Daily Staff Report - firstname.lastname@example.org
RICHMOND -- After combining to limit their opponents to just three runs in five games last week, James Madison sophomore pitcher Heather Kiefer and freshman pitcher/first baseman Jailyn Ford each earned a weekly honor from the Colonial Athletic Association on Tuesday.
Kiefer collected CAA Pitcher of the Week Honors for the second time in her career while Ford collected her fourth CAA honor of the year as the Rookie of the Week. Ford was also the Rookie of the Week on Feb. 26 and is a two-time conference Pitcher of the Week.
Kiefer garnered Pitcher of the Week after tossing 16 1/3 innings of shutout ball through three appearances. She went 2-0 with a save, limiting her opponents to four hits and two walks, and striking out seven. Kiefer tossed her first shutout of the season in a 2-0 win over Princeton on Wednesday. She followed that up with a one-hit shutout of Towson in the second game of the conference series before closing her week with 2 1/3 innings of perfect relief to earn her first save of the year. The Potomac Falls native did not allow a base runner over her final 8 1/3 innings against Towson, and never allowed a runner beyond first base.
Kiefer has allowed just one earned run in her last seven appearances, spanning 31 2/3 innings pitched.
Ford produced both in the circle and at the plate on her way to earning Rookie of the Week honors. She went 3-0 with a 0.75 ERA in the circle while batting .333 with a home run, three runs scored and two RBIs in the batter's box. She allowed just eight hits and struck out 27 in 18 2/3 innings pitched, including a two-hit shutout in a 1-0 win over Princeton. She followed that up by tying her own school record with 16 strikeouts in a 5-2 over Towson. This season she is 10-1 with a 1.55 ERA and 108 strikeouts in 76 2/3 innings pitched.
Ford recorded a hit in each of JMU's games against Towson. She finished the series 4-for-8 with two walks, three runs and two RBIs. She hit her fifth homer of the season in the series opener against the Tigers which ranks her second on the team.
JMU returns to conference play this weekend as they host Drexel for a three-game set. The Dukes and Dragons play a doubleheader on Friday beginning at 3 p.m. before closing the series on Saturday at noon.