Coming off a program shaping season that led Mississippi State University to their sixth NCAA Tournament appearance over the last seven seasons, softball season is officially on deck with expectations of success.
The Bulldogs earned preseason praise by clinching a spot in the USA Today/NFCA Top 25 Coaches Poll, as well as coming in at No. 24 in the publication’s preseason poll.
MSU also raked in votes in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 Preseason Poll. Following the preseason honors, the 2019 season will be the second time in program history, prior to the 2001 season, that MSU earned a preseason ranking in the USA Today/NFCA Top 25 Coaches Poll.
Recapping some of their 2018 campaign successes, the Bulldogs went on to win their first SEC Tournament game since 2005, and making it to the Tucson Regional in the NCAA tournament, the team had success in power as they scored a total of 55 home runs. They also pitched a recorded 19 shutouts in total over the course of the season.
MSU would drop a game in the final round of the regional to the Arizona Wildcats with a score of 4-3, ending their season with a record of 38-23. After completing a momentous season, the Bulldogs are expected to make yet another NCAA Tournament run this season.
The Bulldogs return with a skilled roster, with the addition of a few newcomers that is led by sophomore catcher/third baseman Mia Davidson, who was selected to the 2019 All-SEC Preseason Team.
Davidson completed her freshman campaign ranked second in the league with 19 home runs, which would dub her 11th nationally in home runs and total bases. Davidson’s single season record for slugging percentage, total bases and RBIs also landed her within the seventh-highest totals in program history.
Entering her sophomore campaign, Davidson was named a Preseason All-American by Fastpitch News, and she was also honored as one of the eight student-athletes from the Southeastern Conference to be honored as a preseason All-American.
Davidson was also added to the watchlist for the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award, joining 10 sophomores who are on the watchlist.
The top 25 finalists list for the USA Softball Collegiate player of the year award will be announced on April 24. The winner of the award has to be in the top 25 list. The winner will be announced May 28, following a top 10 and top 3 list.
Davidson has earned her preseason accolades, as she had 19 home runs this past season and will look to build upon this success this year.
The Bulldogs will begin their 2019 campaign by hosting the Bulldog Kickoff Classic from Feb. 8-10 at Nusz Park. The first game of the Classic and of the season is set for 3 p.m. Feb. 8 against Middle Tennessee State University.