STARKVILLE, Miss. - For the fourth time this season, the Mississippi State Bulldogs (36-18, 10-13 SEC) brought home an SEC series victory, taking down the 18th-ranked Kentucky Wildcats (34-16, 11-12 SEC) on Saturday at Nusz Park.
It was a senior-led attack for the Dogs, as Alexis Silkwood dominated the Cats from the circle, while Caroline Seitz paced MSU at the plate. Silkwood threw 6.2 innings, striking out four. Seitz went 3-for-3 at the plate, driving home two runs and scoring two of her own. She also tallied her ninth homer of the year and 37th of her career, which ties her for second on MSU's all-time home runs list with former Bulldog All-American Iyhia McMichael.
The Bulldogs struck first for the second time in as many days, as an Olivia Golden sac fly gave MSU the 1-0 advantage after the opening frame. Two innings later, Seitz hit a bomb over the wall in left center to push State's lead to 2-0.
State put up two more runs in the fifth, starting with a Seitz single up the middle. She would be moved to second on a sac bunt from Sarai Niu and eventually driven home thanks to an RBI double from Reggie Harrison. After a wild pitch would move Harrison to third, a Morgan Bell RBI single brought her home to give MSU a solid 4-0 lead.
Kentucky tried to rally in the last two frames, starting with a pair of solo home runs in the sixth. The Dogs would get one back in the home half of the inning thanks to a sac fly from Seitz.
Silkwood would record the first two outs in the seventh and then give way to Holly Ward after a UK single. The Cats would bring that run home to cut the Bulldog lead to 5-3, but a strikeout from Ward slammed the door on UK and sealed MSU's fourth series victory, the most since the 2012 season.
The win also marked the ninth ranked victory of the year for the Dogs, which ties the 2004 edition of the Maroon and White for the most in school history.
Along with Seitz, Golden, Katie Anne Bailey and Amanda Ivy also had standout plays to help lead the Dogs to victory. Golden's sac fly opened up scoring on the day and was one of MSU's five RBI. Bailey and Ivy, along with Golden, kept the outfield on lockdown all day, highlighted by Bailey's home-run robbing catch and a running snag from Ivy to close out the top of the fourth.
Bevia Robinson and Harrison also turned in multi-hit performances on the day. Robinson remains on top of the MSU charts with her 17th multi-hit game, while also extending her career-high hitting streak to nine-straight games. Harrison now has 12 multi-hit contests this year.
The Bulldogs will go for their first sweep in SEC play of the year and first since 2015 on Sunday. Senior Day is set for a 1 p.m. CT first pitch and will be broadcast on SEC Network +, which can be accessed on WatchESPN.com or the ESPN app.
Series Schedule Against No. 16 Kentucky...
Friday, May 5 - Mississippi State def. No. 16 Kentucky, 6-2
Saturday, May 6 - Mississippi State def. No. 16 Kentucky, 5-3
Sunday, May 7 - Mississippi State vs. No. 16 Kentucky (1 p.m. CT)
Scoring Plays Versus No. 16 Kentucky...
1st Inning - For the second-straight day, the Bulldogs struck first as Olivia Golden hit a sac fly to center to put MSU up 1-0
3rd Inning - MSU added to its lead when Caroline Seitz hit a lead-off home run to put MSU up 2-0 5th Inning - Reggie Harrison kept the MSU scoring going, as she knocked an RBI double to left to score Seitz
5th Inning - After Harrison's double, Morgan Bell singled up the middle to drive in MSU's fourth run
6th Inning - Seitz capped MSU's scoring, as she hit a sac fly to score Katie Anne Bailey and give State a 5-2 advantage
Series Victory No. 4 For The Dogs...
or the fourth time this season, the Bulldogs reeled in an SEC series victory, taking the first two games from No. 16 Kentucky. That is the most conference series wins since 2012, when coach Vann Stuedeman's first squad captured four.
This weekend's series W is the first against the Wildcats since sweeping Kentucky in 2012.
Another Ranked Win In The Books...
Saturday's victory marked the ninth ranked win of the 2017 season. That total ties for the most ranked victories in season, which was set in 2004.
Seitz Keeps Her Hot Streak Rolling...
Caroline Seitz kept her tear through the second half of the SEC slate rolling on Saturday, going 3-for-3 with two RBI, a double and her ninth homer of the season. She has now driven in 24 runs in her last 12 games. She also increased her career-high hitting streak to 16-straight games, becoming one of 14 players in school history to record a hitting streak of at least 16-straight games.
...And Moves Up The Home Run List, Too...
With her third-inning blast to left center, Seitz upped her career total to 37. That ties former MSU All-American Iyhia McMichael for second on MSU's all-time home run list, while putting her seven behind Kellie Wilkerson (44, 1999-02) for the school record.
Robinson's Domination Keeps Going...
Bevia Robinson went 2-for-4 with a run scored, giving her a team-high 17 multi-hit games this year. She also extended her career-high hitting streak to nine-straight games.
Sunday's series finale will be live streamed through the SEC Network +, which can be accessed online through WatchESPN.com, the ESPN app or by clicking the link below. Mississippi State vs. No. 16 Kentucky SEC Network + Live Stream (Sunday)