#27 Mississippi State Softball 2021 Preview

Mississippi State Bulldogs
Overall Rank: #27
Conference Rank: #10 SEC
 Mississippi State Logo
Mississippi State entered a new era in 2020. Coach Samantha Ricketts took over the program after Vann Stuedeman led the team to seven NCAA Tournament appearances in eight years. However, the Bulldogs never finished higher than seventh in the SEC during that stretch and the Bulldogs will hope the change at the top can lead to Mississippi State’s first winning record in conference play since 2001.
2019: 35-23, 9-15
2019 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Samantha Ricketts
Key Departed Players:
Kat Moore, .343 BA, 13 HR, 47 RBI
Emily Heimberger, .304 BA, 1 HR, 22 RBI, 12 SB
Sarai Niu, .284 BA, 1 HR, 20 RBI
Candace Denis, UTL, .338 BA, 2 HR, 13 RBI
Key Returning Players:
Mia Davidson, C/IF, .373 BA, 26 HR, 64 RBI
Fa Leilua, UTL, .345 BA, 22 HR, 52 RBI
Montana Davidson, IF, .269 BA, 2 HR, 21 RBI
Emily Williams, P, 2.90 ERA, 15-10 W/L, 171.2 IP, 156 SO
Grace Fagan, P, 3.40 ERA, 7-7 W/L, 80.1 IP, 64 SO
Alyssa Loza, P, 4.22 ERA, 8-2 W/L, 76.1 IP, 39 SO
It is tough for any team to compete for an SEC title, but this group may have the tools to do it. All three of their main pitchers return, led by Emily Williams who posted a 2.90 ERA with 156 strikeouts in 171.2 innings. Grace Fagan and Alyssa Loza are proven returning options, while Troy transfer and former Sun Belt Freshman of the Year honoree Annie Willis could make a big impact as well. At the plate, Mississippi State ranked 16th in the nation in home runs per game and most of those power hitters are back. Mia Davidson belted 26 homeruns with 64 RBIs, while Fa Leilua added 22 homeruns and 52 RBIs. Those two will do most of the damage, but there are experienced players like Montana Davidson who will help fill in around the powerful bats of Davidson and Leilua. If the depth in the circle can start paying off, even against those very tough teams in the SEC, the Bulldogs will not just make another tournament appearance, but could finally do some serious damage in the conference as well.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Softball Tournament