There is a certain familiarity Mississippi State will have when it takes the field in the NCAA Tournament against Baylor at 5:30 p.m. today.
That’s because the Bulldogs were in the same Lafayette Regional a year ago going 1-2 with both losses coming to Texas.
Now Vann Stuedeman and her squad are hoping to build on the momentum of four straight postseason appearances.
“We need to continue to expect this to happen and expect to continue pushing for Super Regionals and to be a national contender and a World Series,” Stuedeman said. “Being able to get into the tournament year after year is great and continues to build the resume but it is not the end all, be all. We want more.”
MSU (35-19) has made all 12 of its NCAA Regional appearances in the last 16 years including every year of Stuedeman’s four-year tenure. The Bulldogs are 11-22 all-time in the event but have never advanced to a Super Regional.
For Mississippi State to get out of Lafayette, it will have to take out a stacked field including Weber State (38-17) and host and 13th-ranked Louisiana-Lafayette (39-9). The Bulldogs are just 3-12 against Louisiana-Lafayette and lost the only postseason meeting between the two. MSU has never faced Weber State.
The Bulldogs have also had a rough go against Baylor historically. The Bears have won all three previous outings including a 1-0 victory in eight innings last year as part of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Classic in Gulfport.
“It’s a loaded regional,” Stuedeman said. “ULL has the home run leader in the country. Baylor has a very good staff in the circle and are veterans to the postseason.”
Baylor enters the postseason at 38-15 and are coached by Glenn Moore, who is a native of Liberty.