HARRISONBURG, Va., April 2, 2013 – Freshman pitcher Jailyn Ford (Hot Springs, Va./Bath County) is the Colonial Athletic Association Rookie of the Week for the second consecutive week and the James Madison softball team received four votes in the NFCA/USA Today Top 25 Poll to highlight a busy Tuesday for the Dukes.
Ford’s Rookie of the Week accolade is her third of the season and her fifth overall conference honor this year. She was also the Rookie of the Week on Feb. 26 and March 26 and the Pitcher of the Week on Feb. 19 and March 12.
She contributed both in the circle and at the plate in leading JMU to a sweep over Drexel last weekend. As a pitcher she went 2-0 with a 0.72 ERA in two starts. She limited the Dragons to one run on three hits and six walks while striking out 13 in 9 2/3 innings of work. Opponents hit just .097 off the left-hander with just one extra-base hit. She started the weekend with a one-hit shutout, giving up a bunt single in six innings pitched. She concluded the series by pitching the first 3 2/3 innings, allowing one run on two hits and four walks.
Ford also dominated at the plate, hitting .500 (4-for-8) with three extra-base hits, four runs and seven RBIs. Two of her three extra-base hits were home runs as she slugged 1.375 for the week. She hit a two-run home run in the first game against the Dragons before adding her first career grand slam to end game two. The Hot Springs, Va., native hit safely in all three games and ran her hitting streak to six games.
Hofstra’s Erin Trippi is the CAA Player of the Week while her teammate, Olivia Galati, garnered Pitcher of the Week honors.
JMU received votes in a Top 25 poll for the second time in school history, Tuesday. It also received a single vote in the NFCA/USA Today poll on Feb. 26. The Dukes picked up four votes this week, tying them for 32nd in the country with in-state rival Virginia Tech.
In addition to its appearance in the polls, JMU is ranked 41st in this week’s NCAA Ratings Percent Index (RPI) a modest drop from 37 last week.
On Wednesday, Madison puts its eight-game winning streak on the line as it travels to Chapel Hill, N.C. for a doubleheader with # 25 North Carolina. First pitch at the Anderson Softball Stadium is scheduled for 4 p.m.
The Dukes are 19-6 away from home this season, including a perfect 7-0 in true road games. They have not played in North Carolina yet this season, but will play their next five games in the Tar Heel State. After facing UNC on Wednesday, JMU travels to Wilmington, N.C., to continue CAA play against UNCW on Saturday.
SCOUTING NORTH CAROLINA
The Tar Heels are 25-13 overall and 6-3 in the ACC. Over the weekend, UNC took the series against Virginia Tech, winning two of three at home. The loss to Virginia Tech was North Carolina’s first loss at Anderson Stadium, giving them a 13-1 mark at home for the season.
The Tar Heels are batting .306 as a team this season, with seven starters hitting .298 or better. Senior Constance Orr is the Tar Heels top power threat, batting .343 with 33 RBIs and a team-high nine home runs. Senior Haleigh Dickey is the leading hitter for UNC, batting .349 with 26 RBIs and seven home runs. Erin Satterfield has scored a team-high 27 runs and is batting .304, while Tisha Mahon is the leading speed threat with 10 steals in 12 attempts.
In the circle, Junior Lori Spingola has started 25 games for the Tar Heels, throwing 18 complete games. The right-hander is 15-10 with a 2.70 ERA, and is ranked ninth in the country in strikeouts with 173. Junior Ashley Bone has made 17 appearances, recording a 6-2 record and a 2.87 ERA in 39 innings.
North Carolina is led by Donna J. Papa, who is in her 28th season with the team. In her 31-year career Papa owns a 1,043-560-5 record.
UNC leads the all-time series with JMU, 4-0. Three of the four meetings have occurred at Anderson Stadium in Chapel Hill with the fourth occurring at a neutral site. The teams last met in 2010 with JMU dropping a pair of decisions to UNC during the Tar Heel Invitational. North Carolina won game one 8-0 in five innings before taking the second game 5-1.
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