HARRISONBURG, Va., May 4, 2013 – Freshman pitcher Jailyn Ford (Hot Springs, Va./Bath County) tossed a one-hit shutout and set a school record for single-season strikeouts as she led the James Madison softball team to an 8-0, five-inning win over Georgia State in the regular season finale at Veterans Memorial Park on Saturday.
JMU completed the series sweep, as it improved to 39-13 overall and 18-3 in Colonial Athletic Association play. Both win totals set school records, and the Dukes head into next week’s CAA Championship as the No. 2 seed. Georgia State finishes its final season in the CAA with a 36-19 record and a 13-8 mark in the league.
Ford tossed her eighth shutout of the season as she improved to 21-4 on the season. The left-hander limited GSU to one hit and one walk while striking out five in five innings of work. She finishes the regular season with 189 strikeouts, breaking the record she shared with Meredith Felts (2006-09) coming into the day.
Kaitlyn Medlam took the loss for the Panthers, dropping to 18-8 overall. She allowed eight runs on 11 hits in 4 1/3 innings of work. She struck out three and walked one.
Offensively the Dukes had five players finish with two hits led by sophomore third baseman Sarah Mooney (Huntersville, N.C./North Mecklenburg). Mooney went 2-for-3 with a home run, two runs and two RBIs. Senior center fielder Jasmine Butler (Winter Garden, Fla./West Orange) added two hits, two runs and a stolen base while senior designated player Megan Shinaberry (Davie, Fla./McCarthy) went 2-for-3 with a run and two RBIs. Junior shortstop Caitlin Sandy (Fayetteville, N.C./Jack Britt) and freshman catcher Erica Field (Manassas, Va./Osbourn Park) also finished with a pair of hits for the Dukes.
Designated player Brenna Morrissey had the sole hit for GSU. She went 1-for-2 with a single. Left fielder Ashley Christy drew a walk in two trips to the plate while catcher Callie Alford reached base once on a fielding error.
For the third straight game, JMU ended the first inning with a lead in hand. The Dukes scored three times in the bottom of the first, including a two-run home run from Mooney. Sophomore left fielder Morgan Heath (Yorktown, Va./Grafton) led off the game with a walk. She stole second and moved to third on a single by Butler. Butler stole second and Heath came in to score on a Panther throwing error as they attempted to pick Heath off at third. Mooney hit the next pitch she saw out over the fence in left field for her 15th home run of the season and the 24th of her career.
The Dukes added two runs to the lead in the third inning on a two-out single by Field. Butler and Mooney started the frame with back-to-back singles and moved to third on a fly out. Medlam got the next batter to strikeout, but Field came through with the two-out single to left-center for two RBIs.
JMU put the game away in the fifth inning as Shinaberry drove in two with a single to center before junior pinch hitter Catherine Clavin (Puquoson, Va./Puquoson) ended the game with a walk-off single to right-center field.
The Dukes head up to Hempstead, N.Y. for next week’s CAA Championship. The second-seeded Dukes take on third-seeded Delaware in the opening round on Wednesday at 5 p.m. CAA.TV will provide a live video webcast of each tournament game.
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