LOUISVILLE, KY., May 16, 2013 – The James Madison softball team continued to compile hardware in the 2013 postseason as four Dukes were named to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division I All-Northeast Region as announced by the NFCA on Thursday. Sophomore utility player Sarah Mooney (Huntersville, N.C./North Mecklenburg) and freshman pitcher/first baseman Jailyn Ford (Hot Springs, Va./Bath County) were named First Team All-Region while senior outfielder Jasmine Butler (Winter Garden, Fla./West Orange) and sophomore pitcher Heather Kiefer (Potomac Falls, Va./Potomac Falls) garnered Second Team accolades.
The quartet was four of 263 players from 137 teams across the nation to be selected to All-Region teams. The award honors softball student-athletes from the Association’s 10 regions with first and second teams selected from each region.
Mooney, the CAA Player of the Year and a 2012 Second Team All-Region selection, has orchestrated one of the best offensive seasons in school history by hitting .413 with a .772 slugging percentage and a .459 on-base percentage. She adds school records with 17 home runs and 67 RBIs to go with 43 runs, nine doubles, 16 walks and 16 stolen bases. The Huntersville, N.C., native became the second player since 2006 to win the CAA Triple Crown while starting at five positions in the field for the Dukes. In CAA play, Mooney raised her game by hitting .456 with seven home runs, 20 runs scored and 27 RBIs. She was also named to the CAA All-Tournament team after hitting two home runs, scoring three runs and driving in four.
Ford, the third player in school history to be named the CAA Rookie of the Year, contributes both offensively and in the circle for Madison. She batting .375 with 26 extra-base hits, 37 runs scored and 45 RBIs. The rookie added 11 doubles, one triple, 14 home runs, 15 walks and nine stolen bases. As a pitcher she went 23-5 with a save and a 1.66 ERA in 29 starts. Ford added 21 complete games, eight shutouts, 199 strikeouts in 177 innings pitched. The left-hander tied or set 17 school records in her first year with Madison, including single-season wins and strikeouts, as well as single-game strikeouts (16 – twice) and 12 different rookie records. In CAA play, Ford went 11-2 with a 1.41 ERA to go with a .450 batting average, eight home runs and 22 RBIs. She was named to the CAA All-Tournament team after going 2-1 in three starts in the circle.
Butler was named All-Region for the second time in her career after hitting .359 with a team-best 47 runs and a school record 40 steals. The Winter Garden, Fla., native added two doubles, two triples, a home run, nine RBIs, 13 walks and six sacrifice bunts during her senior season. This season she set a school record for career hits with 232 and career multi-hit games with 67. Butler joins Mooney and former shortstop Ashley Burnham (2009-12) as the only players to be named All-Region more than once.
Kiefer collects Second Team All-Region accolades after being named Second Team All-CAA earlier this month. She went 14-7 with a save and a 1.40 ERA in 25 appearances this year. The right-hander limited her opponents to a .211 batting average, adding 14 complete games, four shutouts, 61 strikeouts and just 25 walks in 129 2/3 innings pitched. She raised her game in CAA play by going 7-1 with a 0.88 ERA and a .174 opponent’s batting average in eight starts and 12 appearances against league foes.
The four All-Region nominees are the most in program history for JMU, surpassing the three honorees in 2007. This also marks the first time JMU has had two players on the NFCA All-Region First Team.
Five teams saw all six of their nominated players earn all-region accolades: No. 1 Oklahoma, No. 3 Oregon, No. 4 Arizona State, No. 6 Texas and Hofstra (received votes in the final regular season poll). The Ducks placed a nation-best five of their players on the first team in the Pacific Region, while the fourth-rated Sun Devils, No. 5 Tennessee, the sixth-ranked Longhorns, No. 9 Alabama, Fordham and Hofstra followed closely behind with four first-team nods each.
The 2013 NFCA Division I All-America teams will be announced at 4 p.m. CDT on Wednesday, May 29, via NFCA.org.
To view all of the 2013 NFCA Division I All-Region teams, please click here or copy, cut and paste the following link into your web browser.
The Dukes open up postseason play on Friday as the play North Carolina State in the opening round of the Knoxville Regional in the NCAA Tournament. This is the second time Madison has advanced to the NCAA Tournament and its first time receiving an at-large bid. Game one of the Knoxville Regional is scheduled for a 3:30 p.m. start time at Sherri Parker Stadium on the campus of the University of Tennessee.
NFCA All-Northeast Region
P – Olivia Galati, Hofstra
P – Taryn Ashway, St. Joseph’s
C – Stephanie Pasquale, Temple
1B – Tiffany Meeks, Massachusetts
2B – Alex Reynolds, Army
3B – Jess Hirschbuhl, Hofstra
SS – Sarah Prezioso, Temple
OF – Tessa Ziemba, Hofstra
OF – Caryn Bailey, Hofstra
OF – Jayme Mask, Boston University
UT/P – Jailyn Ford, James Madison
DP/UT – Sarah Mooney, James Madison
P – Brittany MacFawn, Albany
P – Heather Kiefer, James Madison
P – Morgan Lashley, Army
P – Kristen Rumley, Dartmouth
C – Erin Trippi, Hofstra
C – Lauren Liseth, Fairfield
C – Sarah Onorato, Yale
2B – Hilary Hubert, Dartmouth
3B – Kasey Lange, Harvard
SS – Becca Bigler, Hofstra
OF – Lauren Guy, Bryant
OF – Jasmine Butler, James Madison
OF – Cyndil Matthew, Massachusetts
UT/P – Nicole Sidor, Sacred Heart
DP/UT – Jordan Paolucci, Quinipiac
# # #