JMU softball (33-7, 11-1 CAA) defeated Duke 11-3 in the first game in six innings and 6-5 in the second game Wednesday. Redshirt senior pitcher/infielder Megan Good passed Jaylin Ford for most strikeouts in program history with 816 career strikeouts.
“It’s an honor,” Good said. “[Former JMU pitcher Jailyn Ford] took me under her wing, and I learned a lot from her. I owe this all to her, my teammates and my coaching staff. I couldn’t have done it without them pushing me to be better on and off the field. It’s not just me, it’s all them too.”
Junior pitcher/infielder Odicci Alexander got the start in the circle in game one and earned her 14th victory of the season. She pitched 4.2 innings, allowing three runs on five hits with two walks and four strikeouts.
Duke scored in the top of the first to take a 1-0 lead on a sacrifice fly. JMU responded in the bottom half of the inning, scoring five runs as Good smacked a two-run home run to give the Dukes a 2-0 lead, which they didn’t relinquish. The two-run shot was Good’s 42nd career home run — four away from tying Jailyn Ford of most in program history.
“In that at-bat, I wasn’t really thinking,” Good said. “I think what usually happens to us hitters is we think, we get it our head and then it ends up being bad. I think I just did a good job of just not thinking and seeing the ball and hitting the ball, that’s what I did.”
Junior catcher/infielder Kierstin Roadcap and junior infielder Madison Naujokas each drove in runs in the inning to extend the lead to 5-1. The following inning, sophomore infielder Sara Jubas continued her hot streak, blasting a grand slam to make it 9-1.
The Blue Devils cut the lead to 9-3 in the top of the fifth when freshman utility Caroline Jacobsen hit a home run and freshman infielder Deja Davis drove in a run. In the bottom of the sixth, JMU finished the scoring when Alexander hit an RBI single and sophomore Logan Newton ended the game with an RBI double.
In the second game of the doubleheader, Good started for JMU and earned her 13th victory of the season. She pitched a complete game, allowing five runs on eight hits with five strikeouts. Good struck out sophomore infielder/outfielder Jameson Kavel to pass Ford for most strikeouts in program history.
On the following at-bat, Good gave up a three-run home run to junior utility Raine Wilson to put the Blue Devils up 3-0. JMU responded in the bottom of the second with three runs of its own to tie the contest. Roadcap and sophomore pitcher/infielder Hannah File drove in runs to cut the lead to one, while Good drew a bases loaded walk to tie the game at three.
The Blue Devils capitalized on JMU’s defensive miscues in the top of the third after a fielding error by Jubas allowed Davis to score, making it 4-3. Duke added another run in the inning on a single from Wilson dropped in center field out of Naujokas’ reach.
JMU rallied for the second time in the game when Alexander launched a home run to tie the game at five in the bottom of the fifth. Alexander provided the game-winning single in the bottom of the 6th to give JMU a 6-5 lead. Good closed the door in the top of the seventh to secure the victory.
“I knew [Shelby Walters] was throwing the same thing, so hit my pitch, of course,” Alexander said. “I mean she threw it multiple times, I was just waiting to hit it.”
JMU continues its homestand with a conference series against the College of Charleston. First pitch is set for 12 p.m. Saturday. Before the series against the Cougars, head coach Loren LaPorte acknowledged that the team must clean up the errors.
“That’s going to be our focus tomorrow especially,” LaPorte said. “Break some stuff down fundamentally and put some pressure on them.”
Contact Jason Clampitt at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more softball coverage, follow the sports desk on Twitter @TheBreezeSports.