April 17, 2017 10:05:49 AM
ATHENS, Ga. -- Caroline Seitz left her mark on Jack Turner Stadium.
Behind Seitz's two home runs and three RBIs, the Mississippi State softball team defeated No. 19 Georgia 5-2 to capture its second-straight Southeastern Conference series win.
It's the first time since 2015 that MSU (31-14, 6-9 SEC) has won multiple SEC series in a campaign. In 2015, MSU defeated No. 19 Texas A&M at home and Arkansas on the road.
MSU has Seitz to thank for playing a key role in the series victory. The senior went 7-for-10 for the weekend with 14 RBIs, four home runs (two grand slams), four runs scored, a 1.900 slugging percentage, and a .667 on-base percentage. She became the first in school history to hit four home runs in a SEC weekend series, and the first MSU player since Mackenzie Toler (May 2, 2015 at South Carolina) to hit two home runs in a game.
On top of her home runs, Seitz also has hit safely in seven-straight games, which is a new career high.
Seitz's home run hitting helped MSU build off a series victory last weekend against South Carolina in Starkville.
The weekend victory also marked the end of Georgia's run of five-straight series wins against MSU. MSU captured its first series win against Georgia since April 19-20, 2008, in Starkville. It also is the first series win in Athens since April 21-22, 2007.
Georgia (29-15, 3-12) didn't make it easy on MSU to start, as it grabbed a two-run lead in the third frame. A pair of singles gave Georgia a 2-0 lead, but that wouldn't last long thanks to the power of Seitz's swing.
After a Kat Moore walk led off the inning, Reggie Harrison moved her to second on a groundout. Seitz then took the third pitch of the at-bat to the scoreboard in left to tie the game at 2. Calyn Adams' single and two walks loaded the bases for Amanda Ivy, who reached safely. Two runs scored thanks to a Georgia error to make it 4-2.
An inning later, Seitz needed only two pitches to hit her fourth home run of the weekend to account for the final score.
Senior Alexis Silkwood (13-4) allowed only two batters to reach base in the last four innings. She recorded 1-2-3 frames in the sixth and seventh. Outside of the third, Silkwood only let one Georgia batter get past first base.
Along with Seitz and Adams, five other Bulldogs reached base safely due to the walks.
MSU will go on the road to play Alcorn State at 3 p.m. Tuesday in Lorman. It will play host to Arkansas in a three-game series that is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. Saturday. All three games will be nationally televised on the SEC Network. n No. 16 Tennessee beats No. 9 Alabama: At Knoxville, Tennessee, For the second-straight game, No. 9 Alabama softball fell in walk-off fashion, as a seventh-inning home run by Brooke Vines gave No. 16 Tennessee a 2-0 win in Sunday's pitcher's duel.
With the loss, Alabama (36-9, 10-7) suffers its second SEC series loss of the season, while Tennessee (39-5, 11-3 SEC) extends its winning streak to 18 games.
Sydney Littlejohn (14-3) allowed two hits until Vines' two-run home run. All of Littlejohn's losses have been shutouts. She has allowed two or fewer runs in each of them. The Crimson Tide outhit the Volunteers, 4-3, but left seven runners on base.
Alabama scratched two hits across in the top of the first and a would-be home run tailed just foul before a popup ended the half-inning. Another big shot by Bailey Hemphill in the top of the third fell just shy at the warning track in right field. A one-out walk in the third gave Tennessee its first baserunner. An infield single in the next at-bat went as its first hit. A grounder to Marisa Runyon at third allowed her to tag the base and throw to first for an inning-ending double play.
With two out in the top of the fifth, Elissa Brown reached on a slap single and back-to-back walks to Mari Cranek and Chandler Dare would load the bases for Alabama but a sharp line drive would be caught to end the inning as the Crimson Tide couldn't capitalize.
With the score still 0-0 in the top of the seventh, Sydney Booker started the inning with a bunt single and Claire Jenkins laid down another bunt to sacrifice Booker into scoring position. A ground ball went for out number two but advanced Booker to third base, however a popup back to the pitcher ended the half-inning and stranded the potential go-ahead run.
Tennessee's Meghan Gregg drew a walk to begin the bottom of the seventh and set the stage for Vines.
The teams will wrap up the series at 6 tonight (SEC Network).