Tuesday night the Gamecocks softball team was just outmatched at University Field as the Mississippi State Bulldogs left with a 7-2 victory over JSU.
Mississippi State (17-6) grabbed an early 4-0 lead, scoring two runs each in the first two frames. JSU starter Hilary Phillips struggled more than she had in any previous start this season, facing four batters and giving up a run in the first before ever recording an out. But the senior settled down and got out of the inning only allowing one more to cross home plate.
As Phillips came into her groove slowly, the Gamecocks couldn’t get anything going offensively. The Bulldog’s starter, Stephanie Becker, was mowing down the JSU lineup. Becker recorded the first 11 outs of the game via strikeout and had a foul pop-up caught for her 12th and final out of her four scoreless innings pitched.
In the fifth, down 5-0, the Gamecocks put the first runs on the board after Jessica Guy drew a two-out walk to get on base. Guy advanced to second on Sara Borders’ infield hit that followed. Kalee Tabor then hit a roller to the shortstop, who mishandled the ball and allowed Guy to score from second and Borders to move to third. The following pitch got past the catcher, allowing Borders to sneak in the for the second and final run JSU would score.
Miss. State added a pair of runs late to make the lead 7-2, which would stand for the remainder of the game.
Jacksonville State (13-9) hasn’t lost in a month to any opponent outside the SEC or ACC, falling to Arkansas twice, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, and now Mississippi State. The Gamecocks hope the tough schedule helps them in OVC conference play which opens this weekend.
Jax State will host Tennessee State for a doubleheader on Saturday, followed by a single game on Sunday, all at University Field.