OCTOBER 10 UPDATE
Softball Downs Northwestern State in Fall Opener; Host NPF All-Stars Tuesday
BATON ROUGE – The LSU softball team started the fall season with a pair of strong efforts and took down Northwestern State 9-3 and 3-2 during a twinbill Friday at Tiger Park.
During game one’s 9-3 victory, Ashleigh Kuhn sparked LSU’s offense to a 14-hit explosion. She garnered a 4-for-4 performance and notched four RBIs in her LSU debut. Morgan Russell produced a multi-hit effort and picked up three RBIs. LSU jumped out to an early 2-0 advantage after Kuhn, a Northwestern State transfer, connected for a two-run single to right centerfield. After NSU knotted the score at 2-2 in the third inning, the Tigers responded with a Kuhn sacrifice fly during the home half of the frame to regain a 3-2 edge. NFCA All-American Third-Team and All-SEC First-Team performer Brittany Mack racked up 11 strikeouts during her five innings of work. She finished her evening in style and struck out the side in the fifth. After the two teams traded runs in the sixth inning, LSU broke the game open with a five-run seventh inning. Russell plated a pair of runs on a RBI-single, while Kuhn along with Alex Boulet and Simone Heyward added RBI hits during the frame.
The second game proved to be a pitcher’s duel and remained scoreless through the first five frames. NSU grabbed a 2-0 advantage after single runs in the sixth and seventh innings before the Tigers rallied for three runs during its last at-bat. LSU’s freshmen ignited the rally as Tammy Vermeulen belted a single to centerfield. After a NSU fielding error allowed A.J. Andrews to reach base, Kailey McCasland lined a RBI-single in between third base and shortstop to cut the deficit to 2-1. With runners on second and third base, the Tigers took advantage of a NSU throwing error from the third basemen to allow both Andrews and McCasland to cross the plate for the 3-2 victory. Rachele Fico earned the win in relief after Meghan Patterson started the contest with two spotless frames. The 2010 SEC Freshman of the Year allowed two runs, one earned, on four hits and totaled 10 strikeouts against zero walks.
LSU returns to action Tuesday and plays host to the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) Back to School Tour. First pitch is slated for 7 p.m. and admission is free to Tiger Park. The Tigers will take batting practice at 5:15 p.m. followed by the NPF players at 5:55 p.m.
Vann Stuedeman Elected to Huntingdon College Athletic Hall of Fame
STARKVILLE, Miss. – A determination to play softball at the collegiate level led current Mississippi State head softball coach Vann Stuedeman to be inducted into the Huntingdon College Athletic Hall of Fame this past Saturday.
“I am extremely humbled to be inducted into my alma mater’s Hall of Fame,” Stuedeman said. “To be in any Hall of Fame is an absolute honor, but to be inducted at a school where I grew so much as a person and an athlete means even more.” The ceremony, held at the Catherine Dixon Roland Arena on the campus of Huntingdon College in Montgomery, Ala., honored the 1994 All-American for her three seasons at the school (1991-94). During that span, the Birmingham, Ala., native was an important member in the Hawks’ two third-place finishes at the national tournament (1992, 1994). In her first year at the helm of the Maroon and White softball program, Stuedeman and her squad continue their first fall statewide tour in Tupelo this Sunday, Oct. 16, for a 1 p.m. contest against Wallace State at the Veterans Sports Complex. Following the game, the team will provide a free softball clinic and shirt for the first 100 fans age 10-18.
Mississippi State Softball Blanks Marion Military Institute, 10-0
MERIDIAN, Miss. – An explosion of offensive firepower and a combined
two-hit shutout guided the Mississippi State softball team to a 10-0
victory over Marion Military Institute Sunday afternoon in front of a
capacity crowd at Clarkdale High School. The Maroon and White improved
to 2-0 during the first-ever statewide fall tour under new head coach
Junior Kylie Vry started on the mound, leading the pitching staff to a
combined two-hit shutout. Fellow junior Stephanie Becker fanned five
over three innings, giving her 11 total strikeouts in six full frames
this fall. Sophomore Shana Sherrod struck out the side in her lone
inning of work, while seniors Misty Flesher and Lindsey Dunlap each
retired the side in their inning inside the circle. Sophomore Sam Lenahan cranked a first-inning grand slam andadded an RBI single to anchor the Dawgs’ offense with five RBI. Junior Jessica Cooley also went yard for the first time this fall, finishing with a homer, double and two RBI. In all, every Bulldog player sawaction in the victory.
WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM
USA Softball vs. Texas A&M moved to Monday due to rain showers; games to be played in College Station
HOUSTON, Texas — The USA Softball Women’s National team doubleheader against Texas A&M University has been cancelled today due to rain and weather in the area. The games have been rescheduled for a doubleheader tomorrow (Monday) at the Aggie Softball Complex in College Station. Game one is slated for a 5 p.m. first pitch. Game two will follow immediately.
The double header will be broadcast on AggieAthletics.com and 95.1-3 The Zone HD, making it available worldwide on any smartphone or HD radio. Visit RadioAggieland.com to listen live, or to download the app.
USA Softball will return to Cougar Softball Stadium in Houston on Tuesday evening at 7 p.m. for a match up against the University of Houston. Tickets from today’s cancelled games can be redeemed at the gate on Tuesday evening for admission. Both teams will be available for autographs after the game.
Following the practices and exhibitions in Houston, Team USA will head to Guadalajara in pursuit of a seventh consecutive Pan American Games Gold Medal for the USA Softball program. The multi-sport event is Oct. 14-30 with softball competition scheduled for Oct. 17-23.
Athletes slated to compete for USA Softball in Houston and Guadalajara: Valerie Arioto (Pleasanton, Calif./California senior); Whitney Canion (Aledo, Texas/Baylor junior); Kaitlin Cochran (Yorba Linda Calif./Arizona State 2009); Lauren Gibson (Pasadena, Md./Tennessee junior); Kelly Grieve (Asheville, N.C./Tennessee 2011); Hoagland; Ashley Holcombe (Fayetteville, Ga./Alabama 2009); Molly Johnson (Tucson, Ariz./Kentucky 2010); Stacy May-Johnson (Reno, Nev./Iowa 2006); Jenae Leles (Sacramento, Calif./Arizona 2009); Meagan May (Spring, Texas/Texas A&M junior); Michelle Moultrie (Jacksonville, Fla./Florida senior); Christi Orgeron (New Orleans, La./ULL junior); Keilani Ricketts (San Jose, Calif./Oklahoma junior); Jordan Taylor (Valencia, Calif./Michigan 2011); Rhea Taylor (Buford, Ga./Missouri 2011); and Chelsea Thomas (Pleasantville, Iowa/Missouri junior).
All 17 athletes are Pan American Games rookies. In 2010, Cochran and Holcombe helped Team USA to the Gold Medal at the 2010 International Softball Federation (ISF) Women’s World Championship in Caracas, Venezuela.
Ken Eriksen (Tampa, Fla./Head Coach at the University of South Florida) is the head coach of the 2011 USA Softball Women’s National Team. He will be joined in Houston and at the Pan American Games by assistant coaches Mike Larabee (Fayetteville, Ark./Head Coach at the University of Arkansas), Tairia Flowers (Tucson, Ariz./Head Coach at Cal State Northridge) and Mike White (Eugene, Ore./Head Coach at the University of Oregon).
USA Softball enters the Pan American Games following a Gold Medal finish at World Cup of Softball VI in Oklahoma City, marking the fifth straight World Cup title for the Americans. Team USA has won seven Pan American Championships (1979, 1987, 1991, 1995, 1999, 2003 and 2007) including the last six. The program has a record of 78-3 since softball debuted in the 1979 Pan American Games.
Shannon Millman – Pitcher – San Jacinto College – Lamar University