STARKVILLE, Miss. – The Mississippi Valley State University softball program will look to replicate its lone successful matchup with the Bulldogs from 15 years ago, when Coach Lee Smith and the Devilettes upset Mississippi State by a score of 5-3 in one of MVSU’s seven trips to Itta Bena in the series history.
What You Need to Know
- Time and Date: Wednesday, March 2 (6 p.m.)
- Video: N/A
- Audio: N/A
- Tickets: N/A
- Records: Mississippi Valley State (2-10, 0-0 SWAC) | Mississippi State (9-7, 0-0 SEC)
- Location: Starkville, Mississippi – Nusz Park
- Series History: Mississippi State Leads 37-1
- Last Meeting: February 24, 2021 | Mississippi State 10, Mississippi Valley State 2 (Six Innings) | Nusz Park
- Winning Streak: Mississippi State (W29) | Mississippi Valley State’s Last Win: April 18, 2007 (5-3)
Mississippi Valley State Overview
The Devilettes sprint into the David vs. Goliath matchup with one of the fastest teams in the country, ranking among the nation’s top-40 squads regarding stolen bases per game at 1.75.
Jaylon Davis has led the charge around the basepaths for Coach Buckner and company, swiping a perfect 7-for-7 bags for an average of 0.64 to rank top-35 nationally.
A’tajua Wren has been on a tear the past two weekends and now has the best walks allowed per seven innings ratio in the conference to show for it, registering a 1.38 while notching her first career victory and shutout in her 19th pitching appearance as a Devilette on Saturday against Southern.
The trio of Sydney Wesley, Brianna Alston and Keisha White have driven the offense through 12 games as they have combined to collect 21 hits, nine RBIs, eight steals, eight runs scored, seven walks, and four doubles. Wesley has launched the club’s lone homer of the season while White has five stolen bases without getting caught with three of her five hits being doubles.
Scouting The Opponent: Mississippi State Bulldogs
The Maroon and White are 9-7 on the year with wins over Loyola Marymount, Alabama State (twice), Central Arkansas, Georgia Tech, Longwood, South Alabama, and Belmont (twice).
The Dawgs have been a force in the circle, already blanking four of its opponents (top-25 in NCAA) with an ERA of 2.39. Hitting-wise, MSU has cranked out 1.31 dingers a game (top-20 in NCAA), 22 doubles (top-35 in NCAA) and a slugging percentage of .526 (top-30 in NCAA).
Valley pitching will have to be extremely cautious when going up against slugger Mia Davidson as she’s putting up video game numbers during non-conference action. She currently has the second-most round-trippers in the country with eight, the fifth-most total bases (46) and a top-ten slugging percentage (1.095) on top of 17 RBIs scatted across 18 hits plus a .429 batting average.
Mississippi State has two pitchers sitting below the 1.50 ERA mark in Kenley Hawk (0.85) and Aspen Wesley (1.45) as Hawk prefers the strikeout method (10.8 per seven innings) while Wesley makes her opponents earn it by putting the ball in play (0.97 walks allowed per seven innings).
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