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

    Softball runs to UA

    Softball is a marathon, not a sprint. It doesn’t matter how fast or slow a team starts out, it is how they play at the end that matters most.
    The MSU softball team appears to be following that blueprint to perfection.
    After taking two of three from 10th-ranked Alabama last weekend, this squad seems capable of turning heads in the SEC title race.
    The series win over Alabama was the first in school history, and a huge validation for the program, under its second year of tutelage by head coach Jay Miller.
    He said the wins were important ones, but draws more from them than mere Ws.
    “The team is making big strides. The series with Alabama was big obviously since we beat a Top 10 team, but also the way we did it,” Miller said. “Coming from behind, getting key hits in key situations; that’s big for our confidence, and that’s what we need as we get back into the race for the SEC and a possible Regional bid.”
    One huge reason for the Bulldogs’ recent success is senior first baseman/outfielder Kate Jaspers. Jaspers batted .600 against Crimson Tide pitching over the weekend in addition to posting seven critical RBIs. Jaspers credited a sense of senior responsibility with her recent hot streak.
    “The key is to step up to the plate and just tell yourself, ‘Get ‘er done!’.”
    Her efforts garnered respect from the league on Monday when she was named SEC Player of the Week.
    “Kate epitomizes the term student-athlete,” Miller said. “She is a 4.0 student as well as the top female student-athlete of all sports here at Mississippi State. She is a kid that, as a coach, you wish had a dozen just like her.”
    The surging Bulldogs look to this weekend’s trip to Arkansas to keep their momentum going. Winners of four of their last five, the Lady Dawgs will hope to make short work of the struggling Razorbacks. However, Miller is quick to dismiss the idea of an easy series.
    “In the SEC, you can’t afford to take anyone lightly,” Miller said. “We just need to keep playing good ball.”
    Jaspers says the team is ready for the weekend road series. She says that scheduling quirks have contributed to the team’s slow start and now things are turning in their favor.
    “We got most of our tough games out of the way early,” Jaspers said. “Now we can settle in and really start to win some games and be competitive.”
    Jaspers added: “The important thing is not to dwell on the losses. We’ve got a great opportunity to turn this thing round, and it’s really changed our outlook. You can see it in the way we are hitting, the way we are playing.”

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    Softball runs to UA