STARKVILLE, Miss. – The Omaha softball team split a doubleheader to open the season at the Bulldog Kickoff Classic. The Mavericks topped Missouri State 2-1 this morning before falling this evening to Mississippi State 8-0 in five innings.
Omaha 2, Missouri State 1
Freshmen pitchers Halley Jones and Sydney Hampton combined on a five-hitter in their collegiate debut, leading Omaha to a season-opening victory. Jones started in the circle and pitched two innings, giving up no runs on just two hits. Hampton (1-0) pitched the final five innings, allowing one run on three hits while striking out three.
MSU loaded the bases in the top of the first, but Jones got a fly ball to end the threat. The Bulldogs put two more runners on base in the top of the third before Hampton retired the final two batters to keep the game scoreless.
Missouri State pushed a run across in the top of the fourth. After a leadoff walk, pinch runner Hannah Heinrichs stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Heinrichs then scored on a two-out triple to the right-center field wall by Kyana Mason, giving the Bears a 1-0 lead.
Omaha answered in the bottom half of the frame. Demi Dobbs, Emma Dargy and Savannah Fisher each were hit by a pitch to load the bases. With the bases loaded and one out, Sarrah Mains reached on a fielder’s choice, but an MSU error on the play scored two Mavericks, making it a 2-1 ball game.
Hampton then allowed one hit over the final three innings to pick up her first career victory.
Mississippi State 8, Omaha 0 (five innings)
Faith Romero led the Mavericks at the plate, finishing with one hit.
Cassady Knudsen (1-0) got the win for Mississippi State, limiting Omaha to one hit over five innings with 13 strikeouts and a walk. Jones (0-1) took the loss, allowing four runs on four hits and two walks in 0.1 innings of work. Aubrey Hacke pitched 3.2 innings allowing four runs on six hits and three walks.
The Bulldogs put up eight runs on eight hits in the game, led by a 3-for-3 effort by Mia Davidson, who drove in three runs and scored three runs as well.
Omaha plays Mississippi Valley State at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 10, before playing either Missouri State or Missouri State later in the day.