HARRISONBURG, Va., May 6, 2011 – Senior catcher Katie Spitzer (Broadway, Va./Broadway) went 6-for-7 with two doubles, two home runs and four RBIs to lead the James Madison softball team to a doubleheader split against Drexel at Veterans Memorial Park on Friday. The teams traded 9-3 decisions with Drexel winning game one and JMU taking the nightcap.
The Dukes improved 28-23 on the season and 7-12 in Colonial Athletic Association play while the Dragons ran their record to 15-27 and 7-13 in league play.
In game two, freshman pitcher Brittany Jeans (Camano Island, Wash./Stanwood) went the distance to earn the win and improve to 7-9. She allowed three runs, two earned, on seven hits and three walks while striking out three.
Shelby Taylor took the loss to drop to 4-12 for Drexel. She gave up six run on seven hits and a walk in two innings of relief. Hillary Allen allowed three runs on seven hits and a walk in four innings of relief while Shyann Beach lasted just two five pitches in the start. She walked a batter and threw three illegal pitches before being lifted for Taylor.
Spitzer led the way for JMU offensively in game two, finishing just a triple shy of the cycle. She went 4-for-4 with a double, two home runs, three runs scored and three RBIs. Junior second baseman Caitlen Manning (Prince George, Va./Prince George) went 2-for-4 with a home run, a run and two RBIs while sophomore right fielder Lori Botkin (Manassas, Va./Osbourn) doubled three times and drove in two.
Catcher Paige Collings went 2-for-4 with two RBIs to lead Drexel while first baseman Jenn Reading homered in three at-bats. Designated player Kelly Downes added two hits in three trips to the plate.
The Dragons struck for two runs in the top of the first to jump out to an early lead. They loaded the bases on a walk, a fielding error and an infield single before Collings ripped a two-run single through the hole in the left side.
The Dukes got both runs back in the bottom of the second as Spitzer led off the inning with a double to right-center. She moved to second on a single up the middle by sophomore center fielder Jasmine Butler (Winter Garden, Fla./West Orange) and scored on a wild pitch. After the wild pitch, the game was delayed 45 minutes by lightning. Botkin opened play following the delay with a double off the fence in left, scoring Butler and tying the game at 2-2.
The Dukes bats exploded for three straight home runs in the bottom of the third inning to open up a 6-2 lead. After freshman third baseman Caitlin Sandy (Fayetteville, N.C./Jack Britt) led off the inning with a single, Manning hit a two-run shot to dead center field for a 4-2 lead. Sophomore first baseman Haley Johnson (Ashburn, Va./Broad Run) and Spitzer followed with back-to-back solo shots to nearly the identical spot in left-center field. It was the first time in school history that three Dukes hit home runs in successive at-bats.
Drexel got a run back in the fourth on a solo home run Reading.
Spitzer added her second home run of the game, a two-run shot, in the bottom of the fifth to give JMU an 8-3 advantage. Freshman pinch runner Anna Klumpp (Culpeper, Va./Eastern View) scored on the play after Johnson was hit by a pitch to lead off the frame. It was the senior’s 20th career home run, making her just the third player in program history to reach that plateau. Butler and senior designated Lauren Robison (St. Leonard, Md./Calvert) kept the inning going with back-to-back singles before Butler capped the day’s scoring by touching home on a double down the left-field line by Botkin.
In game one, Hillary Allen went the distance for Drexel to earn the win and improve to 11-10. She allowed three unearned runs on 10 hits and two walks and did not strike out a batter.
Senior Olivia McPherson (Liberty, N.C./Southern Alamance) took the loss to drop to 11-13. She gave up nine runs on 11 hits and three walks while striking out four in 5 1/3 innings pitched. Jeans pitched 1 2/3 innings of shutout relief, giving up one hit and striking out two.
Offensively, the Dragons were led by right fielder Hanna Parrish who went 3-for-3 with a double, a walk, three runs scored and a RBI. Second baseman Rachel Campbell added two hits, two RBI and a run in two at-bats while Allen went 2-for-3 with two RBIs.
Johnson went 2-for-4 with a double, a run and a RBI to pace JMU. Spitzer went 2-for-3 with a double, a RBI and a walk while Sandy was 2-for-4 with a run scored.
Drexel took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning by taking advantage of a miscue in the JMU outfield. Parrish led off the game with a sharp hit to left field that was misplayed into a double. She moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a RBI ground-out by Allen.
The Dukes came back to score three runs in the bottom of the first. Redshirt senior left fielder Chel’sea Ryan (Henrico, Va./Sandston) reached first on a Dragon fielding error before scoring from first on a single by Sandy and another Drexel error. After a ground-out, Johnson doubled off the fence in left field to score Sandy before scoring on a double down the left-field line by Spitzer.
The Dragons got a run back in the top of the third inning. After Parrish drew a one-out walk, back-to-back singles by center fielder Laura Stagliano and Campbell loaded the bases to set up a RBI ground-out by Allen.
Drexel broke the game open in the top of the sixth, scoring seven runs on seven hits and two errors. Left fielder Katy Harrington started the rally with a one-out walk. She moved to second on an infield single by first baseman Jenn Reading before pinch runner Comfort Ahonkai scored on a single up the middle by shortstop Devon Metcalf. Reading scored and Metcalf advanced to third on a Madison fielding error on Metcalf’s base hit. The Dragons followed the error with four consecutive hits to open up a 7-3 lead and chase McPherson from the game. A RBI ground-out by Collings and a single by designated player Kelly Downes capped the seven-run frame.
# # #