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JMU softball gets national seed, will host NCAA Tournament regional

jmu-logo-newFor the first time in history, James Madison earned a national seed and will host the Harrisonburg Regional in the 2015 NCAA Softball Championship, the NCAA selection committee announced live Sunday night during the NCAA Softball Championship Selection Show on ESPNU.

The Dukes were selected as the No. 15 overall seed in the tournament bracket and will welcome in Binghamton, Fordham and North Carolina State for the four-team, double-elimination regional. The Harrisonburg Regional will take place from May 15-17 at Veterans Memorial Park. Second-seeded N.C. State will face third-seeded Fordham at 2 p.m. on Friday while top-seeded JMU will take on fourth-seeded Binghamton at 4:30 p.m. The full tournament schedule is below.

JMU will be making its third straight NCAA Championship appearance and fourth overall as a program after going 47-8 this season. The Dukes turned in the Colonial Athletic Association’s second-ever perfect conference record, at 19-0, and finished runner-up at the CAA Softball Championship this past week.

Madison produced a program-record, 36-game win streak this year, nearly going two months without a single loss. The squad swept the conference awards, highlighted by junior Jailyn Ford being named CAA Player of the Year. Freshman Megan Good was selected as the Pitcher and Rookie of the Year and junior Erica Field repeated as Defensive Player of the Year while Mickey Dean was voted Coach of the Year for the second straight season.

The Dukes rank third in the country in triples per game (0.40) while also ranking fifth in team ERA (1.66), ninth in batting average (.350), 13th in doubles per game (1.67), 17th in slugging percentage (.560) and 31st in stolen bases per game (1.55).

Individually, Good, who is 28-2 this season, holds the fifth-best ERA in Division I, at 1.00, while ranking 11th in hits allowed per seven innings (4.11) and 23rd in sacrifice flies (5). Field is 10th in doubles per game (0.38), 27th in RBIs (60) and 31st in batting average (.444). Ford ranks 10th in strikeouts per seven innings (9.9) and 14th in hits allowed per seven (4.16) while sophomore Niki Prince is 25th in triples (5).

Joining JMU in the field of 64 this year is CAA rival Hofstra, which received a No. 2 seed in the Gainesville Regional, hosted by the University of Florida.

The 16 regional champions will advance to next week’s Super Regionals (May 21-24) for a best-of-three series at the higher seed. The Harrisonburg Regional champion will meet the winner of the Eugene Regional in the Supers. The Women’s College World Series will take place in Oklahoma City, Okla., from May 28 – June 3 at the ASA Hall of Fame Stadium.

Tickets: Single-day and all-session passes are on sale now through the JMU Athletics Ticket Office.  Tickets can be purchased in person inside Entrance D of the JMU Convocation Center, over the phone at 540-568-DUKE(3853), as well as online here.Single-day tickets are $10 while the all-session book is $25 and all seating is general admission  (Children 5 & under are free for general admission seating). JMU Students will be admitted for free with a JACard. Gates will open one hour prior to first pitch on each day. The stadium does allow re-entry for ticketed patrons. For more information regarding tournament tickets, call (540) 568-3853.

2015 Harrisonburg Regional Schedule
Friday, May 15
Game 1: 2:00 p.m. – No. 2 NC State vs. No. 3 Fordham
Game 2: 4:30 p.m. – No. 1 JMU vs. No. 4 Binghamton

Saturday, May 16
Game 3: 2:00 p.m. – Winner of Game 1 vs. Winner of Game 2
Game 4: 4:30 p.m. – Loser of Game 1 vs. Loser of Game 2
Game 5: 7:00 p.m. – Loser of Game 3 vs. Winner of Game 4

Sunday, May 17
Game 6: 2:00 p.m. – Winner of Game 3 vs. Winner of Game 5
Game 7: 4:30 p.m. – if necessary

Get to Know the Visiting Teams
No. 2 N.C. State – 35-20
* Nicknamed the Wolfpack
* Fifth NCAA Championship selection and third straight
* Finished fifth in the ACC, reached ACC semifinals
* Renada Davis and Emily Weiman both named to All-ACC First Team
* Played JMU in 2013 Knoxville Regional

No. 3 Fordham – 36-18
* Nicknamed the Rams
* Fifth NCAA Championship selection and third straight
* Finished third in Atlantic 10 and won A-10 Tournament title
* Amy Van Hoven and Kayla Lombardo named to All-Atlantic 10 First Team
* Won 11 straight games and 19 of 21

No. 4 Binghamton – 24-19
* Nicknamed the Bearcats
* First NCAA Championship selection
* Finished third in the America East and won the AE Tournament title
* Jessica Rutherford named America East Rookie of the Year while Lisa Cadogan, Taylor Chaffee and Sydney Harbaugh were all named to the All-America East First Team