Senior shortstop Caitlin Sandy (Fayetteville, N.C./Jack Britt) went 3-for-4 with a home run to lead the James Madison softball team to a Colonial Athletic Association series sweep over Towson with a 10-2, six-inning win at Veterans Memorial Park, Sunday.
JMU has won five straight games and 18 of its last 21 to improve to 28-11 overall. The Dukes sit in sole possession of first place in the conference with a 7-2 record. Towson dropped its fourth straight to fall to 17-15 and 0-3 in the league.
Madison outscored Towson 30-2 in the series, winning each game by the early termination rule. Sophomore pitcher Jailyn Ford (Hot Springs, Va./Bath County) earned the win in relief on Sunday for the Dukes to improve to 15-6 this season. She did not allow a run, holding TU to five hits and a walk in five innings pitched. The left-hander struck out eight. Junior right-hander Heather Kiefer (Potomac Falls, Va./Potomac Falls) drew the start. She left after an inning of work. Kiefer allowed two runs on a hit and two walks.
Missy McCormick took the loss for the Tigers, falling to 8-5 this season. She allowed nine runs, four earned, on eight eights in five innings pitched. The righty struck out four and walked five. Ambar Hickman gave up one run on one hit in 2/3 innings of work.
In addition to her three hits, Sandy finished with four RBIs and three runs scored to drive the Dukes’ offense. Senior first baseman Cassidy Clayton (Acton, Mass./Acton Boxborough) went 2-for-3 with two RBIs while freshman center fielder Niki Prince (Ashburn, Va./Stone Bridge) collected two hits, a walk, two RBIs and a run scored.
The Tigers were led by right fielder Maureen Hepner who went 1-for-3 with a home run and two RBIs. McCormick reached base all three times she came to bat with two hits and a hit-by-pitch while center fielder Olivia Yarbrough went 2-for-4 on the day.
Towson opened the scoring in the top of the first as Hepner lifted a two-run home run to right field. Shortstop Hailey Balk scored on the play after drawing a one-out walk.
JMU got a run back in the bottom half of the inning on a two-out single by Sandy that scored Prince from third.
The Dukes took the lead from Towson with five runs in the bottom of the third. Sandy opened the scoring with a two-run single that scored sophomore second baseman Hannah Hayes (LaCrosse, Va./Kenston Forest) and freshman pinch runner Carli Lemelin (Richmond, Va./Godwin). Freshman right fielder Taylor Newton (Bradenton, Fla./Lakewood Ranch) added a RBI single that scored Ford and Sandy came in to score on a throwing error before Clayton capped the frame with a single to left-center to score Newton.
Three more run crossed home in the bottom of the fifth on RBI singles by Clayton and Prince before Sandy wrapped up the game with a walk-off solo home run in the bottom of the sixth.
JMU returns to Veterans Memorial Park on Wednesday as it hosts a non-conference doubleheader against Longwood. First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m.