Spexarth Delivers Extra-Innings Victory At Southern Miss
HATTIESBURG, Miss. – An extra-inning RBI double from Carter Spexarth proved to be the difference on Wednesday night as Mississippi State defeated Southern Miss, 2-1, in nine innings.
Annie Willis earned the win for MSU (16-14, 0-9 SEC), tossing 4.0 scoreless innings in relief while striking out seven and allowing just one hit. Nine Bulldogs reached base in the game with six recording hits.
“It felt good. It felt like a bit of a sigh of relief to get back on track,” head coach Samantha Ricketts said. “Carter had a great day. She was 3-for-5 at the plate, and that’s what we want hitting in the four-hole for us. I think we left a few too many runners on base, but Carter picked up the big one when we needed it there.”
Brylie St. Clair sparked the offense in the second with a leadoff single. She eventually came around to score on a ground out. The sophomore finished 2-for-3 on the night and laid down a sacrifice bunt.
Emily Williams tossed 4.2 perfect innings with seven strikeouts before surrendering a solo home run in the fifth. Southern Miss (18-12, 0-0 C-USA) collected three hits on the night, and the Bulldogs did not walk a batter.
Samantha Ricketts on the rest of the lineup:
“That’s something we can continue build on. I thought Brylie had a great game as well. Other people were stepping up that are getting opportunities right now.”
Samantha Ricketts on Mia Davidson and Fa Leilua taking back-to-back walks in the ninth:
“Definitely very important for us. A big focus in the last couple weeks has been on doing the little things right and having quality at-bats and not trying to get too big in any moment. A walk is just as good as a base hit. It’s a quality at-bat. It’s a team at-bat and finding a way on, so hopefully we can manufacture a run. They both did a great job of not getting too big and trying to win it on one swing and trusted that Carter was going to drive them in.”
Mia Davidson – Scored the game-winning run, her third of the season, on Spexarth’s double.
Fa Leilua – Drew two walks and continues to lead the SEC with 27 on the season … Added a single in the third … Stole her fourth base of the season, which surpasses her career total entering the year (3).
Jackie McKenna – Started in right field for the third consecutive game … Went 1-for-2 with a walk.
Carter Spexarth – Went 3-for-5 with a game-winning RBI double … Recorded her fifth game-winning RBI of the season, which is second on the team.
Brylie St. Clair – Was 2-for-3 and laid down a sacrifice bunt in her fourth plate appearance … Took second on the throw on her second base hit … Scored the game’s first run.
Emily Williams – Threw 4.2 innings before allowing a baserunner … Struck out seven.
Annie Willis – Earned the win in relief, tossing 4.0 innings of one-hit ball … Struck out seven.
Brylie St. Clair and Jackie McKenna singled to open the frame. Madisyn Kennedy walked to load the bases with nobody out for Montana Davidson. Montana Davidson grounded out to third to score St. Clair.
Mississippi State 1, Southern Miss 0
Karsen Pierce hit a two-out home run to left
Mississippi State 1, Southern Miss 1
Mia Davidson and Fa Leilua drew back-to-back, one-out walks. Carter Spexarth doubled into the left-field corner to score Mia Davidson.
Mississippi State 2, Southern Miss 1
The Bulldogs will take a weekend off from SEC play. Instead, MSU travels to North Alabama this weekend for a Saturday double header. Game 1 on April 3 is set for 1 p.m. CT.
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