CLEARWATER, Fla., Feb. 23, 2013 – Freshman left-hander Jailyn Ford (Hot Springs, Va./Bath County) twirled a two-hit shutout in leading the James Madison softball team to a 1-0 win over No. 14 South Florida as part of a doubleheader split on day two of the NFCA Leadoff Classic Saturday. JMU started the day with a 3-1 loss to Indiana at the Eddie C. Moore Softball Complex in Clearwater, Fla.
The win over 14th-ranked (ESPN/USA Softball poll) USF is the highest-rank opponent JMU has defeated in its 11-year history. The Dukes ran their record to 7-2 overall and 3-1 in the NCFA tournament. Indiana improved to 9-4 while USF dropped to 6-6.
Ford faced just one over the minimum in throwing her third shutout of the season. She improved to 3-0 while giving up just the two hits and striking out six.
Sara Nevins took the loss to drop to 2-2. She allowed one run on seven hits and three walks. She struck out eight in a complete-game effort.
Freshman catcher Erica Field (Manassas, Va./Osbourn Park) went 2-for-2 and was intentionally walked to lead the Madison offense. Ford added a single and a RBI while senior center fielder Jasmine Butler (Winter Garden, Fla./West Orange) went 1-for-3 with a run scored.
Centerfielder D’Anna Devine and right fielder Lee Ann Spivey had the only two hits for the Bulls. Spivey beat out an infield single in the first while Devine had a one-out seeing-eye single in the seventh.
JMU strung together three hits in a span of four batters to plate the game’s only run in the top of the first. Butler started the rally with a one-out infield single. She moved to third on a single to right by Field and scored on a single to right field by Ford.
Butler’s run was her 100th career run scored, making her the fourth player in school history to reach triple digits in runs scored.
The Bulls never really threatened the Dukes’ lead. They never advanced a runner past first base as Ford dominated in the circle, including retiring 17 consecutive batters at one point.
In game one of the day, Indiana scored the first three runs of the game and fought off a late JMU rally for the 3-1 victory.
Lora Olson earned the win for IU to improve to 5-1 on the season. She limited the Dukes to one run on seven hits and two walks while striking out six. Meaghan Murphy pitched a perfect 1 2/3 innings in relief to earn her first save of the season.
Sophomore right-hander Reba DePriest (Apache Junction, Ariz./Skyline) fell to 1-1 with the loss. She allowed two unearned runs on one hit and two walks in 2 2/3 innings. Sophomore Miranda Kemp (Haymarket, Va./Battlefield (Iowa State)) made her JMU debut in relief. She gave up a run on four hits and a walk while striking out one.
Five different players recorded a hit for the Hoosiers led by second baseman Shannon Cawley going 1-for-3 with a walk and a RBI. First baseman Kassi Farmer added a walk, a single and a run scored while left fielder Kelsey Brannon contributed a 1-for-3 day with a run scored.
Sophomore left fielder Morgan Heath (Yorktown, Va./Grafton) paced the JMU attack with two hits and a RBI. Sophomore designated player Sarah Mooney (Huntersville, N.C./North Mecklenburg) doubled and walked in two official at-bats and junior shortstop Caitlin Sandy (Fayetteville, N.C./Jack Britt) finished 1-for-3 with a run.
Indiana capitalized on a pair of JMU fielding errors to jump ahead 2-0 in the top of the third. Brannon led off with a single to right-center. After a couple of outs, Farmer worked a walk to put two on with two out. A sharp ground ball to second should have ended the frame, but a Madison miscue allowed Brannon to score. The Dukes made a pitching change, but Kemp’s second pitch led to a ground ball to short that was misplayed for a second run-scoring error.
A one-out walk in the top of the fourth helped the Hoosiers extend their lead. Shortstop Shelby Gogreve worked the free pass and moved up to second on a two-out single by right fielder Bri Meyer. Cawley brought Gogreve home with another single up the middle to make it 3-0.
The Dukes played small ball to get on the board in the bottom of the fifth. Sandy led off with an infield single and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and a stolen base. After a strikeout, Heath beat out an infield hit to the second baseman for the RBI single.
Madison threatened the IU lead in the bottom of the sixth inning, loading the bases with one out, but Meyer threw out a runner trying to score on a sacrifice fly to extinguish the danger.
JMU closes out the NFCA Leadoff Classic on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. against No. 12 Louisiana-Lafayette.
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