Mississippi State Lady Bulldog tennis (7-10, 1-8 SEC) fell in a 4-1 decision to the No. 37 Lady Rebels of Ole Miss (8-9, 4-5) Friday afternoon on the road. The match was played indoors due to rainy weather conditions.
The Lady Rebels took an early 1-0 lead after posting wins on doubles courts 1 and 2. Erin Stephens and Iris Verboven of the Lady Rebels opened things up by taking down Petra Ferancova and Sarai Flores of MSU 8-0 on court 2. Ole Miss' No. 53 ranked duo of Caroline Rhode-Moe and Marija Milutinovic clinched the doubles point, defeating MSU's No. 56 ranked pair of Alexandra Perper and Naomi Tran in an 8-3 decision at the No. 1 spot. Georgiana Patrasc and Roseline Dion of the Lady Bulldogs held a 6-5 lead over Mai El Kamash and Vief Vlaar on court 3 when play was suspended.
Court 1 was the first to complete in singles competition, as 124th-ranked Georgiana Patrasc of the Lady Bulldogs fell to Lady Rebel senior, No. 45 ranked Caroline Rhode-Moe, in a 6-2, 6-4 decision.
Lady Bulldog Alexandra Perper cut the Ole Miss lead to 2-1 with an impressive 6-1, 6-4 triumph on court 2 against Lady Rebel Julia Jones in the next match to finish. Ole Miss answered back with a win on court 3 to stretch its lead to 3-1 as No. 82 ranked Mai El Kamash of the Lady Rebels took down MSU sophomore Naomi Tran 6-4, 7-5.
Marija Milutinovic of Ole Miss then sealed the victory for Ole Miss with a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Roseline Dion of the Lady Bulldogs on court 5.
Erin Stephens of Ole Miss held a 6-3, 3-0 lead over Petra Ferancova on court 4 when play was suspended. Lady Bulldog Lien Van Geel of MSU led 5-3 on court 6 at that point as well.
The Lady Bulldogs' next match will be Friday, April 5, as they head to Columbia, S.C., to face the No. 31-ranked Lady Gamecocks of South Carolina. Updates for MSU matches can be found on Twitter at @mstateWT. Live stats can be found on hailstate.com.
In what began a clear and sunny day and quickly turned to rain, the No. 13 Mississippi State men's tennis squad (13-7, 3-5 SEC) fell to No. 10 Ole Miss (13-5, 6-3 SEC) in an exciting match at the A.J. Pitts Tennis Centre Friday that finally ended around 8 p.m.
Ole Miss controlled the opening doubles point, winning matches on courts two and three to secure the early 1-0 lead. The No. 67 UM duo of Johan Backstrom and Stefan Lindmark defeated MSU's Zach White and Ethan Wilkinson 8-2 on court two. UM then clinched the point with an 8-4 victory on court three from the UM tandem of William Kallberg and Zach Wilder against MSU's No. 73 team of Romain Bogaerts and Pedro Dumont, despite a solid effort from the MSU pair to come back in that contest.
Two top 15 doubles teams were locked in a heated battle on court one before being suspended. The Bulldogs' 15th-ranked duo of Jordan Angus and Malte Stropp were tied at 6-6 with No. 4 Rebel squad of Jonas Lutjen and Nik Scholtz when the doubles point was clinched.
State would fire back in singles, taking the first set on five of the six courts to capture the momentum in the match, and the Bulldogs looked poised for a big comeback just as the clouds swept over the Pitts Tennis Centre and the rain began to fall on the MSU campus. It was a total of three hours and 14 minutes before the courts were dry again and action resumed between the two rival schools.
With play resumed, it was anyone's match as the Rebels still clung to a 1-0 lead. The Bulldogs evened the score when MSU freshman Pedro Dumont defeated UM's Adrian Forberg Skogeng 6-2, 6-3 on court six and State gained the lead at 2-1 when its 18th-ranked Bogaerts took down Ole Miss' No. 8 Scholtz 6-2, 6-4 on court one.
But the Rebels would claim the next three points to clinch the win, two in three-set rallies. UM tied the match at 2-2 when MSU's White fell to UM's Backstrom 6-1, 6-2 on court five. Ole Miss then grabbed a 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 victory on court three to take a 3-2 lead as the Rebels' No. 84 Kallberg downed MSU's Angus.
The Bulldogs would then need victories on courts two and four to capture victory. Ole Miss pushed both matches to final sets with 7-6(4) victories in the second sets on each court. As MSU's James Chaudry and UM's Lindmark traded holds to open the third set on court four, the Rebels' No. 12 Lutjen claimed a 1-6, 7-6(4), 6-2 triumph over MSU's No. 50 Stropp to clinch the team match for the visitors from Oxford.
Play on court four was suspended between Chaudry and Lindmark at 7-5, 6-7(4), 1-1.
MSU will return to action next Friday, April 5, as it takes on No. 25 South Carolina for the Bulldogs' 2013 Senior Day. The match is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. CT at the Pitts Tennis Centre.
For more information on Mississippi State men's tennis, follow the Bulldogs on Twitter (www.twitter.com/mstatemt) and on Facebook (www.facebook.com/mstatemt).
Good Friday was anything but that for the Mississippi State softball team, which lost both games to SEC West foe Auburn in a doubleheader at the MSU Softball Stadium. The Bulldogs (20-12, 1-7 SEC) fell by an 8-3 margin in game one, before giving up four runs to the Tigers (23-13, 4-7 SEC) in the final frame in a 7-5 loss in game two.
“It is like a well,” Head Coach Vann Stuedeman said. “When you look down in a well and you can’t see any water and you pump. As soon as you stop pumping, the water goes away. If you keep pumping, eventually the water will overflow and you will reap the benefits.”
GAME ONE RECAP
Auburn outscored Mississippi State by an 8-1 margin in the late innings for an 8-3 victory against the Maroon and White in game one of the double dip.
In her first game in the leadoff spot this season, junior catcher Sam Lenahan walked twice and scored a pair of runs. Cleanup slugger Briana Bell went 1-for-3 with her sixth home run of the season, while juniors Heidi Shape and Erin Nesbit also finished 1-for-3 at the plate.
Senior left-hander Stephanie Becker fell to 6-4 on the year after surrendering five runs on two hits and three walks in 4.2 innings in the starting nod. Junior righty Alison Owen replaced her and threw 1.1 hitless innings, before true freshman Jacey Punches closed out the game with an inning of work, giving up three runs (one earned) off two hits and a walk.
After an RBI single by Shape in the first which drove in Lenahan, Lenahan scored again in the third inning. Bell ripped a worm burner to the AU shortstop, but the Orange and Blue defender sailed the throw over the first baseman’s head, allowing Lenahan to tap the dish for an early 2-0 MSU lead.
The lead did not last long, as the visitors plated five runs on three hits and a trio of walks in the top of the fifth. Following a solo shot by MSU’s Bell in the bottom of the sixth to make it 5-3, Auburn added a trio of runs in the seventh to give the game its final score of 8-3.
The three-hole and cleanup combination of Brooke Lathan and Branndi Melereo for Auburn combined to drive in six of the Tigers’ eight runs.
GAME TWO RECAP
The Bulldogs jumped out to a 5-0 lead courtesy of two home runs by junior Logan Foulks, but gave up three in the third and four in the seventh for a heartbreaking 7-5 defeat in game two.
Foulks tied career highs with two home runs and five RBIs, while Lenahan went 2-for-4 with two runs. Freshman right fielder Loryn Nichols also had multiple hits, going 2-for-3 with a run scored and two stolen bases.
Becker came in with a save opportunity in the seventh thanks to a two-run lead, but gave up the final three runs to drop to 6-5 in her second defeat on the day. Owen started the game and struck out 14 in 6.2 innings of work, just two shy of the single-game school record set earlier in the season. The right hander gave up a career-high 10 hits that yielded the first four Auburn runs.
Starting the game off with a two-run homer in the first and a three-run long ball in the second, Foulks spotted MSU with an early 5-0 lead.
The Tigers clawed back with three runs in the third and trailed by two for three-consecutive innings until the top of the seventh. After a leadoff infield single by Tiffany Howard, Owen was replaced by Becker in the circle. The MSU southpaw retired her first batter before giving up a single and a two-RBI double that tied the game. Following a walk, Owen relieved Becker and relinquished a two-RBI double of her own that ended up being the game-winning runs for the visitors.
The series wraps up Saturday at 1 p.m., with an Easter egg hunt for all children taking place immediately following the series finale. Admission is free for those that can attend, but for those that cannot, live video and audio streaming of the series will be available online to HailStateTV subscribers (www.HailState.com/hstvlive).
For live in-game updates of MSU's conference clash, follow the program on Twitter at @MStateSB. For pictures, like the team on Facebook at Facebook.com/MStateSB and visit the team's Instagram account at MStateSB. For pregame and postgame video, check out MSU's official YouTube channel at YouTube.com/HailState.