NEWARK, Del., April 20, 2013 – Sophomore utility player Sarah Mooney (Huntersville, N.C./North Mecklenburg) went 5-for-6 with four RBIs to help lead the James Madison softball team to a doubleheader sweep over Delaware in Newark, Del., on Saturday. JMU picked up a 6-2 win in game one before coming from behind to win 3-2 in game two.
The Dukes ran their winning streak to eight games, improving to 35-10 overall and 14-0 in Colonial Athletic Association play. Dating back to last season, they’ve won 18 straight games in CAA play. Delaware lost its fifth straight in league play, falling to 31-13 and 9-5 in the league.
Mooney added two doubles, a run scored, two walks and a stolen base to highlight her day. She was one of six players to finish the day with multiple hits.
Freshman pitcher Jailyn Ford (Hot Springs, Va./Bath County) earned the win in game two to improve to 18-2 on the year. She tied Meredith Felts’ (2006-09) school record for wins in a season after limiting her opponent to two runs on four hits in a complete-game effort. The left-hander struck out six and walked two.
Kiersten Coffman took the loss for UD, dropping to 8-2 on the season. She allowed three runs, one earned, on nine hits in seven innings pitched. The rookie walked three and struck out two.
Mooney went 2-for-2 with two walks and a RBI to pace the JMU attack. Senior center fielder Jasmine Butler (Winter Garden, Fla./West Orange) added two hits, a walk, a run and two stolen bases while freshman second baseman Hannah Hayes (LaCrosse, Va./Kenston Forest) went 1-for-3 with a RBI.
Four players recorded hits for Delaware led by center fielder Hannah George who went 1-for-3 with two RBIs. Shortstop Lisa Stacevicz added a hit and a run scored in three at bats while catcher Mary O’Reilly was 1-for-2 with a walk.
Madison faced their first deficit in CAA play all season after UD scored twice in the bottom of the second. Delaware loaded the bases on a pair of walks sandwiched around a single by Stacevicz. George delivered a big two-out hit, dropping a single into the gap in right-center for a pair of runs.
The Dukes came back to tie the score in the top of the fifth inning on run-scoring singles by Mooney and Ford. Butler started the two-out rally by reaching on an error and moved to second on a single by freshman third baseman Erica Field (Manassas, Va./Osbourn Park). After being intentionally walked her first two at-bats, Mooney finally got something to hit in her third trip to the plate and laced a single through the left side, scoring Butler. Ford followed with a single just inside the bag at third, allowing Field to race home with the tying run.
JMU scored its third two-out run of the game, this time on a single by Hayes in the top of the sixth, to take its first lead of the game. Junior shortstop Caitlin Sandy (Fayetteville, N.C./Jack Britt) led off the inning with a single up the middle. After a strikeout, she moved up to third on a sacrifice bunt by taking advantage of no one covering third on the play. In the ensuing at-bat, Hayes looked at a pitch outside the zone before driving a single up the middle for the RBI.
The Blue Hens put the tying run on base with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, but Ford struck out George to strand the runner and end the game.
In game one, the Dukes scored three times in the first inning and went on to finish off a 6-2 win. Sophomore right-hander Heather Kiefer (Potomac Falls, Va./Potomac Falls) earned the win to improve to 13-5. She limited the Blue Hens to two runs, one earned, on seven hits and a walk while striking out three. The second-year Duke tossed her fourth consecutive complete game to give her 12 on the season.
Chenxi Jiao took the loss for Delaware. She allowed six runs, five earned, on 10 hits in seven innings of work. The senior right-hander struck out two and walked one.
Mooney paced the Madison attack, going 3-for-4 with two doubles, three RBIs and a run scored. Butler added two hits, a run and an RBI while Hayes went 2-for-3 with a double, a run and a stolen base.
UD’s top two hitters combined for six of the team’s seven hits. Center fielder Jessica Grisler went 3-for-4 with a run while third baseman Lara Andrews was 3-for-4 with a double. First baseman Marisa Newman had the only other Blue Hen hit, contributing a single in three trips to the plate.
JMU jumped in front of UD with a trio of runs in the top of the first inning. Sophomore left fielder Morgan Heath (Yorktown, Va./Grafton) found the hole on the right side for a single on the very first pitch of the game. She moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a two-out single through the left side by Mooney. Mooney came in to score on a triple to right field by Ford before junior shortstop Caitlin Sandy (Fayetteville, N.C./Jack Britt) capped the inning with a run-scoring double to left.
For Mooney it was her 50th RBI of the season, making her the first player in JMU history to reach the half century mark.
Delaware came back with a run in the bottom of the first inning as it got hits from Grisler and Andrews. Grisler led off the inning by slapping a single through the left side. She moved up to third on a double down the right-field line by Andrews and scored on a JMU throwing error.
The Blue Hens took advantage of Madison’s second error of the game to score an unearned run in the bottom of the fourth. Stacevicz started the inning by reaching on the Dukes’ error. She moved to second on a single by Newman and both runners advance a base on a UD ground-out. Stacevicz came in to score on a sacrifice fly by center fielder Hannah George, but Kiefer avoided further damage by getting Grisler to ground out.
JMU extended the lead back to two in the top of the fifth inning on a RBI double by Mooney. Butler scored on the play after reaching on a two-base error.
Madison added two insurance runs in the top of the seventh inning on a RBI single by Butler and Mooney’s second double of the day.
Delaware put a runner on base in the bottom of the seventh, but Kiefer got two ground-outs and a strikeout to finish off the win.
The Dukes and Blue Hens conclude their series on Sunday with a single game beginning at noon at the UD Softball Stadium.
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