Freshman pitcher Heather Kiefer (Potomac Falls, Va./Potomac Falls) allowed just one run in a complete-game effort and the offense hit two home runs as the James Madison softball earned a series victory over Georgia State with a 3-1 win at Robert E. Heck Field on Sunday.
JMU won two of three from GSU this weekend to gain a leg up for the second seed in the upcoming Colonial Athletic Association Championships. The Dukes improved to 26-24 overall and 12-5 in the CAA while the Panthers dropped to 34-15 and 11-6 in the league.
Kiefer allowed one unearned run on nine hits and two walks while striking out six to improve to 12-5 on the season. She worked all seven innings to earn her 13th complete game in 18 starts this season.
Kaitlyn Medlam started for GSU and took the loss to drop to 13-4. She allowed two runs on four hits and three walks while striking out three in four innings pitched. Erin Collins pitched the final three innings in relief, giving up a run on two hits and a walk.
Freshman designated player Sarah Mooney (Huntersville, N.C./North Mecklenburg) powered the Madison offense, going 2-for-4 with a home run, a run scored and two RBIs. Junior catcher Megan Shinaberry (Davie, Fla./McCarthy) added a home run, two walks and a RBI in three plate appearances while freshman left fielder Morgan Heath (Yorktown, Va./Grafton) went 2-for-4 with a run scored and a stolen base.
Three different players collected two hits each for Georgia State led by right fielder Chelsea Sparks who went 2-for-3 with a RBI. Shortstop Brenna Morrissey added two hits, including a double, and walked once while left fielder Christina Reed went 2-for-3at the plate.
JMU opened the scoring in the top of the second inning. Shinaberry led off the frame with a solo home, driving the first pitch she saw to deep left field. It was the third homer of the year for the junior catcher.
Madison added a run to its lead in the third inning. Sophomore right fielder Anna Klumpp (Culpeper, Va./Eastern View) drew a lead-off walk and moved to second on a bunt single by freshman left fielder Morgan Heath (Yorktown, Va./Grafton). After a sacrifice bunt and a fielder’s choice, Mooney singled through the left side to drive in Heath.
The Panthers got a pair of two-out hits and capitalized on a Madison fielding error to cut into the lead in the fourth inning. First baseman Megan Kallatsa started the rally with a single and moved to third on a fielding error at short. Right fielder Chelsea Sparks took advantage of second chance and plated the runner with a single to left field.
Mooney reestablished a two-run advantage for the Dukes with a solo blast in the top of the fifth. It was the rookie’s seventh homer of the season, the second-most by a freshman in school history.
Georgia State put six runners on base over the final three innings, including loading the bases in the sixth, but Kiefer worked her way out of trouble each time to close out the win.
The Dukes return to the field next weekend as they host Towson for a three-game series at Veterans Memorial Park. It will be the final regular season series for JMU and Saturday’s series finale is also Senior Day for the two seniors on the team.
NOTES: Senior shortstop Ashley Burnham (Danvers, Mass./Danvers) saw her consecutive games started streak end at a school-record 209 games after sitting out Sunday’s game with an injury.