SEATTLE, WA (WLBT) - Sophomore Mia Davidson broke two long-standing records with a fifth-inning home run to help carry Mississippi State softball (35-22) to a 7-3 victory on Seattle (40-17) Saturday night at Husky Softball Stadium to advance to the Seattle Regional finals.
For the second consecutive season, the Bulldogs will play for a regional championship and will have a rematch with No. 2/2 Washington on Sunday at 8 p.m. CT. Mississippi State will have to beat the Huskies twice to advance to next weekend’s Super Regional action.
The Bulldogs offense came alive on Saturday night, driving in seven runs off 11 hits, including a three-run third inning to capture the lead. It was Mia Davidson that stole the show, slugging her 26th home run of the season to set the Southeastern Conference’s single-season record. It was also her 45th home run of her Bulldog career, setting a new Mississippi State program record. Mia closed the night 1-for-3 with a walk, two RBI and a run scored.
Her sister, redshirt sophomore Montana Davidson, turned in an impressive night as she went 3-for-4 at the plate with a double, run scored and an RBI. Senior Kat Moore continued her dominating performance in Seattle with a 2-for-4 night with a two-run homer. She scored twice against the Redhawks.
Sophomore Emily Williams earned her 15th win of the season, tossing 5.1 innings against Seattle. Williams allowed three runs off six hits and two walks. All three of Seattle’s runs were scored off solo homers. Williams struck out two Saturday night.
Junior Alyssa Loza made her Seattle Regional debut with a relief appearance. The right-hander allowed one walk and one hit over 1.2 innings of relief. She fanned one Redhawk.
The Bulldogs threatened in the first and second innings with runners in scoring position, but Seattle’s Andie Larkins was strong in the circle to strand all four base runners. Seattle responded in the bottom of the second, loading the bases with two outs with two singles and a walk. Williams responded in the clutch with her first strikeout of the night to retire the side.
Mia Davidson led off the third with a walk, before Seattle erased the lead running with a tag out on the fielder’s choice. Moore moved a Bulldog in scoring position with a single through the right side. The Redhawks forced a fly out to center for out two, but Montana Davidson delivered the go-ahead blow with a single up the middle to plate junior Fa Leilua from second.
Senior Sarai Niu broke the game open with a bases-clearing single to center to push the Bulldog lead to 3-0 through two and a half innings. Seattle put its first run across the plate in the bottom of the fourth, leading off the inning with a solo homer to left field off the bat of Bailey Thompson.
Leilua spark State’s fifth-inning scoring with an eight-pitch at-bat to draw a walk before senior Kat Moore slugged her second home run of the Seattle Regional, a two-run homer to right center to extend Mississippi State’s lead to 5-1.
Senior Bevia Robinson was the fifth leadoff hitter to reach safely as she drew a walk to open the sixth inning, Seattle forced a pop up for out one, but it was Mia Davidson that made history with two-run homer to center to push Mississippi State’s lead to 7-1, shattering two records in the process.
Seattle clawed back into the game in the bottom of the sixth with solo homers to right field from Madison Cathcart and Kaylee Ree to force the Bulldogs to make a pitching change and bring junior Alyssa Loza into the circle, who limited the damage to just the two runs.
The Redhawks got two on in the bottom of the seventh with a single to right center and a walk, but Loza punched Mississippi State’s ticket to the Seattle Regional finals with a strikeout to clinch the 7-3 win.
QUOTING COACH STUEDEMAN
“It’s really hard to describe that. The record that she broke was held by Kellie Wilkerson. She was a phenomenal hitter. She had the crazy eyes. For her (Mia Davidson) to break it in her sophomore year is just impressive. It is very hard to explain it. What’s more fun about it is that she is so fun, humble and appreciative. She’s enjoying it. It’s not ‘oh, I have to do this.’ It’s a fun game to her. That’s what makes it special for all of us that gets to hang around and see it happen.”
QUOTING MIA DAVIDSON
“It was the best feeling in the world. It felt like all this weight was lifted off my shoulders. It was all thanks to (Samantha) Ricketts, Lexie (Elkins) and the team. They had my back and kept me relaxed the whole time.”
DIVA OF DINGERS EARNS HER CROWN
With one swing, Mia Davidson shattered two long-standing records. Davidson slugged her 26th homer of the season to set a new SEC single-season record. The previous record of 25 was held by Georgia’s Alex Hugo (2014) and Alabama’s Kelly Kretschman (1998).
Davidson is now NCAA Division I softball’s outright leader in home runs this season. She is now tied for the 19th most home runs over a single-season in NCAA history with NC State’s Renada Davis (2013), Ohio’s Lauren Gellerman (2013) and UCF’s Stephanie Best (2005).
The home run was also the 45th of her Mississippi State career, which surpassing All-American Kellie Wilkerson (1999-2002) for the Bulldog career record. Just a sophomore, Davidson is now just 13 shy from cracking into the SEC’s annuals for career home run leaders.
THRIVE AND ADVANCE
For the second consecutive season, Mississippi State is competing for a regional title as the Bulldogs advanced to the Seattle Regional finals. This is the first time in program history that Mississippi State has advanced to a Sunday regional finale in back-to-back seasons.
KAT DADDY’S LAST STAND
Senior Kat Moore is making the most of her final NCAA postseason. Through the Bulldogs three games at the Seattle Regional, Moore has going 4-for-9 at the plate for a .444 average. She has slugged two home runs and a double to hold a 1.222 slugging percentage and leads the team with four runs scored. Of Mississippi State’s 11 RBI over the Seattle Regional, Moore has accounted for six.
SEATTLE REGIONAL SCHEDULE/RESULTS
Friday, May 17 Game One: Mississippi State def. Seattle, 5-3 Game Two: Washington def. Fordham, 2-0 Saturday, May 18 Game Three: Washington def. Mississippi State, 6-1 Game Four: Seattle def. Fordham, 1-0 [8 inn.] Game Five: Mississippi State def. Seattle, 7-3 Sunday, May 19 Game Six: Washington vs. Mississippi State – 8 p.m. CT Game Seven: If Necessary – 9:30 p.m. CT
Fans can visit GoHuskies.com for the latest news on the Seattle Regional, which includes the regional schedule, ticket information, parking information, stadium maps and more.
Alex Perlman and All-American and Arizona softball alum Kenzie Fowler will have the call for every game of the Seattle Regional. Saturday’s contest will be streamed on WatchESPN and the ESPN app. Any assignment to a ESPN linear channel will be announced at a later time.
NCAA softball will have live and interactive stats for every game of the NCAA Tournament via its website. Fans can access live stats for each contest of the Seattle Regional through the interactive bracket by CLICKING HERE.
Fans looking to make the journey to Seattle to cheer on the Bulldogs can purchase all-session and single-game tickets while supplies last. Ticket prices and additional information can be found at GoHuskies.com.
Sunday: 64 Degrees – Scattered Showers (70%)