STARKVILLE, Miss.– With a complete-game shutout at No. 4 Tennessee and then another strong start against the Vols, freshman left-hander Alexis Silkwood of Mississippi State recently was named the Southeastern Conference Pitcher of the Week.
It is the first such honor for Silkwood, an East Alton resident and Marquette Catholic High graduate. Yet it was her third league award this season. She was selected as the SEC Freshman of the Week on Feb. 17 and March 3.
Silkwood went 2-0 while helping the Bulldogs to a 3-1 record, including the series victory at Tennessee. She held batters to a .200 average and struck out 23 in 15.1 innings of work. Left-handed batters hit .125 off of her and she held opponents to just four hits in 25 at-bats with runners in scoring position (.160 batting average against).
With the weekend’s two wins at Tennessee, Mississippi State became the first program to win the series against both Alabama and Tennessee in the same season since Florida in 2011. MSU improved to 35-15 overall, tied with the 2008 squad for the best 50-game mark in program history.
To begin her successful week, Silkwood pitched four innings in relief at Jackson State and earned the win. She held the Tigers to two unearned runs on four hits and eight strikeouts. She fanned seven of the first 10 batters faced, including striking out the side in order in the fourth and tallying four whiffs in the sixth inning.
Then at Tennessee, Silkwood picked up the win in the complete-game performance. She struck out 11 batters, tied for the third most in a Southeastern Conference game in program history. Silkwood allowed just three singles and walked a trio. Of the three singles, only one was with fewer than two outs. Silkwood had only two innings with more than one runner reaching base, in the second and fifth. She retired the final seven batters in order to seal the victory.
Silkwood finished her week with 4.1 innings versus the Vols, leaving with a 4-2 lead in the bottom of the fifth. She stranded seven Tennessee batters through the first three innings and allowed just one hit with a runner in scoring position in the game. Silkwood fanned five and allowed five hits.
Overall, Silkwood is 12-5 with a 2.10 ERA in 30 games. She also has three hits in 13 at-bats.