Matalasi Faapito sent the Starkville crowd into a frenzy with a 6th inning home run to break a tie in Game 1 of the best-of-3 Super Regional on Friday against Arizona. But it wasn’t enough as Mississippi State fell, 3-2, to Arizona.

An announced record crowd of 2,200 fans at Nusz Park watched the spirited festivities, which began as a pitchers’ duel, but quickly became a home run contest. Then in the 7th, Arizona got 2 runners on thanks to a catcher’s interference call on a sacrifice bunt attempt on a play that was reviewed by the umpires. The Wildcats later tied the game on a sacrifice fly to center field. An Arizona home run in the 8th inning proved to be the difference.

Mia Davidson got it started with a solo shot in the 5th inning

It was the first run against Arizona in 18 innings as the Bulldogs’ catcher and leader hit a screamer to left field. Davidson’s  92nd career home run broke a scoreless tie with Arizona while tying her for third all-time in NCAA history with a pair of former Wildcats, Katiyana Mauga and Jessie Harper.

The Davidson home run also meant State tied the program best with 72 home runs, which was set in 2019.

But Arizona’s Allie Skaggs responded with a solo shot of her own to right field in the 6th inning to tie the game.

Earlier in the game, State had a great opportunity with the bases loaded in the third inning, but a fly out ended the threat.