Payton Buresch (copy)

Sophomore pitcher Payton Buresch took the loss as the Dukes fell to Cal 7-2.

JMU softball lost its season opener to California, 7-2, in its first of two games Friday. It was the first season-opening loss for the Dukes since 2015.

The game was tight for the first few innings. In the top of the second, sophomore pitcher Payton Buresch surrendered an early run, but the Dukes evened the score in the bottom of the inning when freshman outfielder Lexi Lomax homered in her first career plate appearance.

Things started to unravel for JMU in the top of the third, as Cal scored six unearned runs with a fielding error by Buresch and four runs coming off a grand slam by freshman first baseman Alexandra Perez. In the bottom of the sixth, JMU scratched out one more run when junior catcher Kierstin Roadcap singled in junior outfielder Kate Gordon.

Buresch took the loss for the Dukes, while Cal senior Kamalani Dung was claimed the win. JMU takes on Oregon at 5:30 p.m.

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