The Mississippi State softball team, which is enjoying one of the finest seasons in school history, takes on Texas today to open NCAA regional play at Lafayette, La.
The teams square off at 3 p.m.
MSU is 38-19, the second-best 57-game record in program history. Texas, 33-21, is unbeaten in three previous meetings against the Bulldogs.
Texas Southern (31-18) and host Louisiana-Lafayette (44-8-1), the No. 7 national seed, complete the regional field.
Mississippi State is led by a strong pair of pitchers – senior Alison Owen (18-11, 3.00 ERA) and freshman Alexis Silkwood (13-7, 2.28).
“Pitching is how you win a championship on this level,” said MSU coach Vann Stuedeman. “You need a couple of pitchers who can step in the circle, throw strikes and give you a chance to win. We feel blessed to have that kind of staff.”
MSU has reached the NCAA in each of Stuedeman’s three seasons.
This year’s team ranks last in SEC batting average (.259).
Freshman Caroline Seitz leads the team with a .351 average. Senior Sam Lenahan leads the team in homers (10) and RBIs (42).
The Bulldogs have 10 wins in their previous 10 regional appearances.
“All you can do is keep knocking at the door,” Stuedeman said.