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JMU roundup: Dukes rally past Georgia State in baseball

Daily Staff Reports - sports@nvdaily.com

HARRISONBURG - Sophomore Chad Carroll's two-run double in the eighth was the game winner and senior Colby Roberts added a two-run single for a four-run uprising as James Madison pushed past Georgia State 8-5 in the final game of a Colonial Athletic Association series on Sunday afternoon at Veterans Memorial Park.

JMU won its first CAA series since taking two of three at George Mason March 22-24. The Dukes wrapped up a 4-1 week to improve to 8-12 in the CAA and 18-21 overall. GSU came to town having won nine of its last 10 games but fell to 26-16 overall and 6-9 in the league.

The Dukes fell behind early after a four-run first by the Panthers and trailed 5-0 before rallying for four runs in the fifth. Still, JMU had stranded 11 runners on the bases, including five straight innings leaving a runner at third, when they came to bat trailing 5-4 in the eighth.

Madison loaded the bases with one out as senior Johnny Bladel singled up the middle, junior second baseman Conner Brown was hit by pitch and a redshirt junior Matt Tenaglia drew a walk. Carroll then lofted a high fly off the wall in right to drive in two and push the Dukes ahead. Roberts followed up with a single to drive in two more for an 8-5 advantage.

Sophomore Chris Huffman entered in relief and saw the potential tying run come to the plate with one out before ending the game on a 5-4-3 double play. Huffman picked up his third save in five games and seventh of the season. For the five-game week, he posted a 0.00 ERA in six innings with three saves and a win.

Freshman Michael Church blanked the Panthers for two innings to earn the win in relief and improve to 4-1. Bladel made his third career start and posted career highs of six innings and six strikeouts. He settled down from a shaky four-run first inning to retire 16 of the final 18 batters he faced.

Roberts capped an impressive week by going 2-for-3 with three RBIs and a walk. In five games, he was 12-for-18 (.667) with 15 RBIs and seven runs scored. His 1.222 slugging percentage included four doubles and two home runs while four walks and a hit by pitch gave him a .680 on-base percentage.

Carroll's two-run double capped a 3-for-5 day with two doubles and three RBIs. Bladel also had three hits and was hit by a pitch to remain in the top six in the nation in on-base percentage. Brown followed his cycle Saturday with a 2-for-3 day and a walk. Roberts, Carroll, Bladel and Brown accounted for 10 of JMU's 11 hits.

Conner Stanley was ineffective in relief to take the loss and fall to 4-2. He started the eighth inning and could only record one out as JMU tagged him for all four runs in the inning. Andrew Fessler allowed four runs on five hits with six walks and six strikeouts as the starter in 4 1/3 innings.

Designated hitter Chase Raffield was 2-for-3 with a walk and a solo home run, his ninth of the season, for GSU. Center fielder Josh Merrigan also had two of the Panthers' seven hits.

GSU put up a big inning right from the start as Merrigan and Raffield singled to put runners on the corners with one out. After a walk to load the bases, third baseman Caden Baily drew a four-pitch walk to push in the first run. Right fielder Mark Hogan followed with a double to right center to drive in two for a 3-0 lead. Shortstop Chad Prain then pounded a slow roller to third that he beat out for an RBI single.

Bladel settled down and retired 10 of 11 until Raffield rocked a solo home run deep to right field in the fifth.

After striking out twice to end innings with the bases loaded, JMU finally broke through against Fessler in the fifth. Junior third baseman Ty McFarland walked and Brown singled to put runners on the corners. After a strikeout, Carroll finally got the big hit with an RBI single to center. Roberts followed with a double to the corner in right to make it 5-2. That chased Fessler and JMU turned to its bench, getting a big pinch-hit, two-run double to right center by senior Casey Goss.

JMU will travel over Afton Mountain on Wednesday for a 6 p.m. game against No. 8 Virginia at Davenport Field.

Women's lacrosse
HARRISONBURG -- The James Madison University women's lacrosse team finished off regular-season play with a win as the Dukes downed Old Dominion 17-2 in Colonial Athletic Association action on Sunday afternoon at University Park.

JMU improved its overall record to 11-5 and its CAA record to 6-1. ODU's record is 4-13 overall and 2-5 in the CAA.

The Dukes finished in a tie with Towson (6-1) for first in the CAA standings, but Towson will be seeded number one and JMU number two in the CAA Tournament due to Towson's regular-season win over JMU. The tournament's number three and four seeds will not be determined until the April 27 Drexel at Hofstra game. Drexel (4-2), Delaware (4-3) and Hofstra (3-3) are in the running for the final two tournament berths.

As the top seed, Towson will host the CAA semifinals and final on May 3 and 5.

In her final home game, redshirt senior Rebecca McLouth handed out a career-high five assists and also scored a goal for JMU. She also led all players with three ground balls. Another senior, Nicole Stiles, had a game-high three draw controls.

The Dukes were led in scoring by three players with three goals apiece: junior Julianne Giles, junior Amy Roguski, sophomore Steph Finley. The other eight JMU goals were scored by eight different players.

JMU scored on its first three shot attempts as the Dukes jumped out to a 3-0 lead less than two minutes into the game. Giles tallied the first goal, off a pass from senior Kelsey MacDonald, just 39 seconds into the match. McLouth then set up Roguski on back-to-back goals, the first 1:17 into the game and the second with 1:44 elapsed.

The Dukes were up 5-0 before ODU senior Jordynn Collins scored the Monarchs' first goal with 21:27 left in the half. JMU led 8-2 at halftime and in the second period held ODU scoreless while netting nine goals.

JMU's shot advantage was 31-8, and JMU had 15 draw controls to six for the Monarchs. Dukes redshirt sophomore Kaci Starkloff, playing in goal for the second game in a row, made six saves. ODU sophomore goalkeeper Karen Hayde had nine stops.

NEWARK, Del. - Freshman pitcher Jailyn Ford set a school record for wins in a season with her 19th as she tossed her a shutout in leading the James Madison softball team to a 6-0 win over Delaware, Sunday.

JMU extended its winning streak to nine games, improving to 36-10 overall and 15-0 in Colonial Athletic Association play. Delaware lost for the sixth time in its last seven games, falling to 31-14 and 9-6 in the league.

Ford improved to 19-2 by winning her seventh consecutive decision. She tossed her 16th complete game and her seventh shutout of the year, limiting the Blue Hens to five hits and four walks while striking out eight.

Amanda Stacevicz took the loss for UD, dropping to 5-3 on the season. She allowed one run on one hit and did not record an out. Right-hander Chenxi Jiao gave up five runs, four earned, on nine hits in four innings of work. She struck out four and walked three. Freshman Kiersten Coffman tossed three shutout innings in relief. She gave up three hits and struck out two.

The Dukes were paced offensively by freshman third baseman Erica Field, who went 3-for-5 with a double, a RBI and a run scored. Sophomore first baseman Sarah Mooney added two hits, including a home run, two RBIs, a walk and a run scored while senior center fielder Jasmine Butler went 2-for-3 with two walks, two runs and a stolen base.

Shortstop Lisa Stacevicz led the Blue Hens, going 2-for-3 with a double while right fielder Jessica Grisler doubled and walked twice in four plate appearances. First baseman Marisa Newman and center fielder Hannah George each added singles in three at-bats.

The Dukes pushed four runs across in the top of the first before recording an out. Sophomore left fielder Morgan Heath and Butler led off the game with back-to-back infield singles. Heath came in to score on a single through the left side by Field and Butler scored on a throwing error after getting caught in a rundown between third and home. Mooney capped the four-run inning with a two-run home run down the left-field line. It was the sophomore's 12th home run of the season, tying her for the team lead.

Madison added to its lead in the top of the second on Mooney's second RBI hit of the game. JMU loaded the bases on singles by freshman second baseman Hannah Hayes and Field sandwiched around a walk by Butler. Mooney followed with a bloop single that found the grass between the shortstop and the left fielder, scoring Hayes.

Junior shortstop Caitlin Sandy added another run to the lead in the top of the fourth inning. She lofted a bases-loaded single that landed just inside the left-field line that allowed Butler to score from third. Butler led off the inning with a walk and moved to third on a double to center by Field. After Mooney was intentionally walked to load up the bases, Jiao got Ford to pop-out, but was unable to get out of the jam after Sandy picked up the RBI single.

JMU continues its eight-game road trip this weekend with a trip to Knoxville, Tenn., on Wednesday for a doubleheader against No. 2 Tennessee.


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