SEATTLE, WA (WLBT) - Mississippi State softball’s (35-23) 2019 campaign came to a close in Sunday’s Seattle Regional finals as No. 2/2 Washington (48-7) claimed the regional championship with an 8-0 victory at Husky Softball Stadium.
Washington’s Gabbie Plain (21-2) tossed a no-hitter, allowing just one base runner via a walk with 10 strikeouts to secure the victory for the Huskies. Washington slugged two home runs to account for five runs of the team’s eight runs.
Mississippi State’s lone base runner was senior Kat Moore, who led off the top of the second with a walk. The Huskies quickly wiped away the Bulldog threat with a double play.
Sophomore Emily Williams earned the start, tossing 4.1 innings. Williams gave up seven runs off six hits and four walks. She struck out two in the outing. Five of Washington’s seven runs were earned. Freshman Grace Fagan tossed the final 2.2 innings, allowing one run off two hits and a walk. She fanned one Husky.
Sis Bates opened Sunday’s contest with a walk ahead of Morganne Flores, who singled to move a Husky into scoring position. Washington loaded the baes with an infield single to second, but a Bulldog error on the play allowed a run to score and both base runners to advance 60 feet. A ground out to senior Emily Heimberger at second brought home the final run of the inning as Williams settled down to retire the side and leave two stranded.
After working around two walks, Williams retired seven straight to hold the score to 2-0 until the top of the fifth. Bates knocked a single to right field to become the first Husky to reach base since the second inning. Flores lifted a home run ball to left field to extend the Washington lead to 4-0.
Washington kept the inning alive with a Bulldog fielding error, walk and sacrifice bunt to move two Huskies into scoring position. Emma Helm delivered the big blow with a three-run home run to left center to extend the lead to 7-0.
The Huskies final run came in the top of the seven as Madison Huskey knocked a one-out double before coming around to score on an RBI double from Helm.
Mississippi State fielded three Bulldogs on the Seattle Regional All-Regional Team as Moore, senior Emily Heimberger and redshirt sophomore Montana Davidson were all tabbed with the honor.
QUOTING VANN STUEDEMAN
“First, I’d like to say Washington did a great job hosting the regional site. It was a great venue and championship atmosphere. I really appreciate the effort that goes into putting on an event like this from the field crew to event staff. It was all Washington the whole game. Tip of the cap and congratulations to them. Gabbi (Plain) threw a great game. They were aggressive at the plate, putting runs up early. We couldn’t get anything in play. They made a couple really good plays, but other than that they kept us in check.”
THAT’S A WRAP
Mississippi State closed its 2019 season with a 35-23 record, marking the seventh time in head coach Vann Stuedeman’s eight seasons that the Bulldogs have tallied 30 or more wins in a season. Mississippi State punched its ticket to its third straight NCAA Regional, competing in the regional final for the second straight year. It’s the first time that the Bulldogs have competed in back-to-back regional finals since the tournament moved to the Super Regional format.
Mississippi State set a program record with 72 home runs and set the school’s sophomore, junior and senior records over the seasons. Sophomore Mia Davidson set not only Mississippi State’s single-season record, but also the Southeastern Conference’s single-season mark. Davidson also set the school’s career record with her 45th home run.
THANK YOU, SENIORS!
Mississippi State’s senior class of Bevia Robbinson, Emily Heimberger, Sarai Niu, Taylor Kelly and Kat Moore played their final contest in Maroon and White. Over their four seasons, the group recorded 135 wins and played in three consecutive NCAA Regionals.
Moore closes her career with a .324 average, which ranks 10th in Bulldog career history. Niu tallied 1182 putouts and will leave Mississippi State ranking third in school history in the category.
SEATTLE REGIONAL 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 def. Mississippi State, 8-0