HEMPSTEAD, N.Y., – Second baseman Tori Rocha hit a two-run double and Olivia Galati tossed a three-hitter to lead Hofstra to a 2-1 win over James Madison in the Colonial Athletic Association Softball Championship game in Hempstead, N.Y., Friday.
Hofstra (43-11) won its 10th CAA Championship and receives the league automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament which starts next week. JMU finishes its season 41-15 and must wait until Sunday’s selection show to see if it receives an at-large selection to the postseason.
JMU sophomores Morgan Heath (Yorktown, Va./Grafton) and Sarah Mooney (Huntersville, N.C./North Mecklenburg) and freshman Jailyn Ford (Hot Springs, Va./Bath County) were named to the All-Tournament team as the Dukes made their third appearance in the championship game. Galati was named the Most Outstanding Player and was joined on the All-Tournament team by catcher Erin Trippi, second baseman Tori Rocha and designated player Chloe Fitzgerald.
Galati earned the win in the circle for the Pride to finish the tournament 3-0 with just one earned run allowed. She improved to 37-10 after giving up one run on three hits in seven innings of work. The senior struck out four and did not walk a batter.
Ford took the loss for Madison, dropping to 23-5 on the season. She gave up two runs on five hits in a complete-game effort. The left-hander struck out three, giving her 199 on the season, and walked one.
Rocha paced the Pride attack, going 1-for-3 with two RBIs while Fitzgerald was 1-for-3 with a run scored. Trippi added a double in three at-bats while Galati earned a walk and a run scored.
The Dukes were led by freshman second baseman Hannah Hayes (LaCrosse, Va./Kenston Forest) who went 1-for-2 with a double and a run scored. Heath added a double and a sacrifice bunt in three at-bats while Mooney went 1-for-3 with a single.
Hofstra took the lead in the top of the third inning, stringing together three consecutive two-out base runners. Galati started the rally by working a walk and moved to second on a single to right field by designated player Chloe Fitzgerald. Rocha capped the inning by lasing a double down the right-field line scoring both runners for the early lead.
The Dukes got a run back in the bottom of the sixth inning on a sacrifice fly by junior shortstop Caitlin Sandy (Fayetteville, N.C./Jack Britt). Hayes led off the inning with a double and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Heath. Sandy followed with a fly by to shallow center field and Hofstra appeared to tag Hayes at the plate, but the umpire ruled obstruction and the run was allowed to stand.
The NCAA Tournament selection show airs at 10 p.m. on Sunday on ESPNU.