HARRISONBURG, Va. – Fordham scored 12 runs on eight hits, including three home runs as the James Madison softball team fell in its season opener to the Rams 12-1 in five innings at Veterans Memorial Park, Friday.
The loss snapped JMU’s seven-game winning streak and dropped it to 16-7 on the season. Fordham won its eighth straight to improve to 13-9.
Right-hander Jamie Labovick earned the win for the Rams, improving to 8-6 on the year. She limited her opponent to one run on three hits. The senior struck out two and did not walk a batter in four innings of work. Patti Maloney pitched a perfect inning in relief to close out the game.
Sophomore right-hander Sarah Mooney (Huntersville, N.C./North Mecklenburg) took the loss for Madison, dropping to 2-2. She gave up six runs on five hits and three walks. She struck out three and walked three in two innings of work. Sophomore pitcher Reba DePriest (Apache Junction, Ariz./Skyline) allowed four runs, two earned, on two hits and a walk while striking out two in 1 1/3 innings of relief. Sophomore right-hander Miranda Kemp (Haymarket, Va./Battlefield) gave up two unearned runs on a hit and a walk over the final 1 2/3 innings.
Shortstop Chelsea Palumbo paced the Fordham attack, going 3-for-3 with a triple, two runs and a RBI while designated player Paige Ortiz finished 1-for-2 with a home run and three RBIs. Third baseman Elise Fortier reached base three times. She homered and walked twice, adding two RBIs and two runs scored.
JMU was limited to three hits, two of which came from sophomore left fielder Morgan Heath (Yorktown, Va./Grafton). Heath finished 2-for-2 with a steal. The third hit of the day came from Mooney who completed her day 1-for-2 with a home run and a RBI.
After a scoreless first inning, the Rams jumped out in front 5-0 on a pair of home runs in the top of the second. Ortiz started the scoring with a three-run shot to left field scoring right fielder Michelle Daubman and Palumbo. Daubman reached base on a lead-off walk and moved to second on a bunt single by Palumbo. Mooney retired two of the next three batters, only allowing Labovick to reach on a single, but was unable to escape the inning without further harm as Fortier lined a home run out over the fence in left.
Fordham added two more runs to its lead in the third on a triple by Palumbo and a passed ball. Second baseman Kayla Lombardo scored on Palumbo’s triple to right-center after leading off the frame with a walk. After a hit-by-pitch, Palumbo came in to score on a passed ball.
A walk and an error put two runners on base for the Rams in the fourth inning and Lombardo capitalized on the opportunity, drilling a three-run home run to center field to extend the lead to 10-0.
Madison got a run back in the fourth on a solo home run by Mooney. It was the second-year Duke’s seventh homer of the season and the 16th of her career, tying her for fifth on the school’s all-time list.
The Rams capped off the game with two more runs in the fifth. Pinch hitter Christina Siesta scored on a wild pitched and Labovick scored an unearned run on a ground-out to reach the final margin of 12-1.
JMU returns to action in the 2013 JMU Softball Invitational at 1 p.m. on Saturday against Detroit before closing the day at 3 p.m. against Binghamton.