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CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The James Madison softball team recorded two come-from-behind wins to open up the NFCA Leadoff Classic with a doubleheader sweep on Friday. JMU started the day with a 7-5 win over DePaul before closing things with a 4-3, eight-inning win over UC Davis.
The Dukes improved to 2-0 in the tournament and 6-1 on the season while dropping DePaul to 5-6 and UC Davis to 5-7.
Against UCD, sophomore right-hander Heather Kiefer earned the complete-game victory to improve to 2-0. She allowed three runs, one earned, on eight hits and three walks while striking out one in eight innings of work.
Leah Munden took the loss for the Aggies to drop to 2-2. She gave up four runs, two earned, on nine hits in 7 1/3 innings pitched. She walked one and struck out four. Jessica Thweatt tossed 2/3 innings of perfect relief.
Sophomore designated player Sarah Mooney paced the Madison offense, going 1-for-2 with a run, a RBI and a walk. Freshman first baseman Jailyn Ford went 2-for-3 with a double, a run and a RBI while freshman third baseman Erica Field had two hits and a run scored.
The Dukes scored the game-winning run in the top of the eighth on a sacrifice fly. Senior center fielder Jasmine Butler started the inning on second due to the international tiebreaker rule. She moved to third on a single through the left side by Field and scored when Mooney lifted a fly ball down the right-field line for the RBI.
In the day's opening game, JMU and DePaul combined to score 10 runs in the first inning, with Madison eventually holding on for the 7-5 win.
Mooney earned the win for the Dukes to improve to 1-1 on the season. She limited the Blue Demons to just two hits and two walks in 4 2/3 innings of shutout relief. She struck out two of the 16 batters she faced. Ford drew the start and pitched the first 2 1/3 innings. She ceded five runs, three earned, on five hits and two walks while striking out two.
Kristen Verdun took the loss for DePaul to drop to 3-4. She gave up seven runs, two earned, on seven hits. The left-hander walked one and struck out three.
Field ignited the Dukes' offense by going 2-for-3 with two doubles, a run and two RBIs. Sophomore left fielder Morgan Heath added a hit and a run scored while senior third baseman Haley Johnson had a run scored and a RBI.
The Dukes return to play on Saturday with two more games in the NFCA Leadoff Classic. They take on Indiana at 10:30 a.m. followed by a showdown with No. 17 South Florida at 3:30 p.m.