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HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. -- Second-seeded James Madison University tied a school record with 18 hits on its way to scoring 10 runs as it knocked off third-seeded Delaware 10-2 in six innings in the opening round of the 2013 Colonial Athletic Association Softball Championship in Hempstead, N.Y., on Wednesday.
JMU advanced to Thursday's winner's bracket game, where it will meet top-seeded Hofstra in a noon game at Hofstra Softball Stadium. The Dukes improved to 40-13 overall, reaching the 40-win plateau for the first time in school history. Delaware dropped to 35-21 and faces fourth-seeded Towson in the tournament's first elimination game at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday.
Freshman pitcher Jailyn Ford earned the win for the Dukes. She improved to 22-4 after limiting the Blue Hens to two runs on seven hits in six innings of work. The left-hander struck out four and walked one.
Taylor Curran took the loss for UD, dropping to 6-6 on the season. She allowed five runs on 13 hits and three walks while striking out one in 5 1/3 innings of work. Kiersten Coffman gave up five runs on five hits and a walk while recording just one out in relief.
All nine starters recorded hits for the Dukes for the first time all season, including three players with three or more hits. Sophomore left fielder Morgan Heath reached base five times, going 4-for-4 with a walk, a run scored, an RBI and two stolen bases. Senior designated player Megan Shinaberry went 3-for-4 with a double, two runs and two RBIs, while freshman second baseman Hannah Hayes had three hits, a run and a RBI in four trips to the plate. Sophomore third baseman and CAA Player of the Year Sarah Mooney went 1-for-1 with a career-best three walks and an RBI.
Delaware left fielder Shelby Jones went 2-for-3 to pace Delaware. Pinch hitter Amanda Stacevicz had a triple and a run scored and center fielder Hannah George and second baseman Tori Conrad each had an RBI in one official at-bat.
North Carolina 6, JMU 1
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- North Carolina broke a 1-1 tie with three runs in the fourth inning and claimed a 6-1 victory over James Madison in a non-conference game that was reduced to six innings by inclement weather on Wednesday evening at Boshamer Stadium.
UNC, ranked No. 1 in three of the five major national polls, improved the nation's best record to 44-4. JMU fell to 20-25. The game was delayed for nearly an hour beginning at 7:53 p.m., with two outs in the bottom of the sixth before finally being called.
Chris Munnelly claimed the victory for UNC after allowing one run on two hits in five innings with six strikeouts. Freshman Michael Church took the loss for James Madison after surrendering four runs on six hits in four innings.
Three players accounted for seven of UNC's eight hits with shortstop Michael Russell going 3-for-3 with two RBIs. Designated hitter Landon Lassiter was 2-for-4 with an RBI while center fielder Chaz Frank was 2-for-3 with a walk. Left fielder Jordan Parks hit a two-run double.
JMU had two hits in the game with senior left fielder Colby Roberts driving in the only run with a single. Senior right fielder Cole McInturff singled, walked and scored a run.
UNC scored first as Frank led off with a double in the first and Lassiter plated him one batter later with a single. The Dukes tied it up in the third as McInturff led off with a walk, was bunted to second and scored on Roberts' single up the middle.
The Tar Heels broke the tie in the fourth when a leadoff walk and a single by Russell resulted in two runners in scoring position after a sacrifice bunt. Jordan's two-run double made it 3-1 and two wild pitches allowed Jordan to score to make it 4-1.
North Carolina added its final runs in the fifth on Russell's two-run single.
JMU returns to Colonial Athletic Association competition for the first time in three weeks with a home series against Towson this weekend. The Tigers currently sit in fourth place among tournament-eligible teams at 11-10 with the Dukes in sixth at 8-12 but just a half game up on Hofstra at 8-13. The top six teams qualify for the tournament.