Cook headlines record-breaking day at the ballpark

Published 3:18 pm Friday, April 1, 2022

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – A blustery day at the ballpark saw multiple records fall as Mississippi State outlasted Middle Tennessee in a marathon, 19-14 victory.
The game lasted nearly three and a half hours, and winds blew consistently at 20-plus mph with gusts up to 50 mph. The 33 combined runs scored are the most in MSU history. The teams traded the lead four times over the final five half innings, and the Bulldogs (23-10, 4-2 SEC) scored seven in the top of the seventh to win the ballgame.
“It was a wild game. I’m really proud of the fight, the willingness to battle the conditions, to pick up their teammates and have their backs and to just find ways to continue to compete,” head coach Samantha Ricketts said. “They didn’t get frustrated by the conditions or the results we were seeing. I thought they did a really good job of sticking with us and getting back to what works for our team, which is everybody all-in, finding energy, having fun, even when we lost a lead. They were able to refocus and do that, and I think it showed up on the field. Crazy game, but a lot of fun to see the fight.”
Paige Cook had a career day at the plate, collecting a career-high four hits and seven RBIs. She tied the school record for RBIs and is now tied for the fourth-most in a game across the nation this season. Cook homered twice as part of State’s six-homer day, which tied a program record set just last week at Memphis.
Madisyn Kennedy drove in three runs, including a solo homer. Jackie McKenna, Chloe Malau’ulu and Mia Davidson also hit home runs. For Davidson, it was career blast No. 83, which ties her for No. 10 in NCAA softball history.
Samantha Ricketts on Montana Davidson’s pinch hit at-bat…
“We talk a lot about being ready for your moment and being a great role player. I thought Montana’s pinch-hit, two-out, two-RBI single was huge. It’s a kid that was ready and has been working hard. It was good to see her come through.”
Samantha Ricketts on what she said heading into the top of the seventh inning…
“There were a lot of conversations. I think that one was, Kenley’s [Hawk] had our back time and time again. Let’s get hers right here. Continue to fight. Let’s have some fun, and just continue to do what we do and go out there and compete.”
Samantha Ricketts on Paige Cook tying the school record for RBIs in a game…
“She knows that’s probably not her best day defensively, but she picked herself up and her teammates up with her bat. Huge clutch hits for us there to give us the lead and to keep us in it. I’m proud of her for staying calm and not letting the errors get to her. She was able to focus in on the at-bat and take it one pitch at a time.”
Quick Hitters
Records Fall – Today’s game marked the highest combined run total in MSU history … the 33 runs surpassed the previous mark of 23 set twice, most recently in 2020 in a 20-3 win over Mississippi Valley State … State’s six home runs tied the school record set last week at Memphis … the Bulldogs’ 19 runs are tied for seventh-most in school history … Paige Cook tied the school record for RBIs (7).
Paige Cook – Seven RBIs are tied for the fourth-most in a game the NCAA this season … tied school record previously held by Hayle Guess (vs. Pacific; May 18, 2007) and Iyhia McMichael (vs. Samford; Feb. 16, 2003) … hit a three-run homer in her first trip and a two-run single in her second … added a two-run homer in her third at-bat … finished the day with a career-high four hits … was also hit by a pitch to reach in all five trips.

Mia Davidson – Hit career home run No. 83, which is tied for 10th in NCAA history … has now walked or been hit by a pitch in 12 of her last 28 plate appearances … walked twice and was hit by a pitch today.

Montana Davidson – Delivered a two-run, pinch-hit single with two outs in the sixth inning to take a lead.

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Madisyn Kennedy – Hit a solo home run to lead off the second inning … added a game-tying sacrifice fly in the sixth … finished with three RBIs.

Chloe Malau’ulu – Homered and scored three times.

Jackie McKenna – Hit a solo homer in the second inning.

Shea Moreno – Beat out a bunt single and stole second base before scoring in the sixth.

Addison Purvis – Drew a career-high three walks and singled.

Scoring Recap
Top 1
With two outs, Chloe Malau’ulu singled on a ball that got lost in the gusty wind. Addison Purvis then walked ahead of a three-run homer from Paige Cook.
Mississippi State 3, Middle Tennessee 0

Top 2
Madisyn Kennedy and Jackie McKenna opened the inning with home runs on back-to-back pitches. Following a line out, Riley Hull singled through the right side. She advanced to second when Mia Davidson was hit by a pitch. Malau’ulu hit a ground ball to third where the third baseman stepped on the bag to retire Hull, but her throw across the diamond was errant, allowing Davidson to reach third and Malau’ulu to take second. Purvis drew her second walk in as many innings to load the bases. Cook singled to left field to score Davidson and Malau’ulu.
Mississippi State 7, Middle Tennessee 0

Bottom 2
Claire Czajkowski singled to second base to lead off the inning. Kaylee Richetto walked before being replaced by Savannah Freeman as a pinch runner. Abby Shoulders reached on a fielder’s choice that saw Freeman retired at second base while Czajkowski advanced to third. Ava Tepe singled to center field to score Czajkowski.
Mississippi State 7, Middle Tennessee 1

Bottom 3
With one out, Kelci Hill reached on an error. She advanced to second and third on two wild pitches. Czajkowski singled to center to score Hill. She advanced to second on a Richetto single. Shoulders walked to load the bases, and Tepe walked to bring home a run. Shelby Sargent singled to center, scoring Richetto and Shoulders. Tepe advanced to third on the throw, putting runners on the corners. Laura Mealer was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Amaya Harris singled off the right field wall to score Tepe, and all runners advanced one base. Harvey then hit a sacrifice fly to bring home Sargent.
Mississippi State 7, Middle Tennessee 7

Top 4
Davidson drew a lead-off walk and advanced to second on a ground out. Cook hit her second homer of the day to left field.
Mississippi State 9, Middle Tennessee 7

Bottom 4
Czajkowski led off with a single to first when a ball was caught in the wind. She advanced to second when Richetto reached on a fielding error. Shoulders laid down a sacrifice bunt to push the runners to second and third before Tepe hit a sacrifice fly to score Czajkowski.
Mississippi State 9, Middle Tennessee 8

Bottom 5
Mealer led off with a single to left field. She came around to score on a throwing error on a sacrifice bunt attempt by Harris. Harris reached third on the play and later scored on a sacrifice fly.
Mississippi State 9, Middle Tennessee 10

Top 6
Purvis walked, and Cook was hit by a pitch to open the frame. Allison Florian pinch ran for Purvis. Shea Moreno, who had come on as a defensive replacement, bunted for a single to load the bases. Kennedy hit a sacrifice fly to center to score Florian from third and push Cook to third. Moreno stole second. Then with two outs, pinch hitter Montana Davidson singled up the middle to score Cook and Moreno.
Mississippi State 12, Middle Tennessee 10

Bottom 6
With two outs, Tepe walked, and Sargent singled through the left side. Mealer hit a three-run homer to left field.
Mississippi State 12, Middle Tennessee 13

Top 7
Davidson and Malau’ulu hit back-to-back home runs to begin the inning. Purvis singled, and Phoebe Florian ran. Cook singled to put runners on first and second before Moreno’s sacrifice bunt advanced the runners to second and third. Kennedy’s base hit scored Florian from third as Cook advanced. McKenna then singled to right field to score Cook. With two outs, Hull singled to left to score Kennedy, and McKenna advanced to third on a throwing error. McKenna and Hull scored when Davidson’s fly ball was dropped in right field.
Mississippi State 19, Middle Tennessee 13

On Deck
Mississippi State resumes conference play at No. 11 Tennessee on April 1-3. The Friday series opener is scheduled for 5 p.m. CT, and the Saturday game is set for 1 p.m. Both games will air on SEC Network+. The series finale on Sunday will be broadcast nationally on SEC Network at 11 a.m.

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