JMU softball splits two games in Arizona

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TEMPE, AZ. – James Madison softball split games against two top-25 opponents as the Dukes shut out No. 25 Michigan, 4-0, while they were edged 6-4 by No. 16 Arizona State on the first day of the ASU Invitational.

JMU slides to 8-5 on the season while Michigan falls to 9-9 and ASU improves to 16-6.

In a game with nine total hits and eight scoreless innings, JMU lit up in extra innings to get back on the winning track.

The Dukes were hitless until the fifth inning when sophomore Sara Jubas singled through the left side. Redshirt senior Megan Good hit a leadoff double to center in the seventh, but her teammates were retired in order.

JMU went into extra innings for the second straight contest as they recently went to eight against Arizona. With the International Tie Breaker in effect, neither team could capitalize in the eighth.

In the top of the ninth inning, freshman Kelsey Brown was placed on second. Sophomore Hannah File made a sacrifice bunt to advance Brown to third. Good hit a two-run homer to center, her fifth of the season, to give JMU a 2-0 lead. Sophomore Lynsey Meeks, who drew a walk, plated the final run for the Dukes to solidify the 3-0 win.

Junior Odicci Alexander improved to 4-0 on the season after pitching eight complete innings in which she only gave up four hits. Good came in for relief in the ninth inning where retired three Wolverine batters to earn the fifth save of her career.

Arizona State made an early pitching change in the first inning after she hit a player and walked back-to-back batters. Alexander singled to left and File hit a 2 RBI double to right, bringing juniors Kate Gordon and Cambry Arnold home to give JMU an early 2-0 lead.

Junior catcher Kierstin Roadcap, who went 2-for-3 in the game, smashed a solo home run over the wall in right for her third of the season.

The Sun Devils tallied their first hits of the game with a home run and a double to close in on JMU’s lead in the bottom of the third (3-2). Roadcap score to make it 4-2 in the top of the sixth as junior Natalie Cutright reached on a fielding error by the shortstop.

In the top of the seventh, File singled to right followed by Meeks’ first hit of the season as she singled to left. The Dukes weren’t able to add to their lead, leaving two runners on as ASU came up for its final frame where they would hit two homers to win the game, 6-4.

Good is now 4-4 on the season after giving up six earned runs through 6 2/3 innings.

“We played two good teams today and knew both games would be tough going into it. In order for us to beat these programs, we have to play our best ball and I don’t feel like we performed to the best of our abilities today. We’ve got to do a better job of bringing runners in to score while hitting consistently.”

The Dukes are back for day two of the ASU Invitational tomorrow as they face the South Dakota Coyotes at 1:30 p.m. ET.