STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI/MSU Athletics) – Senior left-hander Stephanie Becker pitched her second-straight complete-game shutout at home as the Mississippi State softball team (31-16) defeated Mississippi Valley State (18-27), 1-0, on an unusually chilly Wednesday night at the MSU Softball Stadium. With the win, MSU Head Coach Vann Stuedeman improved to a perfect 13-0 against in-state opponents during her tenure in Starkville.
“It was a great outing by Stephanie Becker,” Stuedeman said. “Mississippi Valley always plays us a great game. We knew we were going to have to need some good pitching to quiet their bats.”
Becker was dominant in her circle, shutting out the Devilettes for her third complete-game scoreboard blanking of the season. The southpaw yielded only three hits and tied a career high with 13 strikeouts and zero walks. Valley’s Alicia Lorenz suffered the loss, dropping to 9-15 on the year.
State’s only run of the game came on an RBI single by senior right fielder Jessica Cooley (1-for-2) in the third inning. The game-winning run was scored by freshman Loryn Nichols, who tied a career high with two hits and was surprised during the game by her parents, who flew from California Wednesday afternoon to watch the speedy center fielder win the game.
The win continued Stuedeman’s non-conference dominance the last two seasons. Starkville’s skipper won her 37th non-SEC game in her last 44 tries Wednesday, improving her non-conference mark to 24-5 this season.
Up next for the Maroon and White is a critical three-game conference clash against South Carolina, in a battle which will help determine who makes the SEC Tournament next month. The Bulldogs host the Gamecocks Friday at 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m. Admission is free, but for those who cannot attend, free live audio as well as video will be available online to HailStateTV subscribers (www.HailState.com/hstvlive).