No. 21 JMU softball earns road win at North Carolina

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – No. 21 James Madison defeats North Carolina, 6-3, on Wednesday afternoon to move to a record of 3-1 on the season. Senior Kate Gordon collected four hits to help propel JMU past the Tar Heels.

Senior Odicci Alexander (3-0) started in the circle and went seven innings, giving up three runs, on six hits, allowing three walks and striking out five. -In addition to her four hits, Gordon had a walk to lead the Dukes. Sophomore Hannah Shifflet compiled a noteworthy day at the dish as well, going 2-for-4 with a double, a home run and three RBIs. Junior Sara Jubas also chipped in for JMU, putting together three hits in five trips to the plate while adding a double and an RBI.

How It Happened
The Dukes got the scoring started early, first putting runs on the board in the first inning. Gordon scored off a throwing error by the Tar Heels to give JMU the 1-0 lead. Hannah File sent a single to center field to bring home Jubas.

The Dukes then held the Tar Heels scoreless before expanding their lead in the fourth inning. JMU picked up two runs, including one on a solo homer off the bat of Shifflet. The sophomore's homer was her first hit of the 2020 season. Jubas brought home Gordon on a double down the left field line, which brought the score to 4-0 in favor of the Dukes.

North Carolina narrowed JMU's lead to 4-1 before the Dukes stretched the advantage to 6-1 in the seventh inning. The Dukes drove two runs across on a two-run double from Shifflet that scored senior Madison Naujokas and junior Michelle Sullivan. North Carolina put two runs on the scoreboard before the game was over, but JMU still held on for the 6-3 win.

Quoting Coach LaPorte
"We knew coming into this game it was going to be a battle," said LaPorte. "I am proud of how we played at the plate and kept our composure. We need to keep that intensity up throughout the whole game as we prepare for the game this weekend."

Game Facts
» JMU recorded a season high of 14 hits.
» Alexander struck out five Tar Heels hitters.
» The Dukes power output was led by Shifflet, who picked up two extra base hits in the ballgame.
» JMU's highest scoring inning was fourth and seventh, when it pushed two runs across in each inning.
» Five Dukes had multiple hits in the ballgame.
» The Dukes out-hit the Tar Heels at a 14-6 clip.
» The Dukes drew four walks from North Carolina pitching.
» Shifflet recorded a career high hits going 2-for-4 with a double, a home run and three RBIs.

Up Next
No. 21 James Madison softball will travel to Athens, Ga. for the Georgia Classic on Feb. 21-23. The Dukes will face Austin Peay, No. 15 Georgia and Central Michigan.