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JMU roundup: Incumbent starting QB Birdsong leaving program


Daily Staff Reports - sports@nvdaily.com

HARRISONBURG -- James Madison University football coach Everett Withers announced on Monday that rising junior quarterback Michael Birdsong will leave the program following the conclusion of the spring semester.

"We are grateful for Michael's contributions to the football program," Withers stated in a news release. "We are building an atmosphere of competition at James Madison, and he was a big part of that this spring. He informed us this morning that he felt like he could better pursue his football goals at another institution. While disappointed, we respect his decision and wish him the best."

Birdsong started all 12 games at quarterback for JMU in 2013. The Dukes wrapped up spring workouts with Saturday's spring game held at Bridgeforth Stadium/Zane Showker Field.

Softball

RICHMOND -- James Madison freshman third baseman Madyson Moran is the Colonial Athletic Association Rookie of the Week, the league announced Monday.

This is the second time this season Moran has earned the honor.

Moran collects Rookie of the Week accolades after hitting .667 with four doubles in five games played last week. She helped JMU to a 3-2 record, including a series victory over Drexel last weekend. In total she went 8-for12 with five runs, two RBIs, a walk and a sacrifice hit. The first-year third baseman posted a .714 on-base percentage and a 1.000 slugging percentage. She scored a run in all five games and collected multiple hits in three games. Moran went 3-for-3 with two doubles, a run and a RBI in the Dukes' second game at Drexel.

This season, Moran is hitting .277 with five doubles, a home run, 10 runs and nine RBIs. She raised her batting average 66 points over the last five games. Defensively, the Taylor Mill, Ky. native owns a .946 fielding percentage with 37 putouts and 85 assists against seven errors.

Hofstra's Chloe Fitzgerald claimed CAA Player of the Week honors, while Towson's Missy McCormick and Hofstra's Taylor Pirone shared CAA Pitcher of the Week.

JMU is back in action this Wednesday as it hosts North Carolina for a non-conference doubleheader beginning at 3 p.m.

Women's lacrosse

RICHMOND -- Junior defender Lexi Cross earned the first weekly honor of her career from the Colonial Athletic Association Monday, taking Co-Defensive Player of the Week for her play at Delaware and Towson. This is the eighth weekly honor earned by a James Madison lacrosse player this season.

Cross played key defensive roles in both games for Madison this weekend. She limited Delaware's Casey Lyons to just one goal on Friday, helping JMU snap the Blue Hens' nine-game home win streak. On Sunday, she held Towson's leading scorer Andy Raymond to just one goal.

Overall, Cross secured two draw controls and picked up one ground ball during the Dukes' two-game road trip. This season, she is tied for a team-high 29 ground balls with the second-most caused turnovers at 12. She also has six draw controls, one goal and one assist.

Delaware's junior midfielder Caitlin McCartney was named Co-Defensive Player of the Week alongside Cross.

JMU returns home for the final two games on its regular-season slate. Drexel visits on Friday for a 5 p.m. tilt, while Hofstra comes to town for Senior Day on Sunday at 2 p.m.



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