Top-seeded Dukes dominate Charleston in CAA tournament

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HARRISONBURG, Va. -- On the first day of the 2019 Colonial Athletic Association Softball Championship, No. 16 James Madison defeated the College of Charleston in run-rule fashion, topping the Cougars 12-0 in five innings on Wednesday evening at Veterans Memorial Park.

The Dukes improve to 45-7 on the year while the Cougars fall to 26-29. JMU is now 4-0 against Charleston this season, outscoring the Cougars 41-1.

Junior Cambry Arnold led JMU at the plate with three hits while juniors Kate Gordon and Kierstin Roadcap garnered two hits each. In the circle, junior Odicci Alexander earned her 21st win of the season, pitching a complete game while racking up eight strikeouts.

Sophomore Hannah File captured the first hit of the game with a leadoff single in the bottom of the first. Gordon sent a shot to right field and Alexander hit a two-run single up the middle to give JMU a 2-0 lead. Roadcap plated JMU’s final run of the frame as Alexander crossed home plate (3-0).

Arnold began the second inning with a leadoff single and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from junior Madison Naujokas. With a two-run home run to left field, Gordon upped JMU’s lead to 5-0 while blasting her 17th long ball of the year to break the individual single-season runs record with 57 on the season.

The Dukes plated six runs in the third on two hits with a Roadcap double and Arnold’s second single of the contest. JMU drew three of its eight walks in the frame while Charleston made two pitching changes.

With another single from Arnold and Naujokas’ first hit in the game, the Dukes scored their final run in the bottom of the fourth to win 12-0.

--Adding Gordon’s home run, the Dukes have hit 84 homers on the season to tie the single-season team record of 84 in 2018.
--Gordon is one home run shy of tying Morgan Tolle’s single-season home run record of 18 and is tied for sixth all time with 34 career long balls.

“I’m very happy with how our team came ready to play today. We were disciplined at the plate, strong in the field and Odicci was great in the circle. After dropping a tough game to Elon earlier this season, we’re excited to face them again tomorrow for what will be another good game.”

The Dukes advance to the winners’ bracket and are back in action tomorrow at noon to play the No. 2 seed Elon Phoenix.