No. 24/25 James Madison seized control of the Colonial Athletic Association standings after storming back twice in late innings to sweep the series against rival Hofstra with 4-2 and 7-4 victories on Saturdayafternoon at the Hofstra Softball Stadium.
The Dukes stretched their program-record win streak to 20 games after claiming back-to-back road wins at Hofstra for the first time in history. The Dukes sit at 29-6 overall with an 8-0 mark in CAA play while the Pride dropped to 17-9-1 and 6-2.
Freshman second baseman Morgan Tolle led the team by hitting .800 (4-for-5) with two runs, one RBI and two doubles while sophomore right fielder Tahli Moore hit .500 (2-for-4) with a run and an RBI. Both freshman Megan Good and junior Jailyn Ford picked up wins in the circle, pitching complete games, as the combined to allow six runs and nine hits, while striking out 19 HU batters.
The Dukes return to action next weekend at home when they host UNCW for a three-game series at Veterans Memorial Park. The teams will play a doubleheader on Saturday, April 11, beginning at 3 p.m., with the finale on Sunday, April 12, starting at 2 p.m.
Game 1: JMU 4, Hofstra 2
James Madison erased a two-run deficit, scoring twice in both the sixth and seventh innings to win game one of the doubleheader, 4-2, at Hofstra on Sunday afternoon. It was JMU’s first road win against HU since May 6, 2009, when it won 2-0 in first game of the CAA Championship.
Freshman second baseman Morgan Tolle went 2-for-3 with two doubles, as she drove in the game-winning run, while junior catcher Erica Field hit a two-RBI double to erase Hofstra’s lead. Freshman pitcher Megan Good threw a complete game, allowing two runs and six hits, while striking out 10 to improve to 17-0 this season and extend JMU’s program-record win streak to 19 games.
After HU took a 2-0 lead on a run in the third and another in the fifth, the Dukes tied the game with one swing in the sixth. With two runners in scoring position, Field lined a double to right center, scoring both sophomore pinch runnerCaitlin Viafora and sophomore shortstop Niki Prince to square the game at 2-2.
Sophomore center fielder Taylor Newton led off the seventh with a single and moved over to second on a successful sacrifice bunt. Tolle hit her second double of the game, as she lined it down the left field line to score Newton to give the Dukes a 3-2 lead. On the ensuing at-bat, Tolle scored off a Tahli Moore single to center to double up Hofstra, 4-2.
Good came back out to the circle and shut down the Pride, striking out all three batters to close out the game. She struck out six of the final seven Hofstra batters in the win.
Taylor Pirone took the loss for the Pride, conceding two runs and three hits in 1.2 innings of relief. Morgan Lashley did not get the decision after giving up two runs and four hits, to go with eight strikeouts in her 5.1 innings.
Game 2: JMU 7, Hofstra 4
James Madison fell into an early 4-0 hole, but used a three-run third and a four-run seventh to surge back for a 7-4 win against Hofstra to sweep the series on Sunday afternoon.
Three Dukes had multi-hit games, as junior pitcher Jailyn Ford went 2-for-3 with three RBI’s, a run and walk and sophomore shortstop Niki Prince hit 2-for-3 with a run while freshman second baseman Morgan Tolle was 2-for-2 with a run.
Ford also collected her seventh straight win on the mound, improving to 10-4 after allowing four runs, three hits and three walks while striking out nine. After allowing four runs on two hits and three walks in the bottom of the first, Ford only allowed one more hit in the final six innings.
Hofstra scored the game’s first run on a wild pitch, and after the bases were loaded on three walks, Michaela Transue knocked a three-RBI double to center field to put the host Pride ahead 4-0.
The Dukes climbed back to within one in the third, scoring three runs in the top of the third. The Dukes loaded the bases with no outs and scored on a fielder’s choice and ground out to cut the deficit in half. Ford singled to short to drive in the team’s third run of the frame.
JMU threatened in the fifth and sixth innings, placing a runner in scoring position in both times at bat, but couldn’t muster another run, until the seventh inning when the Dukes struck for four, all with two outs.
Madison loaded the bases on the first three batters but Hofstra secured the lead, getting the lead runner out at home on back-to-back at-bats, bringing up Ford with two outs. On the 0-1 delivery, she smacked a single through the right side, scoring both Prince and junior catcher Erica Field, to give the Dukes a 5-4 lead. Sophomore center fielder Taylor Newtontacked on two more with her double down the left field line to score freshman first baseman Megan Good and Ford.