STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A hot start and a strong finish helped a surging Mississippi State team (30-10) tame No. 1 LSU (36-4), 9-4, on Wednesday night at the MSU Softball Field.
The win gave State its first win against a top-ranked team at home in program history and its second win against a No. 1 team in the history of the program.
By taking the contest that was defined as non-conference to keep each side from exceeding its limit of 24 Southeastern Conference Games, the Bulldogs improved to 22-3 in non-conference play this season and 19-6 at home. MSU is now 16-0 this season when scoring first.
In the home half of the first, MSU went to work on its home field as a single from Katie Anne Bailey brought across Julia Echols for the game’s first run. The next batter, Alexis Silkwood followed with a single of her own as Caroline Seitz came around to score on an LSU throwing error to put the Bulldogs ahead 2-0.
Amanda Ivy provided a big single up the middle in the second to score Loryn Nichols easily from second, putting MSU ahead 3-0.
With two outs, Seitz delivered in the fourth with a two-run double off the wall to stretch the score to 5-0 in favor of State.
LSU would snap the shutout in the fifth with an infield single to score a Tiger runner from third and make it a 5-1 ballgame. The Tigers weren’t done as a double from the following batter plated another run and brought the score to 5-2.
As has been the theme in the Vann Stuedeman era, MSU made the late innings their innings. Mackenzie Toler delivered a base knock in the sixth to plate two and bring the count to 7-2. Silkwood would give herself insurance as she drove a pitch to the opposite field for a two-run homer that made it 9-2 through six innings.
The Tigers would score two more runs in the top of the seventh, but it was not enough for the visitors as State won 9-4.
Currently the back-to-back SEC Pitcher of the Week, Silkwood (22-7) earned the win in a complete-game effort for the Bulldogs. She gave up four runs, just two earned, on 12 hits and struck out two while walking two as well. LSU pitcher Allie Walljasper (10-2) took the loss for LSU. In just 1.2 innings of work, Walljasper gave up three runs- two earned- on five hits. She walked one batter and struck out two.