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Posted April 22, 2013 | comments Leave a comment

JMU roundup: Roberts' breakout week garners honors

Daily Staff Reports - sports@nvdaily.com

HARRISONBURG -- Senior outfielder Colby Roberts strung together one of the best performances of the season by a James Madison University player to earn Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week recognition from Collegiate Baseball to go along with the Colonial Athletic Association's weekly honor, while sophomore right-hander Chris Huffman strung together four impressive relief outings to share CAA Pitcher of the Week recognition.

Roberts hit .667 last week, going 12-for-18 at the plate with 15 RBIs in JMU's 4-1 week. He scored seven runs and posted a 1.222 slugging percentage thanks to four doubles and two home runs. He also added four walks, a hit by pitch and two sacrifice flies for a .680 slugging percentage. The week extended his active hitting streak to a career-best 11 games.

JMU entered the week 0-19 on the year when trailing or tied after six innings. However, Roberts was integral in posting four wins last week that were all decided after the sixth. On Tuesday, he went 4-for-4 with five RBIs with a pair of early solo home runs, plus a ninth-inning, three-run double for the game winner in an 8-6 triumph at Radford. He was 1-for-2 with three walks while scoring the fourth run that helped push the game to extra innings at Longwood on Wednesday. He posted a career-high six RBIs while going 3-for-4 in the opener of the Georgia State series and followed that with a 2-for-4 day in the nightcap of the doubleheader, including the sacrifice fly in the seventh that tied the game at 8-8 to send it to extra innings. In the series finale on Sunday, he was 2-for-4 with three more RBIs, including a two-run single in the eighth that capped a four-run inning and extended JMU's lead to 8-5 heading into the ninth.

More impressively, Roberts did not become a regular member of the starting lineup until April. In the first 18 games of the season, he hit .231 with one RBI. During JMU's next 21 games, which encompass his 11-game hitting streak, he leads Madison with a .512 batting average and 21 RBIs, a slugging percentage of .837 and a .564 on-base percentage. Seven of the 11 games during his streak have been multiple-hit games with four games of three or more RBIs.

Huffman was dominant in four relief outings last week, posting a win and three saves with a 0.00 ERA. He allowed four hits in the six total innings of work. Huffman pitched the ninth in JMU's come-from-behind 8-6 win at Radford on Tuesday and tossed the 10th after the Dukes pushed ahead with two runs in extra innings for a 6-4 Wednesday win at Longwood. On Saturday, he entered an 8-8 game in the eighth and worked the last three innings as the Dukes walked off with a 9-8 win in 10 innings. On Sunday, he closed the series by pitching the ninth for his seventh save of the season. His three saves during the week helped him climb from 13th to fifth in season saves at JMU with seven. He also reached fifth with nine career saves.

After JMU's 4-1 week, the Dukes take a break from CAA action until May 10-12 when they host Towson. The next non-conference game for Madison will be Wednesday night at 6 p.m. at No. 5 Virginia.

Softball

RICHMOND -- James Madison softball sophomore utility player Sarah Mooney and freshman pitcher Jailyn Ford were named the Colonial Athletic Association Player and Pitcher of the Week, respectively, the league office announced on Monday.

Mooney garnered CAA Player of the Week accolades for the third times this season and the fourth time in her career after hitting .706 (12-for-17) with four doubles and a home run. She helped guide JMU to a 5-0 week while adding 12 RBIs, five runs, three walks and three stolen bases. The sophomore recorded at least two hits and drove in at least one run in all five games. Mooney zoomed past Jenn Chavez (2005-08) to set a school record for RBIs with 55 and is now tied for the second-most home runs in a season with 12. She is one home run shy of tying Ashley Burnham (2009-12) for the single-season school record.

Ford collected her third CAA Pitcher of the Week honor and her seventh individual accolade on Monday. She went 3-0 in the circle with a 1.40 ERA. The rookie tossed three complete games and one shutout while limiting her opponents to four runs on 14 hits with 20 strikeouts in 20 innings pitched. In Sunday's 6-0 win over CAA rival Delaware, Ford tossed her team-leading seventh shutout of the year on her way to breaking the single-season school record for wins with her 19th. She broke the mark previously held by Meredith Felts (2006-09).

George Mason's Christina Gabriele was chosen as the conference's Rookie of the Week.

The Dukes return to the field on Wednesday as they travel to Knoxville, Tenn., for a non-conference doubleheader at No. 5/2 Tennessee.

Women's lacrosse

RICHMOND -- James Madison junior midfielder Amy Roguski has been selected Colonial Athletic Association lacrosse Player of the Week for the week ending April 21.

Roguski paced the Dukes to two wins, beginning by scoring a career-high six goals in an 18-7 victory at William and Mary on April 19. She also recorded a game-high and tied her career-high with five draw controls and also a had a ground ball.

In an April 21 home 17-2 victory over Old Dominion, Roguski tied for game scoring honors with three goals and also had a ground ball and a draw control.

JMU improved its record to 11-5 overall and 6-1 in CAA play and tied with Towson for the league's regular-season title. The Dukes will be the number two seed in the four-team CAA Tournament, scheduled for May 3 and 5 at top-seeded Towson. The Tigers earned the number one seed by virtue of their regular-season win over JMU.

Women's soccer

HARRISONBURG -- James Madison women's soccer Head Coach David Lombardo has announced the Dukes' eight-player recruiting class of 2013.

The class of 2013 includes:

• Allison Bortell, 5-8, Midfielder, Midlothian, James River H.S., Club: Richmond Kickers

Lombardo on Bortell: "Allison brings a good athletic dimension to the defensive center midfield. She is a steady and reliable player who will be competing for playing time."

• Sydney Braun-McLeod 5-10, Forward, Ottawa, Ontario, Glebe Collegiate Institute, Club: Ottawa Fury

Lombardo on Braun-McLeod: "Sydney has track speed and will really help us break down other team's defenses. Her combination of size, speed and skill will make her a very dynamic presence in the attacking half of the field."

• Allie Bunner, 5-7, Midfielder, Bristow, Patriots H.S., Club: McLean

Lombardo on Bunner: "Allie is a very talented and very versatile player. She has played everywhere on the field, but will likely see time in the midfield."

• Maggie Buxton, 5-7, Goalkeeper, Round Hill, Woodgrove H.S., Club: FC Virginia

Lombardo on Buxton: "Maggie is a strong and aggressive goalkeeper. She will add a strong, physical dimension and a competitive mentality to our goalkeeping corps."

• Ciara Conley 5-4, Defender, Sewell, N.J., Pennington School, Club: Match Fit United

Lombardo on Conley: "Ciara is a quick and athletic outside back. Her playing style is to get into the attack... that will match how we want our wingbacks to play."

• Meghan Cox, 5-8, Defender/Midfielder, Springfield, Robert E. Lee H.S, Club: VSA Heat

Lombardo on Cox: "Meghan is a soccer junkie. She loves the game and plays multiple positions. Last summer, she won the "Golden Ball" award (MVP of the tournament) in the Under-17 national club championships, where her team, VSA Heat won the title. Most likely she will either be in the back or as a defensive center midfielder for us. I'm confident that she will strengthen any role that she plays in."

• Ashley Herndon, 5-7,. Forward, Ashburn., Stone Bridge H.S., Club: FC Virginia

Lombardo on Herndon: "Ashley has been a proven goal scorer on every team that she has played on. I expect that will continue once she gets to college. She is fast, fit and skillful and has a tremendous nose for the goal. I'm confident that she will help add some fire power to our offense. Last summer, she and Meghan Cox played on the same club team (VSA Heat) that won the Under-17 national club championship. Ashley won the "Golden Boot" (highest scorer in the tournament) to help VSA Heat win the tournament."

• Jennie Sroba, 5-6, Defender, Manakin-Sabot., Collegiate School, Club: Richmond Strikers

Lombardo on Sroba: "Jennie is a fast, athletic outside back. She brings track-speed and a left foot to add some depth and versatility to our flank game. She will either play wing back or wing midfielder for us."

JMU has qualified for the NCAA Tournament 10 times over the last 17 seasons and has won three Colonial Athletic Association championships in that time span.


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