TROY, Ala. -- Behind a gem of a pitching performance by senior Holly Ward, No. 25 Mississippi State softball (34-15) tossed its record-tying 17th shutout of the 2018 season, blanking Troy (28-21), 7-0, Wednesday night at the Trojan Softball Complex.
Ward retired 13 straight Trojans to open the game, allowing just two base runners with an infield single in the fifth and a walk in the seventh inning. The right-hander struck out nine in the outing to record MSU's 17th shutout of the season, which ties the 1998 pitching staff for the most over a single-season in MSU history.
Juniors Emily Heimberger and Kat Moore turned in two-hit outing for the Bulldogs, both picking up two RBIs each in the outing Freshman Mia Davidson reached base in all four plate appearances with a single and three walks.
After a scoreless first, junior Sarai Niu led off the second with a single to left field. Senior Carmen Carter followed with a double to left field, but the Trojans threw out Niu at third for the first out. Redshirt junior Bevia Robinson drew a two-out walk to put runners on the corners before Heimberger cleared the bases with a double to center to put the Bulldogs on top 2-0.
The Bulldogs would go down in order in the third and fourth, but State broke through with a huge fifth inning. Heimberger and freshman Mia Davidson led off the inning with back-to-back singles, before Moore picked up an RBI with a single up the middle. Senior Reggie Harrison doubled to left center to clear the bases and push the lead to 5-0. Senior Calyn Adams capped the four-run inning with a sacrifice fly to center.
MSU put two runners in scoring position to lead off the sixth with back-to-back walks and advancing on an error. Moore knocked State's second sacrifice fly of the game to extend the lead to 7-0. The Trojans got just their second base runner of the game with a one-out walk, but Ward shut the door with a strikeout and ground out to shortstop for the record-tying win.
Mississippi State will continue its road swing with its final road series in conference play, heading to Columbia, S.C., to take on the No. 5 Gamecocks. The series opener is set for Friday, April 27 at 5 p.m. CT on the SEC Network +.