Well it certainly felt like February out at the Softball complex tonight as the Mississippi State Bulldogs looked to start their 2015 softball campaign. Temperatures started out fairly nice as the first pitch was thrown out. After that point, the mercury fell dramatically, and a cold wind over the Left field wall didn’t make matters any better.
The first inning started off well for the Bulldogs as Sophomore LHP Alexis Silkwood had 2 swinging strikeouts before giving up a single. She struck right back and finished off the top half of the first inning with another swinging K. Caroline Seitz ended up sparking the Bulldogs with a double down the left field line. 4 batters later, she crossed the plate for the Bulldogs’ first run of the night. That run came courtesy of a Katie Anne Bailey sacrifice to the right fielder.
The second inning followed the first as Silk struck out the first two batters, then had the last one ground into a 5-3 putout. Sophomore Amanda Ivy reached to start the inning on a throwing error by the MVSU third baseman, and hustled all the way to second. Then she stole third on the next pitch. Kayla Winkfield flied out to right field to score the second run of the game.
Sadly for the Bulldogs, the offense sputtered for the next two innings as they only were able to produce one hit the next two innings. Luckily, the Bulldogs got some quick offensive production by Ivy. Late in the 5th inning, Amanda Ivy came up to bat with 2 outs and the bases loaded. A couple of pitches later, she smacked it much further than required and I’m still not sure it has hit the ground. Running around the bases as the speakers blared “Hail State”, Amanda Ivy had just hit the first home run of the season. Not only was it a home run, it was a grand slam, the greatest of all dingers. The next inning, Seitz hit a dinger over the Right-center wall. 7-0 was the score, one more will end it. Senior Erika Gaul hit a single, then Ashley Phillips hit one to right field that was seemingly an out. But the ball had other plans as it bounced out of the right fielder’s glove, and both runners were in scoring position with Bailey came back up to the plate. He singled one right up the middle and the eighth deciding run crossed the plate.
Alexis Silkwood started off the season with a great pitching performance. 6 innings, 1 hit, 1 walk, and 15 strikeouts. That’s right…15 of ’em. Now the Mississippi State Marketing department throws out t-shirts for every strikeout and run scored during the season. So 15 plus 8 is 23. 23 total shirts were thrown during tonight’s game, and it could have been more if the run-rule had not been implemented. The 1-0 Bulldogs will return to action tomorrow to face off against the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders. First pitch is set for 5:30 and can be seen, once again, on SEC Network +.