JMU Softball Wins CAA Championship, Beats Hofstra 9-0
Top-seeded James Madison softball won its second consecutive 2017 Colonial Athletic Association Championship Friday afternoon inside Veterans Memorial Park, blanking second-seeded Hofstra with a 9-0 final to win back-to-back conference titles for the first time in program history.
James Madison University Media Release
HARRISONBURG, Va. – Top-seeded James Madison softball won its second consecutive 2017 Colonial Athletic Association Championship Friday afternoon inside Veterans Memorial Park, blanking second-seeded Hofstra with a 9-0 final to win back-to-back conference titles for the first time in program history.
With the victory, JMU has now won 19 consecutive games, bringing the program’s 2017 record to 50-6 overall, which ties the JMU and Colonial Athletic Association’s record for single-season wins. JMU also earned its fourth overall conference title and the third under Head Coach Mickey Dean. The Pride stumbled to 27-23.
Junior Megan Good led the Dukes in the championship game as she went 2-for-3 with two runs scored. She was the lone Duke to tally multiple hits in Friday’s contest. Senior infielder Madyson Moran plated two runs on her lone hit, a double in the fourth inning. Moran also scored two runs in the contest.
Good tossed the complete game to earn her 36th victory of the season. The right-hander stranded eight base runners over the outing as she allowed six hits, two walks and a hit-by-pitch. She also fanned six in the championship game.
Hofstra threatened early with a double and single to lead off the first inning. The Pride’s Brittany Allocca knocked a ground ball to second as freshman infielder Madison Naujokas fielded the play and zipped a throw to freshman Kierstin Roadcap for a tag at the plate to keep Hofstra off the board. The Pride loaded the bases with a walk before Good struck out back-to-back batters to retire the side.
Junior infielder Morgan Tolle knocked JMU’s first hit with a single up the middle. The Dukes put runners on the corners with one out as Good’s comebacker to Hofstra pitcher Sarah Cornell was bobbled, allowing Good to reach on the error. Senior outfielder Taylor Newtonknocked a fielder’s choice in the infield that allowed freshman pinch runner Michala Pellegrino to score as the Pride infielder stumbled in a run down between third and home. The RBI was a historic moment for Newton as she tied the Colonial Athletic Association all-time career RBI record.
Two walks put Moran and Naujokas on base with one out in the bottom of the second before Roadcap continued her hot-hitting at the championship tournament with a RBI single to left field to extend JMU’s lead to 2-0. Tolle capped the two-run third inning with a sacrifice fly to center field to bring home Naujokas.
JMU loaded the bases to lead off the bottom of the third after a single up the middle from Good and walks issued to freshman designated player Odicci Alexander and Newton. Junior Jessica Mrozek stepped to the plate in a pinch-hit appearance, knocking a single to right to drive home Good. Two wild pitches from Hofstra’s Aylssa Irons brought home two runs for the Dukes before Naujokas grounded out to second, picking up an RBI in the process to extend the lead to 7-0.
After the scoring threat in the first inning, the Pride would not reach third base until the top of the fourth after loading the bases with one out with help of a single, walk and hit by pitch. The Dukes shut the door on the scoring attempt as Prince fielded a fly ball to short and Good notched her sixth strikeout of the game to retire the side.
Good reached base for the third time during Friday’s championship game after leading off the fourth with a single to left field. She was joined on base by Newton, who reached on a hit by pitch. Moran cleared the bases with a double to right field, plating the final runs of the championship game.
Four Dukes were named to the CAA All-Tournament team after their championship performances. Kierstin Roadcap was the lone freshman on the list. She held a tournament-leading .667 average at the plate as she went 4-for-6 with a triple. She scored one run while notching three RBIs. Seniors Niki Prince and Taylor Newton also earned all-tournament accolades. Newton went 2-for-4 with three runs scored and two RBIs, including driving home the game-winning run of the championship game. Prince went 3-for-5 with three runs scored and an RBI. Megan Good was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player. At the plate, Good went 4-for-8 with a team-high four runs scored. She slugged two home runs with a team-leading six RBIs. In the circle, Megan held a 0.58 over 12.0 innings of work. She tossed two complete games, earning the victories in both. She allowed just one earned run off eighth hits and four walks while striking out 11.
“RUN”NING DOWN A RECORD
JMU becomes the first team in CAA history to win all of its tournament games in run-rule fashion.
Taylor Newton made some Colonial Athletic Association history as her RBI in Friday’s championship contest was the 180th of her career, tying Hofstra’s Tessa Ziemba (2010-13) and Ashley Lane (2004-07) for the conference record.
For the second consecutive season, JMU has recorded 50 wins on the diamond. This number ties the program and the Colonial Athletic Association’s single-season wins record. JMU outscored opponents 29-1 over the week to bring its two-year cumulative scoring mark at the CAA Championship to 54-3. This is the third consecutive season the championship game was decided in shutout fashion.
Over the 2017 CAA Championship, JMU set multiple tournament records. The Dukes only allowed one run over their three-game tournament slate which ties Hofstra (2013) and the 2009 Dukes for the fewest runs allowed. JMU’s team batting average (.443) and on-base percentage (.565) were also both tournament records. The Dukes committed no errors over four games, tying four other squads for the team record. JMU’s margin of victory (+29) and runs per game (10.0 per game) were tournament-best numbers.
James Madison will learn its NCAA Regional fate on Sunday, May 14 as the NCAA Softball Selection Show will air at 10 p.m. on ESPN2. Fans are invited to join the Dukes for their selection show party at 9:30 p.m. at O’Neill’s Grill.