Analyzing the annihilation: Lessons from Mississippi State softball's Bulldog Invitational showing

Samantha Ricketts and the Mississippi State softball sure seemed to have fun steamrolling right through the competition during the 2024 Bulldog Invitational. What can we learn from that sort of dominant showing?

2023 NCAA Division I Softball Championship
2023 NCAA Division I Softball Championship / Ian Maule/GettyImages
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No. 1: The Mississippi State softball team was incredible patient at the plate

One of the most consistently eye-popping stats from the Bulldog invitational was the way Mississippi State drew an absurd number of walks. In one game against Alcorn State, the Bulldogs got free trips to first base on 15 different occasions.

And here’s the thing, the Bulldogs’ patience paid off in a big way. By continuously working the count, MSU consistently put constant pressure on opposing pitchers. And MSU routinely capitalized on the mistakes of opposing pitchers.

You get a free base, you have a chance to get a hit, you have the sort of speedy base runners that MSU has. All of a sudden you’re looking at very productive RBI hits that are pushing several runs across the plate.

And that wasn’t just the case against Alcorn State in that one game. MSU walked eight times against Samford, seven times against Troy in one game, and nine times against Alcorn State in the other game they played against the Lady Braves. 

MSU was patient all weekend. Those long at-bats and drawn-out walks were notable difference makers for MSU and it’s a crucial part of what makes the offense so potent.