Senior Misty Flesher prepares to work in the circle for the Bulldogs Saturday. (Photo by Michael Wardlaw, SDN)
Senior Day for Mississippi State softball sent the Bulldog seniors out with a pair of wins over Tennessee Tech on Saturday afternoon.
Seniors Misty Flesher and Lindsey Dunlap picked up the 6-2 and 5-1 victories in their final outing on the Mississippi State campus.
â€śIâ€™m just thrilled that Misty Flesher and Lindsey Dunlap got the wins,â€ť said MSU softball coach Vann Stuedeman. â€śThatâ€™s big for them to win their final game in front of a home crowd.â€ť
The Bulldogs (32-19) opened with a sluggish start in game one of the twinbill due to the emotions and distractions of the day.
â€śIt is always hard to perform on senior day,â€ť said Stuedeman. â€śThey have family members come in from all over. It is fun but youâ€™re a little bit nervous because they put all that pressure on themselves to perform in front of their friends and family.â€ť
The nerves quickly settled and after falling behind 1-0, the Bulldogs erupted for five runs in the second inning thanks to a bases-clearing three-run triple from center fielder Jessica Offutt.
Game two was more of the same as State jumped out to an early 4-0 lead and never looked back. It was sophomore Heidi Shape who delivered a two-run, two-out double in the first inning that sparked Stateâ€™s victory.
â€śThis whole group has just bought into each other,â€ť Stuedeman explained. â€śThey trust and believe in each other. Theyâ€™ve made a commitment and they sacrifice for each other and it is showing.â€ť
The pair of wins improved State to 13-2 in the month of April and winners of 13 of its last 14 games. While it seems the Bulldogs are on a hot streak, the team will quickly explain it was just part of the plan.
â€śWe made a commitment in March that the late season was going to be our season,â€ť Stuedeman said. â€śWe were going to work extra hard in the months of April and May to end this year the way we all wanted to. Theyâ€™ve just done it. Theyâ€™ve put in the time and the sacrifice and weâ€™ve got to continue to finish strong.â€ť
State will now turn their attention to the Auburn Tigers and the regular season finale on the Plains. A strong finish is what the Bulldogs are looking for as they head into postseason play.
â€śA good finish is extremely important,â€ť said Stuedeman. â€śWhen you get into that regional, you just never know.â€ť
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