HEMPSTEAD, N.Y., May 11, 2012 – Left-handed pitcher McCall Langford threw a five-inning complete game and seven different players collected RBIs as third-seeded Georgia State defeated second-seeded James Madison 9-1 in five innings in the semifinals of the Colonial Athletic Association Championship in Hempstead, N.Y., on Friday.
GSU advances to Saturday’s championship game where it meets top-seeded Hofstra at 12 p.m. They improved to 38-17 on the season. JMU ends its season with a 30-26 record, the fifth time in school history its reached the 30-win plateau.
Langford improved to 12-6 on the season after scattering one run on five hits and a walk. She struck out five in five innings pitched.
Freshman right-hander Sarah Mooney (Huntersville, N.C./North Mecklenburg) lasted only one out for JMU as the starting pitcher. She took a no-decision after walking three and striking out one. Junior right-hander Cara Stecher (New Castle, Del./Caravel Academy) allowed seven runs on seven hits and three walks while striking out two in 3 2/3 innings of relief. She took the loss to drop to 3-2. Freshman relievers Reba DePriest (Apache Junction, Ariz./Skyline) and Heather Kiefer (Potomac Falls, Va./Potomac Falls) combined to give up two runs, one earned, on three hits and a walk in 1/3 inning of relief.
First baseman Lauren Coleman paced the GSU offense, going 2-for-2 with two walks and two RBIs. Left fielder Ashley Christy added two hits, including a triple, a run and two RBIs while center fielder Jessica Clifton went 2-for-4 with a double, a run and a RBI.
Mooney powered the Dukes’ offense, going 1-for-3 with a RBI. Sophomore third baseman Caitlin Sandy (Fayetteville, N.C./Jack Britt) contributed two hits in three at-bats while senior second baseman Caitlen Manning (Prince George, Va./Prince George) went 1-for-1 with a walk and a run scored.
Madison struck for the first run of the game in the top of the third inning on a two-out single by Mooney. Manning led off the inning with a single. She stole second and moved to third on a bunt single by Sandy. Langford worked ahead of Mooney, but the freshman battled before hitting a single into left for the RBI.
GSU came back to take the lead in the bottom half of the inning. After Clifton doubled down the left-field line to lead off the inning, Coleman drew a walk to put two runners on with nobody out. Stecher got the next two batters out, but Christy drove a liner into the gap in left-center for a two-run triple.
The Panthers picked up another two-out RBI to add to its lead in the bottom of the fourth. Designated player Christina Reed led off with an infield single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. After a fly-out, Coleman lofted a single in between the shortstop and the left fielder for the 3-1 lead.
For the fourth time in five innings, Georgia State put the lead-off batter on base with a double by catcher Callie Alford. A bunt single by Christy moved the runner to third before the Panthers executed a suicide squeeze with second baseman Whitney Phillips batting to extend the lead to 4-1. Another walk loaded the bases to bring in freshman reliever DePriest. She got the first batter to strike out, but gave up three straight singles RBI singles shortstop Brenna Morrissey, Clifton and Coleman before forcing head coach Katie Flynn to turn to Kiefer. Kiefer got the ground ball she needed, but senior shortstop Ashley Burnham (Danvers, Mass./Danvers) rushed to turn the double play for an error before a hit-by-pitch allowed GSU to walk off with the win
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