JMU roundup: Ford, Moran garner CAA honors

Daily Staff Reports – sports@nvdaily.com

RICHMOND — After going 9-1 over two weekends in Hawaii, including a 5-1 record last week in the 2014 Pepsi Rainbow Wahine Classic, James Madison University sophomore pitcher Jailyn Ford and freshman third baseman Madyson Moran each earned weekly honors from the Colonial Athletic Association on Tuesday.

Ford was named the CAA’s Pitcher of the Week for the second time this season and fifth time in her career, while Moran collected CAA Rookie of the Week accolades.

The JMU softball team is No. 26 in this week’s USA Today/NFCA Division I softball poll, receiving 24 votes to sit just outside the top 25. Five of the six opponents JMU played while in the Aloha State were participants in the 2013 NCAA tournament, with only Pacific missing the cut. That includes a win over No. 2/4 Oregon, that help the Dukes jump up in the polls. Madison also received four votes in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25 poll to sit tied for 31st.

Ford was named the co-Most Valuable Pitcher at the Rainbow Wahine Classic after going 3-1 with a save in five appearances. She had a 0.00 ERA, two shutouts and one combined shutout while striking 26 in 25 1/3 innings pitched. The second-year left-hander gave up just an unearned run and held opponents to a .204 batting average against. She moved into fourth on JMU’s all-time wins list with her 34th victory last week and is 34-11 in her young career. Ford also moved past Briana Carrera for third on the school’s all-time strikeout list. Her 310 strikeouts trail only Jenny Clohan (426) and Meredith Felts (581) on the all-time list.

Moran is the CAA Rookie of the Week for the first time in her career. She made the Rainbow Wahine Classic all-tournament team after hitting .308 with a double and two runs in six starts. She also added an RBI and drew a walk in 13 at-bats. Moran’s best outing came in JMU’s 8-0 over Hawai’i when she went 2-for-3 at the plate with a run and an RBI. The third baseman committed one error in 21 attempts for a .952 fielding percentage.

Drexel’s Shelby Taylor was named the CAA’s Player of the Week to join Ford and Moran in the league’s weekly honors.

The Dukes return home to Veterans Memorial Park this weekend as it opens up CAA play against defending league champs Hofstra. Saturday’s doubleheader starts at 3 p.m.

Women’s tennis

RICHMOND — For the third time this season, James Madison women’s tennis boasts the Colonial Athletic Association Team of the Week as the senior duo of Ruxandra Andriescu and Jacqueline Palmucci earned their first honor together today.

Andriescu and Palmucci went 2-0 as a pair last week at No. 3 doubles. In JMU’s 5-2 victory over Evansville, they blanked Andjela Brguljan and Mina Milovic 8-0 for the first of two Dukes’ wins to secure the doubles point. In the Dukes’ 5-2 victory over Air Force, the seniors were the only doubles team to win as they battled for the 8-6 advantage over Marcelli Magday and Anastasia Hueffner.

The pair has won seven straight matches and is 8-2 overall this spring as a tandem.

Palmucci, last week’s CAA Player of the Week, went 2-0 at No. 6 singles with a pair of two set victories. She downed Milovic (EU) 6-0, 6-1 on March 13 before wrapping up Chloe Forlini (USAF) 6-4, 6-3 on March 14.

Andriescu went 1-1 at No. 5 singles over the trip to Florida. She fell in three sets (6-3, 6-7, 1-0) to Brguljan (EU) on Thursday and defeated Tracy Landram (USAF) in two sets (7-6, 6-2) on Friday.

JMU opens its home slate on Sunday as the Dukes host George Washington at 11 a.m.