HARRISONBURG, Va., March 14, 2013 – After playing its first 22 games away from home, the James Madison softball team returns home this weekend to host the JMU Invitational. Joining JMU at Veterans Memorial Park for the three-day tournament are Detroit, Fordham and Binghamton.
JMU is off to a 16-6 start to the season, tied for the best 22-game start in school history with the 2009 club that won the Colonial Athletic Association championship. The Dukes went 4-0 in true road games and 12-6 in neutral site meetings during their 22-game road trip.
On Wednesday, Madison swept a non-conference doubleheader at Virginia, winning game one 3-2 and game two 10-2 in six innings. Freshman left-hander Jailyn Ford (Hot Springs, Va./Bath County) and sophomore right-hander Heather Kiefer (Potomac Falls, Va./Potomac Falls) each tossed complete games in the circle to guide the team to victory.
In game two, JMU pounded out a season-high 15 hits, including the first career home run for freshman second baseman Hannah Hayes (LaCrosse, Va./Kenston Forest). Two players junior shortstop Caitlin Sandy (Fayetteville, N.C./Jack Britt) and sophomore utility Sarah Mooney (Huntersville, N.C./North Mecklenburg) had three hit games. Mooney went 3-for-3 with a walk, a run and three RBIs while Sandy went 3-for-4 with a double, a run and three RBIs.
Only four times in school history have the Dukes had more hits than the 15 they recorded in game two. The school record for hits in a game is 18 done in 2010 against UNCW.
Senior center fielder Jasmine Butler (Winter Garden, Fla./West Orange) comes into the weekend just one hits shy of tying Amber Kirk (2006-09) for third on the school’s all-time hit list. With three base hits, Butler will join Ashley Burnham (2009-12) and Katie George (2004-07) as the only players in school history to eclipse 200 hits.
JMU enters its fourth season in Veterans Memorial Park, owning a 34-26 mark in the new facility after going 14-8 at home in 2012. The Dukes are 2-1 in home openers in the building and 9-2 all-time in home openers.
This is the ninth time Madison is hosting its own tournament. In the previous eight iterations, the team has compiled a 25-14 record. Last year, it went 2-3 against Fordham, George Washington and Pittsburgh.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS
The Bearcats are 4-8 after winning two of their three games last weekend at the Miken Invitational in College Park, Md. Binghamton beat St. Johns and Radford but failed to hold on to a four-run, seventh-inning lead against Maryland, losing 10-9.
Freshman Lisa Cadogan and Sydney Harbaugh lead the Bearcats offensive attack. Cadogan has hit a home run in her last three games, while hitting a team-best .342 and adding eight RBIs. Harbaugh leads Binghamton with six steals in eight attempts and is hitting .324 with five runs scored.
In the circle, the Bearcats have a combined 5.11 ERA and .311 opponent’s batting average. Sophomore Demi Laney has started seven out of the twelve games thus far for Binghamton, recording a 1-2 record with a 4.75 ERA and 36 strikeouts. Senior Kate Price has made one start and nine appearances in relief, posting a team-best 4.50 ERA and a 2-4 record in 28 innings pitched. Senior Rhoda Marsteller has made four starts and holds a 6.88 ERA.
The Bearcats are led by head coach Michelle Burrell. In her fourth season with Binghamton, she owns a 73-79 record.
The Titans are 2-16, losers of ten straight games. Detroit will travel to Harrisonburg after playing a doubleheader against Morehead State on Thursday.
The Titans are led offensively by junior Sara Cupp. She is hitting .300 with two home runs, 15 hits and seven RBIs. Lead-off hitter Alyssa Schaub is the Titan’s top speed threat, leading the Horizon League with eight steals in ten attempts.
Five pitchers have pitched double-digit innings for Detroit, combining for a 5.29 ERA. Junior Julia Maksym leads the Titans with 41 1/3 innings pitched, recording a 0-5 record with a 5.42 ERA. Junior Karyn McCarty is 2-4 with a .338 batting average against in eleven appearances and six starts this season. Sophomore Kat Hoffman is the team ERA leader with a 4.28 ERA in 18 innings of work.
Head coach Liz Young is in her first season at the helm for the Titans.
The Rams are 12-9 and winners of seven in a row, including a 9-7 upset of No. 5 Texas to start the streak. Fordham went 5-0 at the USF Under Armour Showcase last weekend, shutting out their opponents in their last four games. On Wednesday, the Rams downed Chattanooga, 9-1.
The Rams offense is paced by their top two pitchers, senior Jamie LaBovick and sophomore Michelle Daubman. LaBovick earned Atlantic 10 Player of the Week honors this week and is hitting a team-best .392 with 12 runs scored and eight RBIs. Daubman is hitting .311 with two home runs and eight RBIs. Gabby Luety is the Rams top power threat, hitting .379 with six home runs and 18 RBIs.
Entering this weekend’s play, Daubman and LaBovick have combined to throw 40 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run. Daubman has pitched 26 innings without an earned run and earned Atlantic 10 Pitcher of the Week honors for her performance. On the season, Daubman is 5-3 with a 2.97 ERA and 50 strikeouts. Labovick is 7-6 with a 2.24 ERA and six complete games in ten starts.
The Rams are led by Bridget Orchard, who owns a 408-263-1 record in her 12th season as head coach with Fordham.
The Dukes are 3-7 against the Rams and have lost all five contests played in Harrisonburg. JMU lost twice to Fordham in last season’s JMU Invitational.
The Dukes are 5-1 with five consecutive wins against the Bearcats. JMU won 2-1 in 2011 on a walk-off single by Jasmine Butler in the last match-up against Binghamton.
JMU plays Detroit Mercy for the first time in the history of the softball program.
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