JMU roundup: Dukes sweep Virginia in softball twinbill

Daily Staff Reports – sports@nvdaily.com

CHARLOTTESVILLE — James Madison University junior right-hander Heather Kiefer and sophomore left-hander Jailyn Ford combined to limit their opponent to three runs in two games as the James Madison softball team swept a doubleheader from Virginia on Tuesday.

JMU won game one 3-1 and took the nightcap, 5-2.

With the sweep the Dukes have won six straight and improved to 6-0 against the Atlantic Coast Conference on the season. They improved to 35-13 overall. Virginia dropped its eight straight and fell to 6-40 on the season.

Kiefer earned the win in game two after holding the Cavaliers to two runs on five hits in five innings of work. She improved to a career-best 17-7 after striking out three and walking none. Ford tied the school record with her fourth save of the season. She allowed one hit and a walk in two shutout frames. The sophomore struck out two.

Right-hander Aimee Chapdelaine took the loss for U.Va. to fall to 6-34. She gave up five runs, four earned, on four hits in a complete-game effort. The sophomore struck out a career-best nine and walked four.

Senior shortstop Caitlin Sandy paced the offense by going 1-for-2 with a home run, four RBIs and a run scored. Freshman center fielder Niki Prince extended her reached base streak to 12 games by going 1-for-4 with a run scored while freshman right fielder Taylor Newton was 1-for-3 with a single.

In game one, Ford tossed 4 2/3 innings of shutout relief to earn the win. She improved to 18-6 after holding the Cavaliers to two hits while striking out four. Kiefer drew the start and gave up one run on six hits in 2 1/3 innings pitched.

Offensively, the Dukes were paced by senior pinch hitter Catherine Clavin with a two-run double in her lone at-bat while Prince went 2-for-4 with a run. Ford doubled and drove in one in her three trips to the blage.

The Dukes return to the field this weekend as they host Delaware at Veterans Memorial Park for a Colonial Athletic Association series. Saturday is a doubleheader with first pitch set for 3 p.m. while Sunday features Senior Day and a game beginning at 2 p.m.


HARRISONBURG — Five VMI pitchers combined to limit James Madison to one run on seven hits with 11 runners stranded on the bases in a 6-1 decision in a non-conference baseball game on Tuesday night at Eagle Field at Veterans Memorial Park.

VMI improved to 22-16 by claiming the only meeting of the year between the teams, while JMU fell to 12-25.

Starter Campbell Henkel (2-2) picked up the win after allowing one run on five hits in 5 1/3 innings with four strikeouts. Reliever Dylan Horne entered a 1-1 ballgame and allowed one run in two innings to suffer his first loss of the season.

Senior third baseman Ty McFarland had three of JMU’s seven hits and scored the lone run. Senior right fielder Tyler Gregory drove in the run.

The trio of third baseman David Geary, right fielder Brandon Angus and left fielder Eric Mayers each posted two of VMI’s 10 hits in the second, third and fourth spots in the order. Catcher Matt Winn hit a two-run home run in the ninth.

JMU struck first with a two-out rally in the first inning. Singles by McFarland and redshirt sophomore Kyle Weston pushed a runner into scoring position for Gregory, who singled to right field to make it a 1-0 lead.

VMI put together a two-out rally of its own in the third as second baseman Jordan Tarsovich singled with the bases empty, stole second and came around on Geary’s single through the left side. The Keydets struck again in the fourth on designated hitter Josh Worthley’s RBI groundout to make it 2-1.

VMI tacked on a pair of two-out insurance runs in the eighth. With a runner on first and two outs, a pair of wild pitches and a walk put runners on the corners. Back-to-back singles by Angus and Mayers then drove in runs to push the Keydets’ lead to 4-1 before Winn’s ninth-inning shot to right field finished the scoring at 6-1.

JMU jumps back into Colonial Athletic Association play this weekend with a three-game set at Towson with Friday and Saturday games at 2 p.m. followed by Sunday’s 1 p.m. finale.