Dukes Defeat Boston College, ECU at Pirate Invitational

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (JMU Athletics) -- No. 18 James Madison softball run ruled Boston College in five innings, 9-0, before defeating East Carolina, 3-1, on Sunday afternoon in the Pirate Invitational.

The Dukes improve to 5-2 on the season while the Eagles fall to 3-7 and the Pirates slide to 8-3.

JMU got out to an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first as junior Cambry Arnold scored on a sacrifice fly to left field from sophomore Hannah File. The Dukes maintains their lead until the fourth and fifth innings in which they talled four runs in each.

Junior Natalie Cutright singled up the middle to start the fourth and sophomore Michelle Sullivan would enter the game to pinch run. Sophomore Sara Jubas hit a sacrifice bunt, advancing Sullivan to second. Junior Kierstin Roadcap hit a two-run home run to center, marking her first of the season while expanding JMU's lead to 3-0.

To cap off the fourth, junior Odicci Alexander helped her pitching cause with a triple to right field, bringing juniors Kate Gordon and Madison Naujokas home to score (5-0).

Sullivan notched her first hit of the season, singling to right in the fifth. File and Sullivan would both score of throwing errors by ECU, giving the Dukes a 7-0 lead. Alexander took a shot to center, sending sophomore Logan Newton and Jubas across the plate (9-0).

JMU battled at the place, drawing eight walks against the Pirates while racking up seven hits, forcing ECU to make two pitching changes. Alexander pitched five complete innings, giving up only one hit while tallying four strikeouts in her 15th career shutout.

The Dukes began the game with only three hits through four complete innings as Gordon and Alexander each doubled to left center and File singled through the middle.

In the top of the fifth, Arnold placed a perfect bunt in front of the ECU catcher and used her speed to beat out the throw at first. Good launched a ball just out of the center fielder's reach for her third homer of the season while giving JMU the 2-0 lead.

With two hits in the bottom of the sixth, the Pirates closed in on the Dukes, making the score 2-1. File, who went 2-for-4 in the game, hit an RBI single through the middle to expand JMU's lead, 3-1 in the top of the seventh.

Good notched her third win of the season, pitching seven complete innings while giving up six hits and tallying a season-high 10 strikeouts.

"After fighting weather delays this morning, I'm glad we were able to get on the field and come away with two wins today. Our bats were a little slow getting started against Boston College, but we found our rhythm in the last two innings. ECU is a good team and we made big hits in crucial moments, but we left too many runners on base."
The Dukes will travel out west to play at the Wildcat Invitational in Phoenix on March 2-3 before competing in the Arizona State Invitational on March 7-9.