Starkville, Miss. - Giving back to the community is something Mississippi State head softball coach Vann Stuedeman takes seriously, so it was no surprise when Stuedeman ended Monday's practice early and took her squad over to the Starkville Sportsplex for a free one-hour clinic for local youth softball players.
"The Mississippi State softball team has been great for the community," Starkville Parks and Recreation Sport Coordinator Sheila Runnels said. "Eight of the players have already invested their time with our children by coaching youth softball in their spare time. This clinic shows that the program cares about improving the quality of softball here in Starkville."
Enjoying a positive, synergetic relationship since Stuedeman arrive in June, both the MSU softball team and Starkville Parks and Recreation have strived to improve the future of the game here locally. The Maroon and White players spent 60 minutes Monday giving hands-on instruction to the young ballplayers, teaching fundamentally sound defense and hitting techniques.
"It warms my heart to share my knowledge with these younger girls," redshirt senior Brittany Bell said. "I didn't have that growing up, so I am definitely making an effort to show them our techniques so that they will be great."
This past March, Starkville's Team hosted SPR for a Southeastern Conference showdown against Tennessee. The event was a season high for MSU in attendance (813), with over 200 young softball players taking the field for the national anthem with their childhood heroes.
After winning a crucial three-game conference series at Arkansas this past weekend, MSU returns home Tuesday for a battle against Jackson State at the MSU Softball Stadium. The in-state rematch of the Feb. 29 contest, which MSU won 11-2 in six innings, will begin at 5 p.m.
The game against the Lady Tigers will mark this year's second Twitter Tuesday contest, where various items will be given away to fans that tweet at @MStateSB, the official Twitter account for the MSU softball team. Admission is free, but for those that cannot attend, live video and audio streaming of the game will be available online to HailStateTV subscribers (www.HailState.com/hstvlive). For more information regarding MSU softball, follow the team on Twitter at @MStateSB and like the team at Facebook.com/MStateSB.