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JMU roundup: Dukes win twice in softball
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. -- James Madison's softball team hit six home runs on the day and outscored its opponents 21-2 as it swept both ends of a doubleheader on day one of the Chanticleer Challenge in Myrtle Beach, S.C., on Friday. JMU won game one 13-0 in five innings over Middle Tennessee State before closing the day with an 8-2 win over Georgetown.
The Dukes snapped their modest two-game losing streak while improving to 11-6 on the season. MTSU dropped both games it played Friday to fall to 1-15. Georgetown went 1-1 on the day to run its record to 4-15.
In game two, sophomore right-hander Sarah Mooney tossed four solid innings in the circle and went 3-for-3 at the plate with two home runs to guide Madison to the win. Mooney earned the win, improving to 2-1 on the year. She allowed two runs on two hits and two walks while striking out six. Freshman left-hander Jailyn Ford earned her first career save. She twirled three innings of shutout relief, giving up two hits and two walks. The rookie struck out four.
In addition to going 3-for-3 with two home runs, Mooney finished with two runs scored and three RBIs. Freshman catcher Erica Field added a 2-for-4 showing with a home run, two runs and two RBIs while Ford had a double, a walk, two steals and a run scored.
In game one, the Dukes hit three more home runs, including a pair of three-run shots from Morgan Heath on their way to a five-inning win over MTSU.
The offense proved to be more than enough for JMU pitchers, sophomores Heather Kiefer and Miranda Kemp. The duo combined for five shutout innings, limiting the Blue Raiders to just four base runners. Kiefer earned the win to improve to 3-3. She gave up one hit and struck out three in three innings of work. Kemp pitched the final two innings in relief and allowed one hit and struck out three.
JMU returns to action for day two of the Chanticleer Challenge on Saturday. The Dukes take on Georgetown at 10 a.m. and Middle Tennessee State at noon.
RICHMOND -- Senior point guard Devon Moore and fellow senior forward Rayshawn Goins along with freshman guard Andre Nation were each recognized as the Colonial Athletic Association held its annual men's basketball awards banquet at the Richmond Marriott on the eve of the league's championship tournament.
Moore and Goins were each selected third team All-CAA. They are just the second set of JMU teammates to receive All-Conference honors in the same season since 2001 (Denzel Bowles, Julius Wells 2010). Nation was selected to the league's All-Rookie squad, the first JMU player on the team since 2010.
JMU's floor leader on both ends, Moore set a new program standard for career assists with 473 and anchored a defense that led the league in defensive scoring in league play at 60.8 points per game. A CAA All-Rookie selection in 2009, he led the league with 4.8 assists per game and ranked second in assist-to-turnover ratio. Moore also placed 22nd in the league with 11.3 points per game, ninth with 1.4 steals per game and 12th with a free throw percentage of .754. His 12 assists on Feb. 6 vs. William and Mary were the league's highest total this season. In addition to his assists record, Moore ranks third in career games (119), second starts (117), fourth free throws (367), second in minutes (3,996), fourth in minutes per game (33.6/game), 10th in 10-point games (69) and needs one steal to reach the top 10 (113). His 143 assists this year ranks fourth on the school season chart.
Goins picked up his first All-CAA honor after being JMU's most consistent post presence for most of the season. He led the Dukes averaging 12.9 points and 7.4 rebounds per game, ranking 16th and seventh in the CAA, respectively. Goins was JMU's leading scorer in 14 games this season, including a midseason stretch of nine consecutive games. He was also the leading rebounder in 18 contests. He ranked fifth in the CAA with seven double-doubles, which also ranks eighth in school history. His 13 career double-doubles are fifth-most at JMU all-time. Goins currently ranks eighth in program history averaging 7.1 rebounds per game. He led JMU with 30 games started, missing just one game due to an injury.
A versatile and athletic guard, Nation has made contributions evenly on both ends of the floor. He ranked seventh in the CAA in steals with 1.6 per game and ninth in blocks with 1.1 per game, which was the best mark among all guards in the league. Nation's 8.6 points per game ranked third among league rookies and just outside the top 30 overall. He was the only player at any position in the CAA to compile at least 30 steals (48), 30 blocks (33) and 30 assists (48). His 48 steals established a JMU freshman class record and helped JMU as a team set a program record with 244 this year.
JMU earned the league's No. 3 seed, its highest since the 1999-2000 season, and will open tournament play at 8:30 p.m. Saturday against No. 6 William and Mary.