JMU roundup: Dukes fall to Charleston in softball

Daily Staff Reports – sports@nvdaily.com

CHARLESTON, S.C. – The James Madison softball team jumped out to a 2-0 lead early, but Charleston rallied for a 4-2 win to take a Colonial Athletic Association series from JMU at Patriots Point in Charleston, S.C., Sunday.

The loss drops the Dukes to 23-11 on the season and 4-2 in the CAA. The Cougars won their second straight league series, improving to 24-12 and 4-2 in the conference.

Left-hander Hope Klicker twirled her second consecutive complete game to lead Charleston in the circle. She limited JMU to two runs, one earned, on eight hits in seven innings of work. She struck out seven and walked two.

Sophomore left-hander Jailyn Ford received the loss to fall to 13-6. She allowed four runs, three earned, on five hits in six innings of work. The left-hander struck out four and walked one.

The top five in the Cougar lineup each recorded a hit to lead the way offensively. Third baseman Kelsey Hodgson led the way going 1-for-2 with a double, a walk and two RBIs. Left fielder Rebecca Mueller chipped in a hit and two runs in three trips to the plate while catcher Mackenzie Maples was 1-for-3 with a RBI.

The Dukes were paced by senior designated player Catherine Clavin who went 2-for-3 with a double. Ford added a hit and a RBI in three at-bats while senior shortstop Caitlin Sandy was 1-for-2 with a single and a walk.

As they did twice on Saturday, the Dukes scored first as they pushed two runs across in the top of the first. Freshman center fielder Niki Prince drew a four pitch walk to lead off the game and moved to third on a fielder’s choice and a throwing error. Sophomore catcher Erica Field followed with a grounder to the second baseman who threw home. The throw was wide allowing Prince to slide in safely. Ford followed with a single up the middle allowing senior pinch runner Brittany Jeans to score from second.

Charleston battled back for a run in the bottom half of the first, doing all its damage with two outs. Mueller ignited the rally with a single through the right side. She moved to second on a walk and scored on a single up the middle by Maples.

The Cougars took the lead in the third inning as it scored three times, capped by a two-run double from Hodgson. Shortstop Lizzy Vaughn and right fielder Carly Corthell started the inning with back-to-back bunt singles. Vaughn scored from second on a Madison fielding error before Hodgson lifted a long fly ball off the fence in left field, scoring two.

The Dukes put the tying run on base several times during its final four at-bats, but could not come up with the key hit as it left seven runners on base.

JMU returns to the field on Wednesday as it travels to Blacksburg, for a doubleheader at Virginia Tech. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m.

Women’s lacrosse
HARRISONBURG – In a weather-extended game, James Madison women’s lacrosse used a pair of 8-0 runs to roll San Diego State 20-7 in the Dukes’ final non-conference game of the regular season and their 2014 Friends of Jaclyn game honoring Elle Howdershell.

JMU improved to 6-5 this season as the Dukes prepare to begin Colonial Athletic Association action next weekend. SDSU fell to 6-4 on the year and are 3-1 in Mountain Pacific Sports Federation play.

With the Aztecs leading 2-1 after 2:39 had ticked off the clock in the first half, the Dukes mounted an 8-0 run over a 14:34 span to take a 9-2 lead. After going scoreless for 19 minutes, 11 seconds, San Diego State spun a 3-0 run together and cut the Dukes lead to 9-5 with 2:12 left in the first stanza. JMU settled in and used another 8-0 run spanning the halves to push its lead to 17-5.

The win went to junior Schylar Healy as she made eight saves and allowed seven goals. She held the Aztecs scoreless for a 19:11 span in the first half as well as a 22:13 span to bridge the halves. Katrina Reeves took the loss after making five saves and allowing 20 goals.

Redshirt freshman Betsy Angel led the Dukes with four goals, including the game-tying goal (2-2) that began the first 8-0 run. Junior Ali Curwin tallied game-high point honors with five on the day (2 goals, 3 assists).

Junior Lexi Cross and freshman Margaret Tucker Fogarty each scored their first career goals in the outing. Cross scored off a long pass by Healy in the first half to put JMU up 8-2 while Fogarty scored the final goal of the day off a pass from Curwin.

Senior Amy Roguski crossed the 100-goal plateau with her second goal of the day (101), a solo shot at the 23:13 mark of the first half to give JMU the 5-2 advantage. Her first and third goals of the afternoon came off free-position shots in the first JMU run.

Alexa Comfort led San Diego State with two goals on the day. Michaela Jarvis tied her for team-high point honors after posting a goal and an assist.

Five of Madison’s 20 goals came off six free-position attempts. SDSU did not convert any of its three free-position opportunities.

JMU won the turnover battle, committing 15 to San Diego State’s 18. The Dukes were led by senior Leah Perrotta, who tallied three of their seven caused turnovers. JMU also edged SDSU in ground balls 12-11.

Madison took the early lead off a free-position goal by sophomore Taylor Gress before the Aztecs scored back-to-back goals to take their only lead of the day at 2-1. Angel began the run to put the Dukes up for good with a solo shot at the 25:45 mark. Senior Julianne Giles closed the run off a pass from senior Emily Rhoads.

San Diego State scored three straight goals following more than 19 scoreless minutes before Angel tallied her second goal of the game with just 27 seconds remaining before halftime. The goal marked the beginning of another 8-0 Madison run which would be bookended with Angel’s fourth tally of the afternoon.

While SDSU posted two goals over just 1:41 at the under-10 minute point, JMU closed the game on a 3-0 run to secure the 20-7 victory.

The Dukes open CAA play on Saturday, April 5 as they welcome William & Mary to University Park. Opening draw takes place at 1 p.m.

HARRISONBURG – Second baseman Dillon Bass went 4-for-5 and delivered the go-ahead and insurance RBIs in the seventh and ninth innings to lift UNCW to a 6-4 victory over James Madison in the second game of a Colonial Athletic Association baseball series on a soggy Saturday afternoon at Eagle Field at Veterans Memorial Park.

UNCW improved to 12-13 overall and 1-1 in the CAA while JMU fell to 9-15 and also 1-1 in the CAA.

Jordan Ramsey earned the win to improve to 1-2 after allowing four runs on seven hits in six innings. Ryan Foster picked up his first save with three innings allowing just one hit and three walks, two as JMU tried to rally in the ninth.

Junior right-hander Chris Huffman took the loss (3-3) after allowing five runs, four earned, on 12 hits in seven innings.

Senior third baseman Ty McFarland had the lone multiple-hit game for the Dukes, going 2-for-4 with a walk and a solo home run, his seventh of the season.

Bass’ four-hit effort led a 13-hit attack for the Seahawks. Designated hitter Luke Dunlap was 3-for-5 with two runs and an RBI. Right fielder Teddy Cillis added two hits.

UNCW got started in the first with a one-out infield single up the middle by shortstop Terence Connelly. He advanced to second on a groundout and scored on first basebam Corey Dick’s single that kicked off third base and all the way into the left field corner.

In the second, Dunlap led off with a single to left and stole second. He moved to third on a groundout and then scored on a fielder’s choice groundout by catcher Gavin Stupienski, sliding in just ahead of the throw home.

JMU put its first run on the board in the second. Sophomore catcher Bobby San Martin led off with a single flared to left. With two outs, he advanced on a wild pitch and scored on a single to right by senior designated hitter Nick Merullo to make it a 2-1 deficit.

In the third, McFarland greeted the first offering from Ramsey with a solo shot to right center for his seventh homer of the season. JMU kept the inning going with a single by senior second baseman Conner Brown and a Kyle Weston hit by pitch. After a sacrifice bunt moved both into scoring position, San Martin drove in the go-ahead run with a grounder to the shortstop to make it 3-2.

The Seahawks bounced back in the fifth to reclaim the lead. Third baseman Ryan LaGrange singled and Dick reached on an error at shortstop to set up runners on the corners. Dunlap’s RBI single to left center tied the score and left fielder Robbie Thorburn’s fielder’s choice single gave UNCW the 4-3 lead.

In the sixth, senior right fielder Tyler Gregory socked a solo shot to right field that just stayed inside the foul pole and cleared the high fence to tie it at 4-4.

The back-and-forth scoring continued in the seventh as Dunlap doubled with one out. After a walk, Bass singled to left field with two outs to score Dunlap and make it 5-4 for UNCW.

Bass added another big two-out hit in the ninth. Thorburn drew a one-out walk and stole second. With two outs, Bass lined one just inside the left-field line for a 6-4 UNCW lead.

In the ninth, junior center fielder Kevin Husum drew a one-out walk and advanced on a wild pitch. After a lengthy delay to treat the mound, McFarland also walked and both moved into scoring position on another wild pitch. With two outs, Weston grounded deep into the hole at short and the long, bouncing throw narrowly got the umpire’s call for the final out.