HARRISONBURG, Va., March 12, 2013 – James Madison softball sophomore pitcher/utility Sarah Mooney (Huntersville, N.C./North Mecklenburg) and freshman pitcher/first baseman Jailyn Ford (Hot Springs, Va./Bath County) garnered a pair of Colonial Athletic Association Weekly Honors on Tuesday after helping lead JMU to a 5-0 record at last weekend’s Chanticleer Challenge.
Mooney was named the CAA Player of the Week for the second time in her career after hitting .625 with with five home runs and 12 RBIs. Ford claimed Pitcher of the Week accolades for the second time this season. She went 1-0 with a save and 20 strikeouts in 10 innings pitched. It was her third weekly honor this year, also garnering Rookie of the Week accolades on Feb. 26.
JMU swept the tournament, winning twice each over Middle Tennessee State and Georgetown, and concluding the event with a win over Coastal Carolina. Mooney went 10-for-16 at the plate, adding five runs, a sacrifice fly and a stolen base. She hits safely in all five games and finished with a 1.563 slugging percentage and a .588 on-base percentage. In the first game against Georgetown, she went 3-for-3 with two home runs and three RBIs. Her nine total bases established a new school record and she tied the school record for homers in a game. The sophomore from Huntersville, N.C., also set a school record for consecutive games with a home run with four.
Ford limited her opponents to four hits and three walks while striking out 20 in 10 innings pitched. She started her week with a three-inning save in an 8-2 win over Georgetown. The rookie struck out four and allowed two hits and two walks in recording her first career save. Two days later, Ford struck out a school record 16 in tossing a two-hit shutout against Coastal Carolina. She only allowed two batters to advance past first base and only three to reach base at all while throwing her fourth shutout of the year.
The duo leads the Dukes into a Wednesday doubleheader against Virginia at The Park in Charlottesville, Va. Game one starts at 4 p.m.
Madison carries a 14-6 record into the showdown with its in-state rival. JMU has won five straight and is now 2-0 in true road games. The 14-6 mark is tied for the best 20-game start in school history with the 2009 club.
Overall, the Dukes rank in the top 60 in the nation in eight categories, including second in steals per game. They are averaging 3.10 steals per game, trailing only Louisiana Tech at 3.19 per game. The Dukes are 37th in earned run average (2.03), 41st in double plays turned per game (0.40) and home runs per game (0.90), 43rd in slugging percentage (.461), 44th in win percentage (.700), 46th in batting average (.304) and 57th in fielding percentage (.967).
Three players are ranked in the top 15 in individual categories for JMU. Ford ranks 10th in the nation in strikeouts per game, averaging 10.0 per seven innings. Senior center fielder Jasmine Butler (Winter Garden, Fla./West Orange) is 12th in the country in steals per game. She is averaging 0.75 thefts while freshman catcher Erica Field’s (Manassas, Va./Osbourn Park) three sacrifice flies ranks sixth.
The Cavaliers enter Wednesday’s doubleheader action with a 9-10 record on the season. Virginia opened ACC play at home last weekend, dropping the first two games to Georgia Tech before winning the final game of the series 4-2.
The Cavaliers have struggled offensively through their first 19 games, batting .199 as a team. Junior Marcy Bowden is the team’s leading hitter, batting .296 while adding six RBIs, seven runs scored, and three home runs. Sophomore Megan Harris has a team-high 11 runs scored, hitting .245 with three home runs, while batting primarily in the clean-up spot.Virginia is led in the circle by two-time All-ACC pitcher Melanie Mitchell. The senior right-hander became UVA’s all-time strikeout leader with 934 in a 4-2 complete game win over Georgia Tech on Sunday. Mitchell is 7-6 with a 2.14 ERA this season, pitching ten complete games with 103 strikeouts in 85 innings. Freshman Aimee Chapdelaine has made five starts for the Cavaliers, recording a 2-3 record and 5.44 ERA in 36 innings of work.
Eileen Schmidt is in her sixth season as head coach of Virginia, with a record of 133-150.
The Dukes are 3-13 all-time against the Cavaliers. JMU has lost their last three match-ups against Virginia, including a pair of one-run defeats. JMU last played Virginia in 2011, losing 6-0 in Charlottesville.
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