Coming off of a series loss to Texas A&M, No. 24 Mississippi State University (30-11) looked to bounce back with a midweek game against Alcorn State University (7-24). MSU did that by winning 11-0 over Alcorn State with some lineup changes.
“You just want to see if they are putting in their time and then doing their work in the anticipation of this moment of getting the opportunity,” head coach Vann Stuedeman said. “There are times in conference games where we have used a lot of pinch hitters this season so far. To see their preparation in a game as a starter is nice to see.”
Stuedeman gave people like Taylor Kelly, a junior utility player from Calhoun, Georgia, a chance to start in the midweek series. Stuedeman said she was impressed with Kelly’s performance the previous weekend when she had a walk-off walk and a game-tying hit.
“These players all work really hard, and you would like to give everyone an opportunity to start and get out there,” Stuedeman said. “See how they handle this moment, so when they get into a big moment, we can see how they perform.”
The team excelled offensively and hit the ball very well, getting a home run, a triple, a double and a single as the team had 11 hits. Calyn Adams, a senior infielder from Chesterfield, Virginia, had a hit and an RBI in the victory.
“It felt really great to come out, and we put runs on the board every inning and that is always the goal,” Adams said. “No matter if you are playing someone in conference or out of conference.”
MSU also had a good night in the pitching circle, as they only gave up 3 hits and zero runs in five innings of play. Holly Ward, a senior pitcher from Haleyville, Alabama, got the win, and Stuedeman said it was important for her confidence.
“I think it is important for Holly (Ward) out there to tonight, we tried mixing things up in a different little set that we have been practicing,” Stuedeman said. “I think it is important to get a lot of confidence going into the weekend. Our league is really tough, and every hitter is good, and every hitter is hard to get out. I thought she looked good tonight and threw some good biting pitches."
MSU has a series coming up against the University of Mississippi, and Adams said it was very important to take a fighter mentality into any series. The fighter mentality is key to them having continual success.
“I think we just need to keep priming the pump, that is what we keep talking about,” Adams said. “That is just keep fighting, keep throwing punches. We have some stuff not go our way, and we have had some stuff go our way. So you just have to keep getting back up and keep fighting.”
Adams said there is some bonus to beating Ole Miss, but at the end of the day, it is just another series.
“It is another series, it is always more fun to brag about those wins of course, but we treat it the same as anybody else,” Adams said. “Just keep that fighter mentality, we have been doing a really good job. We have had some tough series here lately, but we just keep having the fighter mentality.”
MSU will take on Ole Miss in a three-game series on Saturday, Sunday and Monday in Oxford.