ANN ARBOR, Mich. (JMU) – No. 16 James Madison softball advances to the winner’s bracket as the Dukes defeated DePaul, 5-2, in the first game of the Ann Arbor Regional at Alumni Field on Friday afternoon.
JMU improves to 48-7 on the season with the program’s 10th NCAA Regional victory while the Blue Demons fall to 33-15.
Sophomore Sara Jubas and junior Kate Gordon each hit a long ball in the contest as Gordon launched her 19th of the season, setting a single-season program record. In the circle, junior Odicci Alexander collected her 23rd win of the season as the Boydton native earned four strikeouts through five frames.
Scoreless through three complete innings, DePaul took a 1-0 lead on an unearned run from Maranda Gutierrez who reached on an error. Jubas answered in the bottom half of the fourth, knocking a solo home run down the left field line for her 13th homer of the year to tie the game at 1-1.
Carrying the momentum into the fifth, the Dukes began the frame with a walk from sophomore Hannah File. Gordon stepped up and sent a two-run shot to left field, giving JMU a 3-1 lead. In the next at-bat, redshirt senior Megan Good doubled to the wall in center. Junior Kierstin Roadcap plated the final runs of the game with a two-run double to right center.
Good entered in relief at the top of the sixth, hurling two innings in which she gave up one hit while picking up two strikeouts.
“Today was a great team win," Head Coach Loren Laporte said. "I was really happy that our hitters made adjustments when it mattered to help put runs on the board. Our defense was strong while CC and Megan were both great in the circle. It’s always a good feeling when you get the first win under your belt and we need to carry this momentum into our game tomorrow.”
The Dukes are back in action tomorrow at noon where they will face the winner of one-seeded Michigan and four-seeded Saint Francis contest. Tomorrow’s game will be available to watch on ESPN3.