Mississippi State 1, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 0

May 20, 2005


GAME #1:
Mississippi State 1, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 0
Team Records: MSU (34-29); TAMUCC (41-10)

AUSTIN, Texas- Leftfielder Jennifer Jessup drilled a no-out single to left field, scoring pinch hitter Nakita Boyce from third with the game's only run in the top of the seventh, to lift Mississippi State to a 1-0 victory over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Friday afternoon in the first game of the NCAA Division I softball regional. The games are being contested at The University of Texas' Red and Charline McCombs Field.

Mississippi State, now 34-29, advances in the winner's bracket to face the winner of Friday night's game between Massachusetts and No. 4 tourney seed and fifth-ranked Texas at noon (CST) on Saturday, May 21. TAMU-CC (41-10) will face the UMass-Texas loser at 2:30 p.m. (CST) Saturday. The Islanders seven-game win streak was snapped with the setback.

MSU went to freshman pinch hitter Nakita Boyce to lead off the seventh, and Boyce responded with a single to left. She then stole second, and Jessup followed with her no-out single to left, with Boyce scoring on the hit. After a sacrifice, Islander starter and senior righthander Sarah Pauly then got the last two outs on a strike out and a groundout, with Jessup stranded at second.

Jessup's RBI single broke up a scoreless pitching duel between MSU sophomore righthander Kelli Miller and Pauly. Miller, now 14-11 on the year, fired a three hitter, allowing just two outfield singles and an infield single. Miller faced 24 batters, striking out four and walking none. Pauly (36-6) took the complete-game loss, yielding five hits and one earned run while fanning six and walking none.

Both teams stranded three runners. Top hitters in the game were MSU's third baseman Tanelda McDonald (2-for-3, one triple) and TAMU-CC's centerfielder Erica Armenta (2-for-2, both singles).


Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Head Coach Missy Dickerson

Her general assessment of the game...
"I'm getting tired of coming here (to play in the NCAA Tournament) and losing and not scoring any runs. This is the third year in a row that we've lost our (NCAA) opener. We talk about wanting to prove to the softball community that we deserve to be here, but we need to come out and have a better performance."

On the Islanders getting just three hits...
"The last three weeks, our kids have been knocking the heck out of the ball. We expect them to come out and do it here, and when they don't, it's very frustrating."

On the pitching of Islander ace Sarah Pauley...
"Sarah wasn't on her 'A' game today. She struggled to hit her spots, so I'm not sure one run by us would have been enough to win. You'd like to hope so with the caliber of pitcher she is."

Senior pitcher Sarah Pauley
"Things are always different when you have run support, but it's a team game and we all need to play well. I didn't really have a good game and it showed on the field."

Sophomore IB Jennifer Golden
"We weren't patient enough to stay back and hit it. I guess we were overly excited."

Mississippi State Head Coach Jay Miller

His general assessment of the game...
"We got a great pitching performance out of Kelli (Miller). We knew we were in for a tough offensive day. Sarah Pauley is a great pitcher and we knew it would be tough to score runs. Our players did a nice job of hanging in there and making the plays defensively. It was one of those games were you hang out defensively and hope that you can scratch across a run first."

In going to pinch hitter Nakita Boyce in the seventh inning who scored the winning run after hitting a lead-off single...
"In a game like this, the first run is so crucial. Neither pitcher was giving up a lot. We got a little spark from Nakita getting on base and then stealing a base and giving us the opportunity to score. She's played a little centerfield for us, but struggled offensively. We turned her around on the left side to utilize her speed, and she's getter better and better every week."

Sophomore pitcher Kelli Miller...
"Most of the time I get (the batters to hit) ground balls, because I am not that much of a strikeout pitcher. I rely a lot on my defense, like I did today."

-- Courtesy Texas