JMU softball (15-5) defeated Morgan State (6-15) 15-1 on Sunday afternoon in five innings, as the Dukes smacked three home runs in the final game of the JMU Invitational, pushing their total runs scored for the weekend to 54.
“I’m just happy we were able to stay consistent with our at bats in all four games this weekend,” head coach Loren LaPorte said. “I think that’s why we put up the runs, we didn’t try to do too much, and we just tried to hit the ball as hard as we could.”
JMU struck early by scoring seven runs in the bottom of the first, starting with junior utility Kate Gordon singling up the middle to give the Dukes a 1-0 lead. Junior pitcher/infielder Odicci Alexander, junior infielder Madison Naujokas, sophomore pitcher/infielder Hannah File and sophomore infielder Sara Jubas all drove in runs in the inning, bringing the score to 7-0.
JMU bats were silenced in the bottom of the second, but the Dukes responded in the bottom of the third when Gordon launched a three-run home run to make it 10-0. Junior pitcher/infielder Megan Good and sophomore outfielder/pitcher Logan Newton launched back-to-back home runs in the same inning making it 13-0.
Gordon continued her strong start of the 2019 season, hitting her ninth home run of the year. Freshman outfielder Lexi Lomax and sophomore outfielder Michelle Sullivan finished the scoring for the Dukes in the bottom of the fourth to make it 15-1.
“I noticed [Mikayla Bernard] was throwing some outside to my other teammates,” Gordon said. “They had told me she’s coming outside, so I just tried to stay on the ball and take it that way.”
Good hit the 38th home run of her career in the contest. She ranks second all-time in program history, and is nine home runs away from sole possession of the record.
Sophomore pitcher Payton Buresch earned her first victory of the 2019 season. She pitched a complete game allowing just one run on two hits with one walk and one strikeout.
“I just focused on getting ahead and trying to attack the batters,” Buresch said. “I just had to have a lot of focus throughout the whole game.”
The Dukes finished the JMU invitational 4-0 The Dukes extended their win streak to seven games. They face Longwood in a doubleheader Wednesday at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
“It’s big,” LaPorte said. Longwood is always a fight, always a battle, we literally get Longwood’s best every single year.”
After the doubleheader against Longwood, JMU returns home to host a three-game series against Elon to open conference play. Last season, JMU swept the season series against Elon, outscoring the Phoenix 22-4.
“That’s what we told them at the end of this game, you better be ready for this week,” LaPorte said. “We’ve got Longwood who’s going to give it to us and then we got Elon who’s playing really, really well right now, so we got to go to work this week, and we got to make sure our focus stays the same.”
Contact Jason Clampitt at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more softball coverage, follow the sports desk on Twitter @TheBreezeSports.