WASHINGTON, D.C., April 20, 2011 - Senior pitcher Olivia McPherson (Liberty, N.C./Southern Alamance) limited George Washington to three runs over 9 2/3 innings to lead the James Madison softball team to a doubleheader sweep on Wednesday. McPherson earned the win in game one in a 5-2 JMU win before getting the save in Madison's 2-1 win in the night cap.
The Dukes closed the non-conference portion of their schedule with a 21-11 mark and improved to 27-17 overall. The Colonials dropped to 13-21-1 with the two losses.
In game two, freshman right-hander Brittany Jeans (Camano Island, Wash./Stanwood) shutout George Washington over 4 1/3 innings to earn the win. She allowed five hits and five walks in improving to 6-8 on the season. McPherson gave up one run on three hits in 2 2/3 innings of relief to earn her second save of the season. The senior struck out three and did not walk a batter.
Heidi Penna took the loss to drop to 3-9. She gave up two runs on four hits in 3 1/3 innings pitched. Courtney Martin and Kara Clauss combined to limit the Dukes to two hits and a walk in 3 2/3 innings of shutout relief.
Sophomore first baseman Haley Johnson (Ashburn, Va./Broad Run) led the offensive attack, going 2-for-3 with an RBI. Freshman third baseman Caitlin Sandy (Fayetteville, N.C./Jack Britt) doubled and scored a run while senior designated player Lauren Robison (St. Leonard, Md./Calvert) went 1-for-2 with a RBI.
GW got all of its production from the top of its order as the two-three-four hitters combined to go 7-for-11 with a run scored. Shortstop Katie Terrazas led the way, going 3-for-4 with a trio of singles. Designated player Lauren Wilson went 2-for-3 with a run and right fielder Autumn Taylor had two hits in four plate appearances.
JMU struck first with a run in the top of the third. Sandy laced a double to left-center to lead off the inning and scored on a one-out single up the middle by Robison.
JMU added to its lead with a run in the fourth. Junior second baseman Caitlen Manning (Prince George, Va./Prince George) singled to center to start the rally. She stole second and moved to third on a ground-out. Johnson plated Manning with a single back up the middle for the 2-0 lead.
George Washington put the tying run on third with two outs in the seventh, but McPherson stranded her there to preserve the win. Wilson and Terrazas started the inning with back-to-back singles to put two runners on with nobody out. McPherson got Taylor to strike out before both runners advanced a base on a wild pitch. First baseman Sandi Moynihan lofted a fly ball to right field for a sacrifice fly to make it 2-1, but McPherson induced a ground-out by third baseman Tara Fogarty to end the game.
In game one, McPherson threw seven innings of six-hit ball for her 10th complete game of the season. She improved to 11-8 after giving up two runs on six hits and a walk while striking out seven.
Penna took the loss for GW to drop to 3-8. She allowed five runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out three in six innings or work. Clauss walked one and struck out one in an inning of relief.
Offensively, sophomore center fielder Jasmine Butler (Winter Garden, Fla./West Orange) went 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI to lead the Dukes. Sophomore left fielder Lori Botkin (Manassas, Va./Osbourn) chipped in with a hit, a run, a RBI, a walk and a sacrifice while redshirt senior right fielder Chel’sea Ryan (Sandston, Va./Henrico) added two hits, a run, a RBI and two steals in three at bats.
Left fielder Chelsea Lenhart went 2-for-4 with a run to lead the Colonials while second baseman Julie Orlandi was 2-for-3 with a RBI. Taylor had one hit and a RBI in three trips to the plate.
JMU brought 10 batters to the plate in the first to take a 4-0 lead. Junior shortstop Ashley Burnham (Danvers, Mass./Danvers) drew a lead-off walk before moving to second on a bunt single by Botkin. Both runner’s advance a base on a double steal before a ground-out and a single by Butler made it 2-0. After a fielder’s choice and a hit-by-pitch, freshman designated player Catherine Clavin (Puquoson, Va./Puquoson) singled to center for a 3-0 lead. Ryan capped the inning by beating out an infield single for a RBI and a 4-0 advantage.
The Colonials used a pair of hits to get a run back in the bottom of the first. Lenhart lined the first pitch she saw to left field for a lead-off single. She moved to second on a sacrifice bunt before scoring on a single up the middle by Taylor.
George Washington used two more singles in the second inning to get another run back. Third baseman Tara Fogarty led off the inning with a single up the middle and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. Orlandi followed with a single back up the middle, scoring Fogarty from second.
Ryan’s speed manufactured a run for the Dukes in the top of the fifth inning. The senior bunted for a single to start the inning and stole both second and third. She scored on a suicide squeeze bunt by Botkin to give JMU a 5-2 lead. The two steals gave Ryan 20 on the season, breaking the single-season record of 19 previously held by Megan Forbes (2008-09).
The Dukes are back in action this weekend as they host Georgia State for a three-game CAA series at Veterans Memorial Park. Friday’s doubleheader starts at 5 p.m. and will be JMU’s annual StrikeOut Cancer event.
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