STARKVILLE, Miss. - You could not have asked for a better night for Mississippi State senior Alexis Silkwood.
In front of her home crowd, Silkwood led the Mississippi State Bulldogs (34-15, 8-10 SEC) to a 4-3 victory against the Arkansas Razorbacks (28-18, 6-15 SEC), sealing a third-straight SEC series win for the Maroon and White.
Moments before she sealed her 13th win of the year, Silkwood was selected in the fifth round (24th pick) by the Akron Racers in the 2017 NPF Draft, making her the 13th Bulldog to reach the pros.
On the night, MSU's senior ace went 7.0 innings (50th-career complete game), tossing a pair of strikeouts to lead the Dogs to their third-straight SEC series win, a feat they have not accomplished since 2014. That year, State took series from No. 3 Alabama, No. 4 Tennessee and Arkansas in consecutive weekends.
The visitors would not make it easy on the Dogs, as Arkansas struck first with a solo home run in the opening frame. However, much like Sunday night, the early lead would not last for long. After putting two on, State tied things up at 1-1 as a Calyn Adams RBI groundout scored Bevia Robinson.
After a silent second inning, the Maroon and White struck again. With two outs on the board, Adams and Sarai Niu put together back-to-back singles to get things going for the Dogs. A fielding error on the Razorbacks allowed Reggie Harrison to reach safely and Adams to score, giving MSU a 2-1 lead.
MSU kept it going in the fourth and fifth, tacking on a run in each. Caroline Seitz tallied an RBI single in the fourth, driving home Amanda Ivy to make it 3-1. She has now driven in 19 runs in her last nine contests.
The final insurance run came via the bat of Niu, who hit her second home run in as many days. A solo blast to left center pushed MSU's lead to 4-1 and gave the Dogs the cushion it needed to secure the win. Arkansas would attempt a rally in the sixth, scoring two runs, but would ultimately fall short.
Niu and Kat Moore led the way for MSU, each earning two hits on the night. Robinson, Seitz and Adams each tallied a hit as well. With her RBI single in the fourth, Seitz ups her career-long hitting streak to 11-straight games.
Series Schedule Against Arkansas
Saturday, April 22 - Mississippi State def. Arkansas, 3-0
Sunday, April 23 - Arkansas def. Mississippi State, 5-4
Monday, April 24 - Mississippi State def. Arkansas, 4-3
Another Series Win For The Dogs
With wins on Saturday and Monday, the Bulldogs captured their third-straight SEC series. In this stretch, State has taken two series at home (South Carolina and Arkansas) and one on the road at Georgia. This marks the first time since 2014 that MSU has won three straight conference series. That year the Bulldogs earned series wins against No. 3 Alabama, No. 4 Tennessee and Arkansas.
Niu Goes Back-To-Back
For the second time in as many days, Sarai Niu sent one over the wall for the Maroon and White. This is the first time in her career that Niu has hit a home run in back-to-back games. She now has two homers this year and five for her career. Also of note, Niu hit a home run a year to this day, blasting a solo home run at No. 1 Florida (April 24, 2016).
The Arkansas Domination Continues
With the series win on Monday night, the Bulldogs have now won five-straight series against their foes from Fayetteville. The last four have come in the Vann Stuedeman era, as she is now 9-3 against Arkansas. The Razorbacks have not won a series against MSU since 2010.
The Bulldogs will look for their fourth straight SEC series win as they close out road play next weekend at Auburn. Series begins Friday, April 22, 2017 at 6 p.m. CT. All three games on the weekend will be live streamed on SEC Network +.