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Softball Honors Five Seniors Saturday Against Tennessee Tech

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Brittany Gates is one of five seniors that will be honored pregame Saturday.
Photo Courtesy of hailstate.com

STARKVILLE, Miss. - Five seniors will suit up in the maroon and white uniform for the final time Saturday at the MSU Softball Stadium, as the Mississippi State softball team (30-19) battles the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles (22-26) in a Senior Day doubleheader starting at 1 p.m. Live video and audio streaming of both games will be available through HailStateTV at www.hailstate.com/hstvlive.

While admission is free, fans are encouraged to arrive half an hour early as the Bulldogs honor seniors Brittany Bell, Lindsey Dunlap, Misty Flesher, Brittany Gates and Ka'ili Smith.

"I am so honored to have coached these five seniors in my first year in Starkville," Head Coach Vann Stuedeman said. "We are going to play hard Saturday and send them out the right way, and I hope every Bulldog fan shows up and thanks them for what they have meant to the program."

After a 1-0 win against Southern Miss Wednesday night in Hattiesburg, the Bulldogs extended their win streak against non-conference opponents to 11 games and secured an undefeated record of 8-0 against in-state foes.

State is led in the circle by junior southpaw Stephanie Becker, who was named SEC Pitcher of the Week this past Monday. Becker went the distance for the team-best 12th time Wednesday night, striking out eight and walking none in her second shutout of 2012 season.

Offensively, the Bulldog bats are anchored by a trio of All-SEC candidates in Brittany Bell, Jessica Cooley and Ka'ili Smith. Bell is third in the SEC in on-base percentage (.539), fourth in slugging percentage (.700) and sixth in batting average (.377). Cooley is third in the conference in home runs (15) and is tied for second in total bases with 94. Smith, last week's SEC Player of the Week, ranks in the top 10 in five different categories (batting average, doubles, hits, walks and on-base percentage).

The Golden Eagles of Tennessee Tech are led in the circle by senior right-hander Holly Thomas, who owns a team-low 1.98 ERA and 137 strikeouts on the 2012 campaign.

Before Senior Day introductions, Courtney Irvin Jr. will sing the national anthem, followed by the first pitch by MSU Student Fan of the Season Patrick Grant. In the fifth inning, DeMarco Fomby will perform God Bless America. As always, fans can win prizes with extra-base hits, Bulldog Bingo and movie trivia. After the game, all dogs in attendance can take the field.

Following the doubleheader this Saturday, Starkville's Team travels to Auburn May 4-6 for the final regular-season series of the year against the Tigers. For more information regarding MSU softball's last 2012 home weekend, follow the team on Twitter at @MStateSB and like the team at Facebook.com/MStateSB


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