Promising 2020 season for JMU softball ends early

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HARRISONBURG, Va. -- The James Madison softball team's 2020 season was off to a promising start when play was shut down due to COVID-19.

James Madison Softball - 2020 Season

The Dukes were 13-6 overall with multiple wins over Power Five programs (Texas Tech, Missouri, North Carolina, NC State, Virginia, California) when the season came to a premature end.

"We were getting ready to head into conference play," said JMU head coach Loren LaPorte. "We had one weekend left and then we were going to start conference (play)...Our team was playing really well I was so happy with our offense and the rhythm that we were getting with our hitters and especially the new hitters that broke (into) the lineup this year."

JMU was considered to be the favorite to win the CAA Championship and the Dukes appeared primed for another deep postseason run in 2020 when play was halted.

"You can't think about that," said LaPorte. "You just have to move forward at this point and stay positive and hope for a better year next year."

As the Dukes look ahead and prepare for the 2021 season, they'll do so with three of their most important players back in the fold. Seniors Kate Gordon (OF), Odicci Alexander (P/Util), and Madison Naujokas (2B) will return to the program next season and take advantage of an NCAA rule that grants spring sports athletes an extra year of eligibility after the 2020 season was shut down early due to coronavirus.