HARRISONBURG, Va., May 7, 2012 – Looking for the second conference championship in program history, the James Madison softball team travels to Hempstead, N.Y., this week for the 2012 Colonial Athletic Association Championships.
The second-seeded Dukes open the double elimination event on Wednesday with a 5 p.m. game against third-seeded Georgia State. Regular season champion and top-seeded Hofstra takes on fourth-seeded Delaware in the other opening round game. The winners of Wednesday’s games face each other on Thursday at 12 p.m. with the winner advancing to the championship game. The loser moves to the loser’s bracket to face off with the winner of the game between Wednesday’s losers. The winner of that game advances to the championship on Friday where it must win twice to claim the conference crown.
JMU finished its season with a 29-24 overall record and a 15-5 mark in the CAA. The second-place finish is the highest for the team since 2007 when it went 17-3 and finished tied for first. When the team won the championship in 2009, it finished as the conference’s four seed and went 3-0 in the league tournament.
The Dukes went 4-4 against this week’s potential opponents, winning two of three against both Georgia State and Delaware while dropping both games against Hofstra. Madison is 4-9 all-time in tournament play against all three teams. It is 2-2 against Georgia State and 2-5 all-time vs. Hofstra. Delaware is 2-0 against the Dukes, but the teams have not met in the CAA Championship since 2004.
Last weekend JMU swept its final series of the regular season, taking three games from Towson to knock them out of contention for the league tournament. The team won game one 1-0 behind a shutout and a career-high 10 strikeouts from freshman pitcher Heather Kiefer (Potomac Falls, Va./Potomac Falls) before grabbing game two 7-2 with freshman pitcher Reba DePriest (Apache Junction, Ariz./Skyline) striking out a career-high eight in four innings of work to earn the win. On Saturday, the team’s played a wild series finale, going 11 innings before JMU walked off with the win.
Freshman left fielder Morgan Heath (Yorktown, Va./Grafton) tied a school record with four hits in the 11-inning affair, going 4-for-6 with a double and a run scored. She tied fellow freshman Sarah Mooney (Huntersville, N.C./North Mecklenburg) along with several others for the mark.
DePriest tossed a career-high 9 1/3 innings in the win while junior right-hander Cara Stecher (New Castle, Del./Caravel Academy) pitched the final 1 2/3 innings to earn the win.
WRHU, Hofstra’s student run radio station will be broadcasting all the action from Hempstead this weekend and fans can listen in via JMU’s MadiZONE. Live Stats will run through GoHofstra.com and JMUSports.com. Fans can also follow along in the action on Twitter by following @JMUSports.
CAA TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE
Wednesday, May 9
G1 - #1 Hofstra vs. #4 Delaware, 2 p.m.
G2 - #2 JMU vs. #3 Georgia State, 5 p.m.
Thursday, May 10
G3 - Winner G1 vs. Winner G2, 12 p.m.
G4 - Loser G1 vs. Loser G2, 2:30 p.m.
G5 - Winner G4 vs. Loser G3, 5 p.m.
Friday, May 11
G6 - Winner G3 vs. Winner G5, 12 p.m.
G7 - If necessary
Saturday, May 12
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