched a sacrifice fly deep to right field that allowed Bailey to use alert and aggressive base running to score from second base. At the end of the inning, the Bulldogs led 3-2.
With the forecast having called for rain throughout the day, the skies opened with one out in the home half of the sixth, bringing out the tarp and a 40-minute delay.
After things started back up, State added insurance as once again Ivy scored Winkfield, this time bringing the score to 4-2 through six.
Back out to the circle in search of a complete-game, Silkwood (12-2) made sure the lead remained intact as she finished out a seven-inning effort in which she struck out 10 and allowed just six hits.
For the Owls, Paige Mathews (3-2) suffered the loss in a relief effort in which she threw 2.1 innings and allowed two runs, both earned, on five hits.
MSU will open conference play Friday against No. 8 Georgia (17-2) at the MSU Softball Field at 5:30 p.m. CT. The contest will air live on SEC Network+. Admission to all games at the MSU Softball Stadium is free and open to the public.