Grand Slams Power Dukes Past Cougars
Propelled by two grand slams, No. 20 James Madison softball shut out the College of Charleston, 16-0, in a five-inning run-rule victory to complete the Colonial Athletic Association series sweep on Sunday afternoon at Veterans Memorial Park.
Picking up their eight-straight win, the Dukes are 36-7 on the year and 14-1 in CAA action while Charleston fell to 21-25 and 5-10. JMU has swept four of its conference opponents with the lone loss coming to Elon in the opening series on March 23.
The Dukes jumped out to an early lead, plating six runs in the first inning. Junior Kate Gordon singled through the left side for the first hit of the game and redshirt senior Megan Good scored Hannah File on a double down the right field line. Sophomore Logan Newton reached on an error and with bases loaded, Sara Jubas drew the second walk of the inning to score another run.
With only one out in the first, Charleston made its first pitching change of the day as Izzy Berouty entered the game. Junior Kierstin Roadcap launched her second grand slam of the season, sending a long ball to left field for a 6-0 lead.
In the second, Charleston walked three-straight batters to load the bases for junior Odicci Alexander. With a full count, Alexander hit the second grand slam of the contest over the wall in center. The Cougars made another pitching change, but the Dukes notched two more hits and freshman Victoria Figueroa drove in a run to expand JMU's lead to 11-0.
Charleston singled in the top of the fourth for its only hit of the game before the Dukes tallied four in the bottom of the frame. The freshmen took over for JMU, starting with a leadoff hit from Kelsey Brown and a RBI single by Figueroa. Sophomore Sydney LaScola pinch hit and crushed a two-run double for her first hit of the 2019 campaign.
Pinch hitting for the Dukes, sophomore Lynsey Meeks sent a sac fly to right field to score Figueroa. Freshman Hannah Shifflett scored the final run of the game with a single through the left side to give JMU its final score of 16-0.
Alexander recorded her 16th victory of the season, pitching five complete innings in her seventh one-hitter of the season while earning her fifth shutout. The Boydton native didn't walk a single batter and earned four strikeouts.
FOR HISTORY'S SAKE
The Dukes broke the school record for most runs batted in during a single game with all 16 runs coming as RBIs. JMU has had 15 three times in program – most recently against Hofstra on April 6.
The two grand slams from Roadcap and Alexander are believed to be a program record.
Shifflett and Brown both notched their first collegiate hits.
QUOTING COACH LAPORTE
"I'm really proud of how well our team played all series long and for those who took advantage of their opportunities off the bench. Those two grand slams from Kierstin and CC today were huge, scoring half of our runs. We were great defensively today and CC did well in the circle once again. Next week will be another challenge for us playing UVA on Tuesday before our final home conference series against Drexel."
The Dukes will have a day off before hosting Virginia on Tuesday, April 23 for a doubleheader. Tuesday is JMU's "Strike Out Cancer" game and first pitch is set for 4 p.m. For those interested in supporting our cause, please visit our page for American Cancer Society.