STARKVILLE, MS – Senior Kylie Roos' first inning grand slam ignited the Northwestern State Lady Demon softball team to defeat host Mississippi State 10-5, but they struggled to power over Murray State, falling 5-4 in the second day of the Bulldog Battle Saturday afternoon.
"Despite the loss this evening, we had a really good day," said head coach Donald Pickett, "We're really proud of the way the team has been playing together."
Tara McKenney, Brittany Virgoe and Cali Burke loaded up the bases in the top of the first to allow Roos to notch her first grand slam of the season, putting the Lady Demons up 4-0 over the host Bulldogs.
Mississippi State put their mark on the board in the bottom of the first with a home run by Logan Foulks, followed by a RBI single from Chrissie Rovtar.
The Bulldogs held NSU scoreless in the second, and inched closer as Julia Echols notched a RBI single to bring Mississippi State within one of the Lady Demons.
In the fourth, NSU crossed the plate five times starting with Cassandra Barefield ripping a RBI single to left field, allowing Roos to score from third. Cheyenne DelaGarza singled through the right side to later score, and put the Lady Demons up 6-4.
Virgoe notched a double to left field to send Barefield and Jordan Palmer home.
McKenney added another tally as she crossed the plate on a passed ball, putting the Lady Demons up 9-4.
The fifth and sixth innings were rendered scoreless.
The Lady Demons picked up their 10th and final run in the top of the seventh when Tashana Triplett came in to pinch run for Rodriguez. Natalie Landry singled up the middle, pushing Triplett to third and allowing her to score on a fielding error.
The Bulldogs were only able to notch one run in the bottom of the seventh.
Senior Brooke Boening struck out two and allowed four hits in the first inning.
Roos took the mound in the bottom of the second to throw for six solid innings, striking out six and allowing only two hits.
Roos also led the Lady Demons from the plate with four RBI, followed by Virgoe with two RBI and two hits.
McKenney led off at the top off the first inning with a single to shortstop Alexa Becker, followed by Rodriquez notching a single as well. Rodriguez reached second on a fielder's choice, pushing McKenney to third and allowing her to score on a throwing error.
Murray State answered back in the bottom of the first with a single RBI to tie the score at one.
Both teams played through a scoreless second inning, but NSU picked up three runs in the third.
Burke ripped a single up the middle, followed by a home run by Rodriguez. DelaGarza also homered to put the Lady Demons up 4-1.
The Racers grabbed one run in the fourth off a RBI single by Christian Cox.
All seemed quiet as the fifth and sixth innings were scoreless, but Murray State would come from behind in the bottom of the seventh with a four-run rally to walk away with the win.
NSU was led by Rodriguez with one hit and two RBI, followed by DelaGarza with two hits and one RBI.
Kaylee Guidry threw for four solid innings, striking out three and allowing only four hits.
Boening pitched for two innings also striking out three batters, allowing only three hits.
The Lady Demons face the Racers again Sunday morning in the final day of the Bulldog Battle beginning at 10 o'clock.