Mississippi State Welcomes Top 25 Louisiana For Tuesday’s Doube Header
The Mississippi State Softball program will return to Nusz Park for a midweek doubleheader matchup with #21 Louisiana. With the Bulldogs coming in unscathed at 4-0 in the early season this will be a test. We will look at the series’ history, who is the Ragin Cajuns, and what it will take for State to win. What is the history of these programs?
Who Are The Cajuns?
Louisiana comes into Starkville led by Gerry Glasso in his 7th season at the helm. In preseason the Cajuns were picked to win the conference as a unanimous choice as voted on by the Sun Belt coaches. In these seasons, he has amassed a 259-70 record and they come in a 4-1 in 2024. This is a young roster as 64% or 13 of the 21-team roster are underclassmen. The Cajuns will be making their first road trip of the season as they host 9 of their first 11 games.
In their opening weekend, the team used two out rallies to its advantage. To further this point, the Cajuns scored 30 of their 45 runs in two-out situations. Mihayla Davis, the 2023 SBC Freshman of the Year and NFCA All-American hit .380 last season and stole a nation-leading 52 bases on the season. In 2024, Davis is hitting .438 with 6 runs, 7 hits, and 1 RBI.
Sam Landry has been essentially unhittable in her start to the season. In 16 innings pitched, Landry has allowed 11 hits, 3 runs, 2 walks, and has 13 strikeouts. Her 0.88 ERA speaks for itself as well as her no-hitter in the Ragin Cajuns 2nd game of the season against California.
These two programs will meet for the 16th time in each other’s history. In this, the Bulldogs trail, 3-12, to the Cajuns including six straight losses. Tuesday’s meeting will be the first since the 2013 season when State would fall, 9-1, in 6 inning.
Mississippi State will look to improve on their 168-68 record at home since 2016 while improving the series history, of 1-5, in Starkville. The last time State faced the Cajuns in front of their home crowd was in 1999. This will be a key in this high-pressure matchup for State early in the season.
How Does State Win?
Keep Throwing Lights Out
Coach Stephanie Ricketts and the Bulldogs made history over the weekend. On back-to-back days State would throw no hitters. Josey Marron would toss the 24th followed by Matalasi Faapito would throw the 25, and the second of her career, the next day. With these performances, the Bulldogs have a 0.32 ERA which ranks ninth nationally. In addition to this, the Bulldogs are one of only two teams to not allow any batters to open the season. With this, Mississippi State has been sitting down batters on strikeouts as 30 of their 66 outs have come in this manner. For Mississippi State to pull the top 25 upset they will need to continue to excel under new pitching coach Taryne Mowatt- McKinney.
Continue To Play Bulldog Ball
Mississippis State plays wins when they score. Yes, we understand that goes without saying but when the Bulldogs score 5 or more runs they are really good. They are 53-2 over the last two seasons. In 2023, State scored five in 25 of its 27 wins and has done this in all four games thus far in 2024. State ranks 5th nationally in batting average, with a .420 average, 6th in on-base percentage, with a .505 average, and 7th in slugging percentage, with. a 682 average, in 2024.
Utilize The Crowd
Nasz Park is a home-field advantage for the Bulldogs. With this, this program has won 11 straight home openers. In these games, State has outscored their opponents 100-19 while throwing shutouts in six of these games. The program will be relying on the crowd to be loud for both meetings as the Bulldogs look to start 2024 with a massive top – 25 win at home.
How To Watch?
As mentioned above, this will be a doubleheader. Game one will begin at 4 pm and be streamed on SEC Network +. Game two will begin at 6:30 pm and also be streamed on ESPN +.