CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., March 13, 2013 – Freshman left-hander Jailyn Ford (Hot Springs, Va./Bath County) and sophomore right-hander Heather Kiefer (Potomac Falls, Va./Potomac Falls) each earned a complete-game victory and the James Madison softball team outscored Virginia 13-4 as it swept a non-conference doubleheader at The Park in Charlottesville, Va., Wednesday. JMU won 3-2 in game one before dominating game two, 10-2 in six innings.
The Dukes extended their winning streak to seven games and improved to 16-6 overall while dropping the Cavaliers to 9-12.
Kiefer earned the win in game two, limiting her opponents to two runs, one earned, on eight hits in six innings of work. The second-year pitcher did not walk a batter and struck out three to improve to 5-3.
Aimee Chapdelaine took the loss for Virginia, dropping to 2-4. She allowed five runs on seven hits and three walks in two innings of work. Emma Mitchell pitched four innings in relief, giving up five runs, four earned, on eight hits and three walks while striking out two.
Sophomore right fielder Sarah Mooney (Huntersville, N.C./North Mecklenburg) reached base four times to pace the Dukes’ offense. She went 3-for-3 with a walk, three RBIs and a run scored. Sophomore left fielder Morgan Heath (Yorktown, Va./Grafton) added two hits, two runs and a walk while junior shortstop Caitlin Sandy (Fayetteville, N.C./Jack Britt) went 3-for-4 with a double, a run and tied her career-high with three RBIs.
Center fielder Taylor Williams paced the Cavalier attack with two hits and two RBIs in four at-bats. Shortstop Alex Skinkis chipped in two hits and a run scored while third baseman Marcy Bowdren went 2-for-3.
JMU grabbed a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning in game two, on a two-run single by Mooney. The first two batters of the frame walked and advanced a base on a ground-out. Mooney battled Chapdelaine to a full count before driving the ball back up the middle for a pair of RBIs. The Dukes continued to put the pressure on, loading the bases with another single and a walk and appeared to score a third run in the inning on a sacrifice fly, but the umpires ruled the runner left early for the double play.
Three more runs came across in the top of the second for Madison on run-scoring singles by senior center fielder Jasmine Butler (Winter Garden, Fla./West Orange), freshman catcher Erica Field (Manassas, Va./Osbourn Park) and Mooney that extended the lead to 5-0.
Freshman second baseman Hannah Hayes (LaCrosse, Va./Kenston Forest) pushed the lead up to 6-0 in the top of the third inning with a solo home run. She drove the first pitch she saw out to center for her first career home run.
Virginia cut into the lead with a run in the fourth inning to make it 6-1. Skinkis led off the frame with a bunt single and moved up to second when catcher Kristen Hawkins was hit by a pitch. Both runners advanced a base on a ground-out before Skinkis came in to on a single by center fielder Taylor Williams. Hawkins attempted score on the play, but was gunned down at the plate on a perfect throw from Butler.
Madison recovered the run in the top of the fifth on a double by Sandy. Senior third baseman Haley Johnson (Ashburn, Va./Broad Run) started the frame with a single and scored all the way from first on Sandy’s liner into the gap in right-center.
A RBI single by senior designated player Megan Shinaberry (Davie, Fla./McCarthy) and a two-run single by Sandy pushed the lead up 10-1 in the top of the sixth and set the Dukes up for the earl- termination-rule.
UVA refused to go quietly, loading the bases in the bottom half of the sixth. A single to left from Williams drove in one, but Heath recorded JMU’s second outfield assist of the game, nailing Skinkis at the plate to end the game.
In game one, Ford limited Virginia to two runs on five hits for her seventh win of the year. The rookie struck out eight and walked one to improve to 7-1. It was her sixth complete game in nine starts this season.
Melanie Mitchell took the loss, dropping to 7-7. She allowed three runs on six hits and a walk while striking out six in a complete game effort.
Six different players recorded hits for JMU led by Mooney who went 1-for-3 with a double and a run scored. Heath added a double and a RBI in three at-bats while Sandy went 1-for-2 with a RBI.
First baseman Megan Harris paced the Cavaliers, going 2-for-3 with double and a run scored. Designated player Karli Johnson had a pair of RBI singles in three trips to the plate. UVA’s only other hit came from third baseman Marcy Bowdren who went 1-for-3 with a run scored.
The Cavaliers strung together three consecutive two-out hits in the top of the first inning to take a 1-0 lead. Bowdren ignited the offense with a grounder through the hole on the left side. She advanced to second on a single to right by Harris and scored on a single up the middle by Johnson.
JMU came right back to tie the score in the top of the second on a single by Sandy. Mooney led off the frame with a double and came in to score when Sandy lined a 0-2 pitch into center.
The Dukes capitalized on a hit-by-pitch to start the fourth to grab the lead. Butler took one for the team to start the frame and moved up to second on her 16th stolen base of the season. After a pair of pop-outs, Ford dropped a ball between the right fielder and second baseman for the run-scoring single.
Madison pushed the lead up to 3-1 in the fifth on a double by Heath. Shinaberry drew a walk to lead off the frame and moved to second on a single by Haley Johnson. After a sacrifice bunt advanced both runners, Heath hit a double down the left-field line scoring Shinaberry. Johnson was thrown out at the plate by the UVA left fielder and Heath got caught trying to take third on the throw home to end the threat.
Karli Johnson’s second RBI single of the game helped the Cavaliers cut the lead in half in the bottom of the sixth. Harris scored on the play after driving a double to the fence in right.
UVA threatened in the top of the seventh with two long fly balls to center, but Butler ran them both down to help Ford seal the complete-game victory.
The Dukes return to action this weekend as the play their first home games of the year in the JMU Invitational. Fordham, Binghamton and Detroit Mercy join JMU for the three-day tournament at Veterans Memorial Park.
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