JMU roundup: McPherson earns CAA baseball honor

RICHMOND — James Madison University freshman second baseman Kyle McPherson has been named the Colonial Athletic Association Rookie of the Week, as announced by the league on Monday afternoon.

The Chesapeake native helped lead the Dukes to their first CAA series win of the season, as JMU won twice in this weekend’s three-game series with Delaware.

McPherson posted a .350 batting average and .550 slugging percentage on the week, including a 7-for-12 performance across the weekend series against Delaware, driving in three runs and scoring five. Friday’s series opener saw him go 3-for-3 with two walks and four runs, marking the Dukes’ first four-run evening since then-senior Ty McFarland accomplished the feat on February 22 of last season.

The rookie second baseman has been dialed in since the start of conference play, posting a .417 batting average and a .500 on-base percentage in CAA games, ranking sixth in the league in both categories.

This is the third time this season that a JMU player has been named Rookie of the Week, as fellow freshman Michael Sciorra grabbed the honor for his opening weekend and McPherson himself garnered the award on March 10.

McPherson and the Dukes will be back in action on Wednesday, April 8, when they head to Charlottesville for a midweek matchup with No. 9 Virginia. First pitch is set for 5 p.m. at Davenport Field.

Men’s basketball

HARRISONBURG — James Madison head men’s basketball coach Matt Brady announced Monday that forward Hari Hall has left the team to pursue a professional opportunity outside of sports.

Hall averaged 5.8 points and 2.7 rebounds in 19 games during his freshman season. He recorded double-figure points four times, including season bests of 15 points against both Virginia (Nov. 14) and High Point (Dec. 20). In the U.Va. game, Hall knocked down a season-high four 3-pointers. He was named Colonial Athletic Association Rookie of the Week back on Dec. 22, 2014.

The Dukes finished the 2014-15 season with a 19-14 overall record and won a share of the CAA regular-season title, with a 12-6 mark. JMU received an invitation to the CollegerInsider.com Postseason Tournament, marking the fourth time in seven seasons that Brady has guided a JMU team to the postseason.

Women’s tennis

HARRISONBURG — James Madison women’s tennis handled Hampton 7-0 at Hillside Courts on Monday, and the Dukes improved to 11-6 on the spring season.

The Lady Pirates fell to 2-11 as the Dukes snapped their two-match win-streak.

JMU picked up automatic wins at No. 3 doubles and Nos. 5 and 6 singles as Hampton defaulted at those positions. The Dukes swept both No. 1 and No. 2 doubles before earning two-set wins at Nos.1-4 singles.

With Hampton’s default at No. 3 doubles, JMU held a 1-0 advantage towards the point to open play. Senior Taylor Pinchoff and sophomore Alex Huie won 8-0 over Miarian Mitaishvili and Mikaela Pierce at No. 1 to clinch the point before sophomore Rebecca Harris and freshman Kimmy Herrock defeated Daneya Charles and Anastasiia Romanova 8-0 at No. 2 to complete the sweep.

Headed into singles action, the Dukes held a 3-0 lead with the Lady Pirates’ defaults at Nos. 5 and 6 singles. Senior Sarah Khan clinched the team victory with straight 6-2 wins at the No. 4 position.

Harris followed with a 6-2, 6-1 victory at No. 3 singles, dispatching Romanova to give the Dukes a 5-0 lead. Huie made it 6-0 in JMU’s favor with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Mitaishvili at No. 2 singles.

Sophomore Rachel Nelson completed the 7-0 victory for the Dukes with a two-set triumph over Pierce at No. 1 singles. After trailing 5-2 in the first set, Nelson won the next 11 games of the match for a 7-5 success in set one and a 6-0 victory in set two.

The Dukes return to Hillside Courts on Tuesday, April 7 to face Richmond at 3 p.m.