The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Break out the brooms: Softball sweeps Ole Miss

Courtesy Photo | MSU Athletics
Bulldog pitcher Kenley Hawk allowed no hits through six innings against Ole Miss.

Mississippi State University’s softball team swept their rival, the University of Mississippi, this past weekend at Nusz Park, marking the first time the Bulldogs have swept the Rebels at home since 2013. 

The Bulldogs’ roster thrived this series as they outscored the Rebels in both runs (22-11) and hits (31-21), as well as almost securing a no-hitter in game three. 

In the first game, the Bulldogs started with a commanding 4-0 lead thanks to a run scored by Matalasi Faapito and a three-run homer by Madisyn Kennedy in the bottom of the first inning. 

However, due to a couple of errors and mistakes by the Bulldogs, Ole Miss would come roaring back later in the game to take the lead 8-7 at the bottom of the fourth. 

In the fifth inning, Riley Hull scored an RBI that allowed Shea Moreno and Brylie St. Clair to score a pair of runs, putting the Bulldogs up 9-8. 

Pitcher Kenley Hawk and the Bulldog defense would help edge out a victory in game one of the series. 

The second game saw the “Ladies of the Eighties” in attendance, as they were honored for their contributions to bringing softball to MSU on the 40th anniversary of the team’s inaugural season. 

Janice Skinner and Vicki Earnshaw, two members of the 80’s softball team, threw the first pitch of the game. 

In terms of performance, the Bulldogs had more control in game two, as Ole Miss starting pitcher Brook Vestal struggled with her pitching, allowing six runs and four hits in roughly one inning, including a two-run homer by Matalasi Faapito. 

The Bulldogs would score a combined seven RBIs in seven innings to clinch the series in a 7-3 win. 

The third game is where the Bulldogs really started to dominate as they shut out the Rebels 6-0 to secure the sweep. 

Starting pitcher Kenley Hawk was on fire throughout the game. She allowed no hits through six innings until Ole Miss 2B Angelina Deleon scored a hit in the top of the seventh. Hawk would then be relieved by pitcher Annie Willis. 

After the game, Kenley Hawk spoke about her performance and how she improved as a pitcher. 

“I felt really good,” Hawk said.It felt like everything we’ve been working towards is finally coming together. It just felt good to have everybody behind me. If you would’ve seen me from freshman year to this year, it’s a completely different kid. You would’ve never had any comparison. I think it’s my mentality. A lot of it has to deal with understanding that it’s you, not what you’re asked to do. It’s all about how you do it.” 

Along with Hawk’s stellar performance, the team would combine for six RBIs in the game and Chloe Malau’ulu hammered a two-run homer in the bottom of the fifth. 

With the sweep, the Bulldogs improved to a 19-10 overall record, including 4-2 in SEC play.  

The Bulldogs will travel to Memphis, Tennessee, to play the Memphis Tigers on March 23 at 6 p.m. They will return home to play the Samford Bulldogs in a double header on March 26 at 1 p.m. 

About the Contributor
Colin James
Colin James, Staff Writer
Colin James is a senior communication major. Colin is currently a staff writer for The Reflector.
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Break out the brooms: Softball sweeps Ole Miss