Bulldogs complete season-opening road trip in Mobile

Story Links STARKVILLE — Mississippi State will complete a five-game, 15-game season-opener stretch this weekend at the South Alabama Invitational in Mobile, Alabama.

State (6-4) meets Tulsa, South Alabama, Louisiana Tech and Furman in two games on Friday and Saturday before a final game against the Paladins on Sunday.

The Bulldogs have played all four teams under head coach Samantha Ricketts. Last year, MSU split with South Alabama and Furman in Starkville. State last played Louisiana Tech in Ruston in 2021. MSU has won 11 straight encounters with the Lady Techsters.

MSU’s last meeting with Tulsa came during the truncated 2020 season, when a wild playing field proved to be the difference in a 2-1 loss that was one of the state’s only three losses of the season.

The weekend was set to feature tight matchups, with three of the five teams having ERAs under 2.00 and three averaging more than 6.0 strikeouts per game.

Friday February 24th
12:30 p.m. – vs. Tulsa | Live Stats
5:30 p.m. – in South Alabama | Live Stats | ESPN+

Saturday February 25th
12:30 p.m. – vs. Louisiana Tech | Live Stats
3 p.m. – vs. Furman | Live Stats

Sunday February 26th
11:15 a.m. – vs. Furman | Live Stats

MAGIC NUMBER: MSU was 24-1 last season when the Bulldogs threw up more than five runs. State has scored at least five goals in every win in 2023 and goes 6-1.

STARTS WITH #1: Macy Graf has made base in 11 of 14 leadoff chances, which ranks second in the SEC and third among the Power 5 programs. It’s the best of any newcomer to the Power 5.

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TOP 10 COMPANIES: State defeated No. 10 Arizona 6-3 at the Clearwater Invitational (2/17). The Bulldogs have now beaten top 10 teams three times in a row with an aggregate score of 13-5.

BULLDOG BATS: MSU racked up 21 extra base hits at the Clearwater Invitational (2/17-19), which finished second among all teams in the event behind only No. 4 Oklahoma State (28).

GOING THE DISTANCE: Aspen Wesley and Josey Marron have already played three full games this season. MSU only had 11 full games in 2022.

MARRON’S HIGH MARKS: Opponents are 0-for-16 with two outs against Marron this season. She is currently averaging 9.8 strikeouts per seven innings and boasts a 7.0 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

ROAD DAWGS: State completes a 15-game road trip to open the season while construction of its new indoor facility continues.

Tulsa (5-5, 0-0 AAC)
Ranking: NFCA Coaches – NR | USA Softball – NR | D1Softball – NR | Softball America – NO
Head Coach: Crissy Strimple | at TUL: 61-62-1 (4th year) | Career: 61-62-1 (4th year)
batting average: .275; Runs per game: 4.5; Hits per game: 7.3; Stroke percentage: 0.370
ERA: 3.69; K/7: 6.5; K/BB ratio: 2.0; Opp batting average: .249

South Alabama (6-4, 0-0 Sunbelt)
Ranking: NFCA Coaches – NR | USA Softball – NR | D1Softball – NR | Softball America – NO
Head Coach: Becky Clark | at USA: 501-335-1 (17th year) | Career: 501-335-1 (17th year)
batting average: .286; Runs per game: 4.4; Hits per game: 7.2; Percent hit: 0.357
ERA: 1.67; K/7: 7.7; K/BB ratio: 4.1; Opp batting average: .198

Louisiana Tech (7-3, 0-0K-USA)
Ranking: NFCA Coaches – NR | USA Softball – NR | D1Softball – NR | Softball America – NO
Head Coach: Josh Taylor | at LATC: 46-23 (Year 2) | Career: 166-132 (7th year)
batting average: .278; Runs per game: 4.8; hits per game: 6.8; Stroke percentage: 0.392
ERA: 1.71; K/7: 2.8; K/BB ratio: 1.1; Opp batting average: .239

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Furman (4-5, 0-0 SoCon)
Ranking: NFCA Coaches – NR | USA Softball – NR | D1Softball – NR | Softball America – NO
Head Coach: Stacey Johnson Whitfield | at FUR: 26-38 (2nd year) | Career: 26-38 (2nd year)
batting average: .292; Runs per game: 5.4; Hits per game: 7.8; Hit percentage: 0.454
ERA: 3.85; K/7: 5.4; K/BB ratio: 1.7; Opp batting average: .264

Mississippi State returns to Starkville for its home game on Tuesday, February 28th. The Bulldogs will host Mississippi State for a doubles game starting at 2:00 p.m. CT. Both games will be available on SEC Network+.

For more information on the Bulldog softball program, search “HailStateSB” on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.