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JMU roundup: Dukes fall to Towson in CAA women's lacrosse final


Daily Staff Reports - sports@nvdaily.com

WILLIAMSBURG - Second-seeded James Madison lacrosse's comeback bid against top-seeded Towson fell just short on Sunday afternoon as the Dukes fell 12-11 in overtime of the Colonial Athletic Association championship game to the Tigers.

Today's game marked the third time the 2014 Co-Regular Season CAA champions have battled for the tournament title (Towson leads 2-1). The Dukes dropped to 11-7 on the year while the Tigers moved to 11-7 overall with their third-consecutive CAA tournament championship.

The Tigers' Michelle Gildea scored the game-winning goal with 35 seconds left in the first overtime off a pass from Gabby Cha. Her tally broke the 11-all tie redshirt-senior attacker Megan Piotrowicz forced with 1:24 remaining in the first overtime off a pass from senior attacker Amy Roguski.

Towson's Kelsea Donnelly tallied the win (11-7), allowing 11 goals and committing eight saves over 66 minutes in goal. Junior goalkeeper Schylar Healy took the loss (11-7), allowing 12 goals and committing five saves over the same time in the cage.

JMU forced three tie scores after overcoming a 5-0 deficit to begin the game, including a 5-2 run to end the first half. The Dukes outscored the Tigers 10-5 over the final 49:35 of regulation to send the game into extra time with a 10-10 game.

The first tie at 9-all came after junior attacker Stephanie Finley forced Towson's Samantha Brookhart into a turnover. Finley secured the ground ball and took Towson goalkeeper Kelsea Donnelly one-on-one.

While Donnelly made the save, she was unable to corral the ball, and redshirt-freshman attacker Betsy Angel won the battle with her away from the net for the loose ball. She quickly sent it into a waiting Roguski in front of the net, who powered it into the goal before Donnelly could get back, and tied the game at 9-9 with 15:38 remaining.

The Tigers took a 10-9 lead with 10:13 left on the regulation clock after Andi Raymond found Cha, but the Dukes remained composed and were able to secure the ball. Coming out of a timeout, JMU was able to set up a game-tying play with 2:20 remaining as Roguski found junior midfielder Ali Curwin for the score that sent the championship game into overtime knotted at 10-all.

Colby Unkle picked up a pass from Ashleigh Rohrback 1:36 into the first overtime to give Towson an 11-10 advantage. Three minutes later, Roguski found Piotrowicz waiting on the left side of the cage and the redshirt senior fired it by Donnelly to tie the game for the third time.

Roguski tied for game-high points with five, scoring twice and assisting on three goals. Finley and Piotrowicz each tied for game-high goals with three. Raymond led the Tigers with five points off three goals and two assists. JMU held the shot advantage 26-24.

Towson edged JMU in overall draw controls 14-13, including a 4-1 advantage in the first overtime. Finley picked up six of the Dukes' draw controls, pushing her single-season record to 69. JMU edged Towson in overall ground balls 18-17, led by Healy's four.

JMU caused 11 of Towson's 13 turnovers, including three by senior Leah Perrotta while the Tigers forced just eight of the Dukes' 14 turnovers. The Dukes were successful on 11 of their 16 clear attempts, and the Tigers successfully cleared the ball on 12 of 14 attempts.

This was the second time this season the Dukes fell 12-11 to the Tigers in overtime. During the regular season (April 13, 2014), Towson overcame JMU by the same score in double overtime in Towson. The Tigers defeated Hofstra 6-5 in the CAA semifinals while the Dukes dropped Delaware 13-9 to advance to the championship game.

Saturday

Baseball

CLEMSON, S.C. - Trailing 3-2 in the eighth inning, Clemson rallied for seven runs to defeat James Madison 9-4 in a non-conference baseball game on Saturday afternoon at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

CU, which is ranked 26th by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, improved to 27-19 while JMU fell to 15-29. It was the second loss of the day by the Dukes after leading a ranked opponent heading into the bottom of the eighth.

Matt Campbell picked up the win in relief to improve to 3-0 after recording the final out of the eighth inning when the Dukes had rallied for two runs to take a 3-2 lead. Starter Matthew Crownover struck out nine with two runs allowed on four hits in 7 2/3 innings.

Senior right-hander Trent Cundiff allowed all seven runs in the eighth to take the loss and fall to 1-2. JMU sophomore Mark Gunst allowed two runs, one earned, on eight hits in six innings as the starter.

Freshman left fielder Josh Wyatt was 2-for-3 with a run scored for the Dukes. Senior designated hitter Nick Merullo doubled and walked with an RBI and a run scored.

Clemson banged out 15 hits with six Tigers posting multiple hits in the game. Right fielder Steven Duggar had two hits with two RBIs and two runs scored. Second baseman Steve Wilkerson had the lone extra-base hit of the 15 with two RBIs and a walk.

Tyler Krieger's single in the first scored the first run of the game for Clemson, but Merullo scored on a wild pitch in the next frame to tie it at 1-1. That score held until the fifth when a walk and an error contributed to the go-ahead run for the Tigers.

After being stymied by Crownover into the eighth inning, redshirt sophomore shortstop Kyle Weston's two-out double chased the starter. The Dukes loaded the bases and a walk by senior third baseman Ty McFarland pushed in the tying run. After the second pitching change of the inning, another walk by Merullo gave JMU a lead at 3-2.

However, four batters into the eighth inning, Clemson tied it on Jay Baun's RBI single up the middle. Jon Mcgibbon singled to drive in the go-ahead run and Duggar's two-run single provided a 6-3 margin. Garrett Boulware's run-scoring single and Wilkerson's two-run double made it 9-3.

The Dukes picked up a final run on sophomore Bobby San Martin's RBI groundout.

JMU will take the week off for semester examinations and will resume Colonial Athletic Association play with its final home games next weekend against Northeastern at 6:30 p.m.

Softball

WILMINGTON, N.C. - Sophomore pitcher Jailyn Ford twirled her second shutout of the weekend to help the James Madison softball team win its first outright Colonial Athletic Association regular season championship with a 1-0 win over UNCW at Boseman Field in Wilmington, N.C., Saturday.

JMU completes the regular season with a 41-13 overall record and a 15-3 mark in CAA play. The regular season crown is the second in school history after tying with Hofstra for the title in 2007, but is the Dukes' first outright title. They'll hos next weekend conference tournament with Hofstra, Charleston and Towson joining them at Veterans Memorial Park. UNCW completes its season with an 18-34 mark and 4-13 league record.

For earned the win to improve to 21-6 on the season after limiting the Seahawks to five hits in seven innings pitched. The left-hander struck out eight and did not walk a batter while tossing her eighth shutout of the season.

Casey Rowland took the loss for UNCW to complete the year with a 10-15 record. She pitched well, allowing four hits and one run in seven innings of work. The left-hander struck out five and walked three.

Ford led the Dukes at the plate as well, going 2-for-2 with a walk in three plate appearances. She picked up her 30th walk of the season, becoming the second player in school history to walk 30 or more times in a season. She trails only Julia Dominguez (2006-09) on the program's single-season list. Sophomore catcher Erica Field went 1-for-3 with a double while freshman right fielder Taylor Newton was 1-for-3 with a single.

Four players combined for five hits for the Seahawks led by center fielder Brittany Gamby going 2-for-3 with a pair of singles. Catcher Casey Shue, first baseman Erin Brown and Rowland all went 1-for-3 with a single.

The game's only run came in the top of the sixth inning as Field ignited the rally with a double into the right-center gap. Freshman pinch runner Carli Lemelin subbed in for the Dukes and moved to third on a wild pitch. The Seahawks elected to intentionally walk Ford at the plate, but Rowland's offering was wild allowing Lemelin to race home.

Ford was masterful all day in the circle and closed out the game by retiring the side in order in the seventh. She did not allow a runner to advance beyond second and only twice had a Seahawk advance into scoring position

The 2014 CAA Softball Championship gets underway at noon on Wednesday, May 7 from Veterans Memorial Park. The Dukes take on Towson in the noon game with Charleston and Hofstra playing at 3 p.m.




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