JMU roundup: Dukes’ Ford garners top VaSID honors

Daily Staff Reports – sports@nvdaily.com

HARRISONBURG — James Madison University freshman pitcher Jailyn Ford was named the Virginia Sports Information Directors Pitcher and Rookie of the Year, and head coach Mickey Dean claimed Coach of the Year as VaSID announced its University Division State Softball awards on Friday.

Ford and Dean highlighted 10 awards claimed by JMU. The Dukes had a state-best seven players honored, including four on the VaSID All-State First Team. Joining Ford on the first team were sophomore first baseman Sarah Mooney, senior outfielder Jasmine Butler and sophomore pitcher Heather Kiefer.

Junior shortstop Caitlin Sandy, sophomore outfielder Morgan Heath and freshman catcher Erica Field were placed on the second team.

Ford is the second player in program history to be named the VaSID Pitcher of the Year joining Meredith Felts (2006-09) in 2009. She is also the first JMU player to be named the Rookie of the Year. Ford went 24-6 with a 1.61 ERA, nine shutouts and 23 complete games in 33 appearances. The left-hander struck out 209 and limited opponents to a .177 batting average against in 191 innings pitched. Offensively, Ford hit .373 with 11 doubles, one triple, 15 home runs, 49 RBIs, 38 runs 15 walks and nine stolen bases. She set 18 individual records during her first season in Harrisonburg on her way to being named First Team NFCA All-Region, First Team All-CAA and the CAA Rookie of the Year.

Dean picked up his third career VaSID Coach of the Year honor after winning it in 2009 and 2010 at Radford. He helped guide JMU to a program-record 42 wins (42-17 overall) and 18 CAA victories (18-3 conference record) in his first season at Madison. The Dukes earned the program’s first-ever at-large bid to the NCAA tournament and picked up the first NCAA Tournament win with a 5-0 victory over Longwood in the Knoxville Regional.

Mooney, the CAA Player of the Year and an NFCA First Team All-Region honoree, orchestrated one of the best offensive seasons in school history by hitting .400 with a .743 slugging percentage and a .448 on-base percentage. She added school records with 17 home runs and 67 RBIs to go with 45 runs, nine doubles, 17 walks and 16 stolen bases. The Huntersville, N.C., native became the second player since 2006 to win the CAA Triple Crown while starting at five positions in the field for the Dukes. In CAA play, Mooney raised her game by hitting .456 with seven home runs, 20 runs scored and 27 RBIs.

Butler was named VaSID All-State for the third time in her career, adding first team recognition in 2011 and second team in 2010. She finished the year hitting .359 with a team-best 49 runs and a school record 40 steals. The Winter Garden, Fla., native added two doubles, two triples, a home run, seven RBIs, 13 walks and six sacrifice bunts during her senior season. This season she set a school record for career hits with 230 and career multi-hit games with 66.

Kiefer went 14-8 with a save and a 1.65 ERA in 27 appearances this year. The right-hander limited her opponents to a .216 batting average, adding 14 complete games, four shutouts, 65 strikeouts and just 27 walks in 135 2/3 innings pitched. She raised her game in CAA play by going 7-1 with a 0.88 ERA and a .174 opponent’s batting average in eight starts and 12 appearances against league foes.

Sandy collected VaSID All-State honors for the third straight year after being a second-team selection in 2011 and 2012. The junior moved from third base to shortstop and hit .313 with 25 RBIs and 20 runs scored in 57 games started. She added five doubles, two triples and three home runs to go with 13 steals, four walks, three sacrifice hits and two sacrifice flies. She also had 78 putouts and 103 assists against just 13 errors for a .933 fielding percentage. Sandy hit .393 with 11 RBIs and 10 runs scored in CAA play this season.

Heath hit .335 with 11 doubles and five home runs on her way to being named to the Second Team after being named to the second team as a freshman in 2012. She contributed 40 runs, 23 RBIs, 16 walks and 23 steals in 59 games played.

Field, a CAA All-Rookie recipient, hit .328 with a .417 slugging percentage and a .338 on-base percentage during her inaugural season with the Dukes. She also collected a team-best 14 doubles, one home run, 35 RBIs and 30 runs scored to go with 11 steals, four sacrifice flies and five walks. In CAA play, the Manassas native hit .338 with eight doubles 14 RBIs and 12 runs scored.

Longwood’s Brooke Short was voted the VaSID’s State Player of the Year and Longwood was second only to JMU with five all-state representatives. Virginia Tech placed four on the VaSID teams followed by Norfolk State with three, Virginia and Hampton with two and Liberty with one.

Baseball adds JuCo transfer Husum

HARRISONBURG — James Madison baseball coach Spanky McFarland announced Friday the addition of Gulf Coast State pitcher/outfielder Kevin Husum to the program for the 2013-14 season.

“Kevin Husum is an athlete, a true two-way college player,” McFarland stated in a news release. “He played outfield and closed at his junior college and was very successful. One of the reasons he chose JMU was the fact that he will be allowed to do both. The ACC and SEC schools that recruited him would only allow him to do one or the other. We are excited that Kevin is a Duke and look forward to working with him in the fall.”

A 6-4, 210-pound center fielder and right-handed pitcher, Husum will enter his junior season of eligibility at JMU. He was a second team All-Panhandle Conference outfielder after hitting .314 in 51 games with a .432 on-base percentage. He ranked 22nd in all of the National Junior College Athletic Association Division I with 60 runs, 23rd with 37 walks and 70th with 21 steals. He also had 59 hits with seven doubles, two triples and 25 RBIs.

On the mound, Husum closed for the Commodores, going 1-2 with three saves in 17 relief appearances. In 32 innings, he posted a 4.22 ERA, 35 strikeouts and 13 walks.

As a freshman, Husum hit .327 with 16 steals while posting a 0.79 ERA in 10 appearances on the mound. He recorded four saves and struck out 20 while walking just one.

Highly touted out of high school, Husum was a 2011 Rawlings Second Team All-Region selection out of Bay High School. In 27 games for the Tornadoes, he hit .425 as a senior with a .564 on-base percentage and .822 slugging percentage. His 31 hits included seven doubles, two triples and six home runs. He drove in 31, scored 29 and stole 22 bases on 23 attempts while walking 24 times. On the mound, he went 8-3 with a save and a 1.50 ERA in 46 2/3 innings. He posted a 71:25 strikeout-to-walk ratio and held opponents to a .172 batting average.

Those numbers were a continuation of his success as a junior at Bay when he hit .385 with a .547 on-base percentage. He scored 30 runs while hitting six doubles and three home runs and drawing 26 walks while swiping seven bases. On the bump, he went 9-1 with a 1.57 ERA in 62 1/3 innings. He struck out 101 while walking 25 and limited opponents to .184 hitting.

Husum joins a JMU incoming class that includes recent MLB draftees in outfielder Ky Parrott and first baseman Logan Quimuyog, also of Florida. Other freshmen include shortstop Josh Wyatt, outfielder/pitcher Dylan Horne, utility player Logan Corrigan and catcher Brian Lawler. Three other players will also look for their first JMU action after redshirting in 2013, including UNC Asheville transfer Kyle Weston, first baseman Brett Johnson and pitcher Trey Jones.