The Mississippi State softball team just kept the line moving.
The Bulldogs didn’t even have to do much during the first inning of Saturday’s game at South Carolina as hitter after hitter reached base. MSU managed just two hits in the frame as its first eight batters all reached, six of them scored in the inning, and the Bulldogs (26-22, 2-15 SEC) evened the series with a 6-2 win over the Gamecocks (25-21, 4-16) on Saturday.
“I thought the first inning really set the tone for the day,” head coach Samantha Ricketts said in a news release from Mississippi State. “I thought everyone, up and down the lineup, did a good job of not getting too big, trying to do too much and making the pitcher come find the zone early one. Really good team at-bats, quality at-bats the first time through the order.”
Mississippi State took advantage of four walks and had two batters hit by a pitch as the Bulldogs roared out to a 5-0 lead before the first out was recorded. Montana Davidson’s fielder’s choice resulted in the first out, but even that brought in a run.
The Bulldogs didn’t score the rest of the way, but they hardly needed to. Annie Willis shut down South Carolina through four scoreless innings, and Kenley Hawk and Aspen Wesley handled things the rest of the way for Mississippi State.
“Annie did a great job of getting the shutdown inning right after we put up six in the first, and then continued to do a good job working around some baserunners here and there,” Ricketts said. “I thought she looked in control the whole time and did a great job of getting us deep into the game. Then Kenley and Aspen getting to finish it and taking some innings off Annie was good to see.”
The Gamecocks scored on a Kassidy Krupit double in the fifth inning and a Mackenzie Boesel double in the seventh.
The Bulldogs won for the second time in four SEC contests and can go for their first conference series win of the season Sunday. First pitch is at noon from Columbia, South Carolina.