“Super” Seniors lead JMU softball team into NCAA regional play

Updated: May. 18, 2021 at 11:47 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - A trio of fifth-year seniors leads the James Madison softball team as the Dukes prepare for the start of NCAA regional play.

Kate Gordon (OF), Odicci Alexander (P/INF), and Madison Naujokas (INF) are taking advantage of an extra season with the Dukes after they were granted another year of eligibility by the NCAA due to the 2020 season ending early in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s been so much fun,” said Alexander. “I am blessed to be here with my two other “super” seniors. I wouldn’t want it any other way.”

Gordon, Alexander, and Naujokas are all starters and key contributors for a JMU team that boasts a 34-1 overall record, claimed the CAA Championship, and earned a spot in the Knoxville Regional of the NCAA Tournament.

Gordon, a native of Page County, is batting .417 to go along with 17 home runs and 52 RBI. She has a JMU-record 67 home runs for her career.

“It’s been a blast,” said Gordon. “We have been together the last five years, we have been through a lot with our time here and to finally have a senior season, a full senior season, it may not have been as many games but we are still going to postseason like we have always wanted to do.”

Alexander is a two-way star who owns a .367 batting average while dominating in the circle as a pitcher. She boasts a 12-0 record to go along with a 0.62 ERA and 138 strikeouts in 79.0 innings pitched. Alexander has not allowed an earned run in any of her last eight appearances. She was named the CAA Pitcher of the Year for the 2021 season.

Naujokas, who starts at second base, is the 2021 CAA Defensive Player of the Year. She has committed just two errors in 35 games while batting .354 with four home runs and 25 RBI.

“We have been through a lot together,” said Naujokas. “It might be good, it might be bad but I just take it as an opportunity to continue our friendship afterwards.”

Led by the three “super” seniors, JMU will play Liberty in the first round of the Knoxville Regional Friday at noon. The game will be televised on ESPNU.

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