HARRISONBURG, Va., April 15, 2012 – James Madison hitters left 12 runners on base, including eight in scoring position, and Delaware used a couple of big offensive innings to down JMU 7-4 at Veterans Memorial Park on Sunday.
The Dukes saw their win streak end at 12 games as they dropped to 24-21 on the season and 10-2 in Colonial Athletic Association play. The Blue Hens improved to 10-35-1 and 3-9 in league play.
Chenxi Jiao earned the win for UD by throwing five innings of relief. She allowed three runs, two earn on six hits and two walks while striking out one to improve to 3-19. Hannah Rust drew the start, giving up one run on four hits and two walks in two innings pitched.
Freshman pitcher Heather Kiefer (Potomac Falls, Va./Potomac Falls) dropped to 10-4 after taking the loss for Madison. She gave up four runs on six hits and three walks while striking out three. Fellow rookie right-hander Reba DePriest (Apache Junction, Ariz./Skyline) ceded three runs on two hits and a walk in 1/3 inning of relief while freshman reliever Sarah Mooney (Huntersville, N.C./North Mecklenburg) gave up one hits and struck out one in 1 2/3 innings or work.
Third baseman Jessica Grisler paced the Delaware offense going 1-for-2 with a double, two walks, a run and two RBIs. Left fielder Maggie Creciun added two hits in three at-bats and added a run while first base Marissa Newman went 1-for-3 with a double and two RBIs.
Freshman left fielder Morgan Heath (Yorktown, Va./Grafton) went 2-for-4 with a double, a run and a walk to led the JMU offense. Sophomore third baseman Caitlin Sandy (Fayetteville, N.C./Jack Britt) chipped in a 2-for-3 day with a run and a walk while junior center fielder Jasmine Butler (Winter Garden, Fla./West Orange) chipped in a homer in four trips to the plate.
Delaware took advantage of a couple of free passes to start the game to grab the early 4-0 lead. Second baseman Michelle McKinnon led off the game with a hit-by-pitch and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. A walk by Grisler put two runners on with one out. Both runners moved up a base on a double steal and scored on back-to-back singles by designated player Morgan Culver and center fielder Lara Andrews. Newman capped the frame with a two-run double to right-center field.
JMU cut into the lead with a run in the bottom half of the first. Heath led off the game with a double into the left-center gap. After a pair of groundouts, junior first baseman Haley Johnson (Ashburn, Va./Broad Run) singled into shallow center to score the rookie outfielder.
Butler’s solo home run in the bottom of the fourth pulled Madison to within two. After Jiao recorded two quick outs, Butler turned on a 0-1 offering and drilled it out to deep left-center field.
The Blue Hens opened their lead up to five in the top of this sixth, loading the bases on a hit-by-pitch and back-to-back singles by Jiao and Creciun. After an infield fly, shortstop Alicea Coy walked to force in a run and force DePriest from the game. Grisler welcomed the new pitcher to the game with a two-run double to left-center before Mooney worked out of the jam by inducing a double play.
The Dukes pushed two runs across in the bottom of the seventh to get within three, but it was too late as Jiao finished off the win.
The Dukes are back in action on Wednesday, April 18 as they travel to Lynchburg, Va., for a non-conference doubleheader at Liberty.
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