NEWARK, Del., April 10, 2011 – James Madison and Delaware combined for nine runs in the first inning, but zero runs over the final six as UD defeated JMU 5-4 in the series finale at the Delaware Softball Stadium in Newark, Del., on Sunday.
JMU lost its first Colonial Athletic Association series of the season to drop to 24-12 overall and 6-3 in league play. Delaware improved to 13-25 and 4-5 in the CAA.
Anne Marie Pagano limited the Dukes to no runs on five hits and three walks in 6 1/3 innings of relief to earn the win. She struck out two and improved to 3-4 on the season. Kathleen Conway drew the start and gave up four runs on two hits and two walk in 2/3 innings pitched.
Freshman Brittany Jeans (Camano Island, Wash./Stanwood) took the loss to drop to 5-6 for Madison. She gave up five runs on four hits and two walks in 1/3 innings pitched. Senior Olivia McPherson (Liberty, N.C./Southern Alamance) pitched 5 2/3 innings of shutout relief. She limited the Blue Hens to four hits while striking out two.
Offensively, Delaware was led by right fielder Rachel Jones who went 2-for-3 with a triple, a run and two RBIs. Center fielder Lara Andrews, designated player Amanda Stacevicz and catcher Gina Knutson each added a single and a run scored in three plate appearances.
Senior catcher Katie Spitzer (Broadway, Va./Broadway) paced the Dukes, going 1-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs. Junior second baseman Caitlen Manning (Prince George, Va./Prince George) had a double and a run scored while sophomore center fielder Jasmine Butler (Winter Garden, Fla./West Orange) walked twice and scored a run.
JMU jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first on the 4th home run of the season by Spitzer. After Conway retired the first two batters of the inning on just four pitches, she gave up a double to left-center field Manning. A passed ball advanced the runner to third before Butler worked a walk to put runners on the corners with two outs. Spitzer drove the second pitch she saw from the freshman left-hander out over the fence in center field for the early lead. It was the 17th homer of Spitzer’s career, tying her with Amber Kirk (2006-09) for third all-time.
The Dukes would add another run in the inning on a RBI single by sophomore left fielder Lori Botkin (Manassas, Va./Osbourn). Sophomore designated player Megan Shinaberry (Davie, Fla./McCarthy) scored on the play. She reached on a walk and moved to second on a single to left field by sophomore first baseman Haley Johnson (Ashburn, Va./Broad Run).
Delaware capitalized on a pair walks and a JMU error to come back to take the lead in the bottom of the first. Jeans issued free passes to two of the first three batters she faced. Stacevicz followed with a single back up the middle and the ball rolled under Butler’s glove for an error allowing two runs to score. A single to left field by Knutson put runners on the corners before right fielder Rachel Jones hit a triple into the right-center field gap, scoring two. A single by third baseman Michelle Grap plated Jones and chased Jeans from the game in favor of McPherson.
The Dukes are back in action on Wednesday, April 13, as they welcome in Liberty University for a nonconference doubleheader at Veterans Memorial Park.
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