JMU roundup: Dukes’ softball duo garners CAA honors

Daily Staff Reports – sports@nvdaily.com

RICHMOND — James Madison University softball junior pitcher Heather Kiefer and sophomore catcher Erica Field were named the Colonial Athletic Association Pitcher and Player of the Week, respectively, as announced by the league on Tuesday.

Kiefer and Field helped the Dukes collect a 4-1 record at last weekend’s UCF Holiday Inn Classic. Kiefer went 2-1 with a save and a 1.40 ERA in four appearances for James Madison. The right-hander struck out 12 compared to one walk in 15 innings pitched. Opponents scored four runs, three earned, on 14 hits with just three extra-base knocks against the two-time All-CAA performer. This is the fourth time in her career that Kiefer has been named the CAA Pitcher of the Week.

Field hit .438 in five game, going 7-for-16 at the plate. She added a team-best seven RBIs, and collected four extra-base hits, including three doubles and a triple. Field hit safely in four of the five games over the weekend and had two hits in three contests. The 2013 CAA All-Rookie team member scored three runs and walked once while playing error-free defense in the field for James Madison. This is the second time in her career that Field has been named the CAA Player of the Week.

The Dukes return to the field this weekend as they travel to Clearwater, Fla., to play in the NFCA Lead Off Classic. JMU plays five games in the three-day tournament.

Women’s Golf

FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. — The James Madison women’s golf team wrapped up its spring opener on Tuesday with a sixth-place finish at the JU Amelia Island Collegiate.

Hosted by Jacksonville University, the two-day, 54-hole tournament was played at the Amelia National Golf Club (Par 72 – 6,029 yards).

Starting the day in sixth, James Madison battled but was unable to make up ground as team scores went up an average of four shots across the field in the final round. JMU posted a final day 21-over 309 to finish at 40-over 904. Florida International completed its wire-to-wire lead with a final round 12-over 300 and a 54-hole score of 5-under 859, 12 shots ahead of runner-up Kennesaw State at 7-over 871. Daytona State was third at 26-over 890, with host Jacksonville fourth at 30-over 894. Winthrop completed the top five one shot back at 31-over 895.

Senior Ginger Mak was the top JMU golfer, posting a team-best 1-over 73 in the final round to finish at 3-over 219 in a tie for seventh. It was Mak’s second top-10 finish of the year and eighth of her career. Freshman Nicola Haynes finished 22nd at 10-over 226, while junior Shabril Brewer tied for 27th two shots back at 12-over 228. Junior Maria Andrea Legaspi tied for 38th at 15-over 231, with sophomore Karishma Thiagaraj tying for 65th at 28-over 244.

Camila Serrano of Florida International won a four-hole playoff with Daytona State’s Tiffany Chan to take medalist honors after the pair finished at 8-under 208 for the three-round event.

Madison returns to the course March 3-5 at the 2014 Hurricane Invitational. The three-day, 54-hole tournament, hosted by the University of Miami, will be played at Biltmore Golf Course in Coral Gables, Fla.

Women’s tennis

LEXINGTON — James Madison’s women’s tennis defeated Washington & Lee 8-1 on Tuesday afternoon at the Duchossois Tennis Center.

JMU upped its record to 3-2 this spring while Washington & Lee, the No. 22 team in NCAA Division III women’s tennis and a member of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference, dropped to 2-1 overall.

The Dukes competed against the Generals according to Division III rules, which award one point per doubles match. Division I rules award one point for the best two-of-three winner in doubles competition.

JMU picked up two of three doubles points, winning at the No. 2 and No. 3 doubles positions. Redshirt junior Sarah Khan and sophomore Cara Wirth battled for the 9-7 win over Meghan Buell and Chelsea Mixson at No. 2 doubles, while seniors Jacqueline Palmucci and Ruxandra Andriescu defeated Claire Cahill and Brooke Donnelly 8-4 at No. 3 doubles.

At the No. 1 doubles position, the junior-freshman duo of Taylor Pinchoff and Alex Huie fell in a tight 9-7 contest to Sonja Meighan and Patricia Kirkland.

Pinchoff returned the favor at the No. 1 singles position, downing Meighan in three sets (6-4, 5-7, 11-9), to go 1-1 on the day. Huie also went 1-1 on the afternoon, picking up the two-set victory (6-2, 6-4) at No. 2 singles.

Andriescu notched a come-from-behind win over Donnelly at No. 5 singles to go 2-0. After falling 6-0 in set one, she rattled off two straight wins (6-2, 10-3) to secure the point. Palmucci joined her with a 2-0 record after a 6-1, 6-2 win over Mary Elizabeth Shutley at No. 6 singles.

Freshman Rachel Nelson stretched her win streak to four matches as she blanked Mixson 6-0, 6-0 at No. 4 singles. Freshman Emily Bradshaw rounded out the day with a two-set victory (6-3, 6-1) over Cahill at No. 3 singles.

The Dukes next travel to White Sulphur Springs, W. Va., for two neutral-site matches at the Greenbrier. They face Connecticut on March 1 at 1 p.m. before taking on Cincinnati on March 2 at 10 a.m.