Recapping a busy non-football weekend

For a fall weekend devoid of Bulldog football, a lot actually happened in Mississippi State sports over the last few days, with a lot more coming on a short week.

YOIKNOQXPNPMQNK.20131020204536Jenny Hazelwood and the volleyball team had their biggest weekend of the year, and perhaps the biggest of her career, as MSU swept matches against South Carolina and Tennessee in Starkville. It was the first time in program history the Bulldogs’ have had back-t0-back SEC sweeps. Quite the feat. More on that here. MSU’s next home match is against Ole Miss on ESPNU in three weeks.

The soccer team had two games on the road over the weekend, ultimately dropping both contests, though their 3-2 halftime lead over Vanderbilt on Sunday was a promising start, even if the result was not the one hoped for. Senior Elisabeth Sullivan scored twice, her fourth multi-goal game of the season, increasing her lead at No. 1 in MSU’s all-time scoring record books. More here.

Moving to the diamond, Vann Stuedeman’s softball team completed fall ball with a perfect 7-0 record, including four wins this weekend with doubleheaders Saturday and Sunday. MSU won Sunday’s games by a combined 18-1, led by strong pitching from seniors Alison Owen and Sherrod. Owen struck out 17 in the first game, including 11-straight at one point. More on that here.

I’ll have a lot more on baseball in the coming days and weeks as John Cohen’s team had three open scrimmages over the weekend as part of fall ball. You can check out recaps from Friday, Saturday and Sunday, though two story lines stand out.

MSU’s pitching staff, already a strength last year, may only be deeper and better, both from development and new faces. And those new faces – on the mound, in the field and at the plate – are the other story. Those not familiar with the entirety of MSU’s roster will read those recaps and see a lot of new names. Part of that is how fall ball works, along with a couple injuries, but there are several names to be remembered for the spring.

Of course, all that said about pitching, there were a combined 21 runs scored in the first two scrimmages. These are the times of year you don’t want to read too much into anything, but it’s hard not think MSU is as balanced and talented as they’ve been in quite some time, evidenced by the early praise already coming from those in the college baseball world.

And speaking of baseball, Cohen will be doing just that tonight. With the short football week, Dawg Talk at Buffalo Wild Wings in Starkville (7 p.m.) is tonight instead of Thursday, naturally, and Cohen will be sitting in for Dan Mullen.

It’ll be nice to hear him talk about the Diamond Dawgs, plus Cohen is a bit of a football nut. He’s on the sidelines for most games and makes his way out to football practice pretty often. He grew up in Tuscaloosa watching the Crimson Tide and knows the sport well, so it’ll be entertaining if he gets into the topic tonight.

As for football, we’ll hear from Dan Mullen in his weekly Monday press conference this afternoon, so check back here for a full recap from that.

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