HARRISONBURG, Va. -- No. 15 James Madison softball broke the program’s single-season team home run record as the Dukes launched four long balls to secure a 9-1 run-rule victory over Elon on Thursday afternoon in the 2019 CAA Softball Championship at Veterans Memorial Park.
JMU advances to the championship game with a 46-7 record while Elon falls to 32-19-1 on the year. Redshirt senior Megan Good upped her season record to 19-5 with her 19th complete game of the season in which she tallied seven strikeouts through five innings.
Three juniors went 2-for-3 on the day as Kierstin Roadcap, Odicci Alexander and Kate Gordon all batted .667 in the contest. Gordon hit JMU’s first of four home runs, breaking the team’s single-season record of 84 from 2018.
The first hit of the game was a solo blast to left field for Gordon’s 18th of the year, tying the single-season record set by Morgan Tolle last season. The Dukes loaded the bases for Roadcap who sent a two-run single up the middle to give JMU an early 3-0 lead.
The Dukes plated one run in each of the next three innings. Alexander made it 4-0 with a RBI single in the second while sophomore Sara Jubas hit a leadoff home run in the bottom of the third. Jubas is now the fifth player to reach double-digit home runs this season as she improves her total to 10.
Alexander doubled through the left side in the fourth, bringing freshman Lexi Lomax in to pinch run who scored on a wild pitch to expand JMU’s lead to 7-0. Elon scored its only run of the game in the top of the fifth, but the Dukes answered with back-to-back homers from junior Madison Naujokas and sophomore Hannah File. Gordon hit a single and Good followed with a double while Alexander’s fielder’s choice allowed Gordon to clinch the run-rule win.
FOR HISTORY’S SAKE
--The Dukes’ win streak continues as JMU has won 18 consecutive games which is the most since winning 19 straight in March 29, 2017 through May 12, 2017.
--Naujokas and File hit back-to-back home runs for the first time since Good and Alexander hit two against Virginia on March 23.
--The is third time this season JMU has hit four home runs in a game. -----The last time the Dukes hit four was against Drexel on April 27. Four home runs tie the CAA record for home runs in a postseason contest.
--JMU has scored in every inning of the CAA tournament thus far.
QUOTING COACH LAPORTE
“We’re taking walks, we’re getting base hits, hitting home runs and that’s what we need to do. I’m really proud of our offense and sticking with the game plan to score in every inning. Megan did a great job in the circle and our defense made some good plays behind her. The girls are hungry to win and they’re going to come out ready to play for a championship tomorrow.”
The one-seeded Dukes look to win their fifth CAA championship title as JMU will play in the championship game tomorrow at 11 a.m. on its home field.