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MSU drops second game of series to Georgia

March 11, 2012

The Mississippi State Bulldogs ran into a Georgia pitcher that got stronger as Saturday's softball game progressed.

Erin Arevalo hurled a seven-inning shutout with nine strikeouts and only one walk. She scattered seven hits in UGA's 2-0 victory at the MSU Softball Field.

It seemed Arevalo saved her best stuff for last as she struck out four of the last seven Mississippi State hitters.

State's Ka'ili Smith said Arevalo had nice movement on her pitches, but felt the homestanding Bulldogs should have found a way to put something together offensively.

"She mixed it up really well, but our team will get back," Smith said. "We tried to put the ball in play and take it to deep counts. That's what we are good at, but we fell short."

It was the third time this season that Mississippi State had not scored a run in a game.

The biggest threat for MSU off Arevalo came in the fourth inning when it worked Sam Lenahan to third base, but couldn't get her home.

The Magnolia State Bulldogs left seven runners on base.

"You have to tip your hat to Erin Arevalo," MSU softball coach Vann Stuedeman said. "She had a great game and we were not able to get across the dish. I hate that for our kids and we definitely had some opportunities and we'll have to learn how to capitalize on those.

"You have to credit Georgia because they made some great plays. They played an errorless game (Saturday) and didn't give us an inch. They made it incredibly hard on us."

Georgia, which improved to 20-3 overall and 1-1 in the Southeastern Conference, got the only run it needed in the fourth inning when Niaja Griffin doubled and scored on a single by Ashley Razey.

Stuedeman said UGA found a way to get the timely hit when her offense couldn't.

"This was a tough one to swallow," Stuedeman said. "They had a good piece of hitting from a senior Ashley Razey. She had nice control of that at-bat and really poked it in with one of their fastest kids on second with the first RBI and you have to give them a lot of credit."

Georgia added an insurance run in the fifth on a solo home run by Gracie Goulder.

Stephanie Becker started in the circle for Mississippi State and saw her record fall to 8-3. She worked 4.2 innings, gave up five hits, both runs, did not walk a batter and only had two strikeouts.

"You give a lot of credit to Stephanie Becker for fighting hard, coming back on day two and gave us another great outing," Stuedeman said. "I can't say anything negative about her. She's really doing a fantastic job."

Smith and Brittany Bell had two hits each for MSU, but no player had an extra base hit.

After Mississippi State (15-7 overall, 1-3 SEC) won the first game between the two teams 5-3 on Friday, one of the teams will win the series when it concludes at 1 p.m. today.

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