JMU softball (24-6, 5-1 CAA) defeated Liberty (24-14, 6-3 Big South) 1-0 on Wednesday behind redshirt senior pitcher/infielder Megan Good’s complete game shutout. Good earned her tenth victory of the season on her second straight shutout.
“I think just working with coach Morris in the bullpen, pitching in practice like I’m going to pitch in games and carrying it over,” Good said.
Coming off a dominant performance against Townson on Sunday — striking out seventeen batters in a shutout victory — with another stellar performance, she allowed six hits, two walks and four strikeouts, as the Dukes extend their win streak to six games. Good has pitched sixteen innings and struck out twenty-five batters in her last two starts. With the victory, Good notched her 108th career victory.
Liberty’s pitching staff limited JMU’s offense to only two hits in the contest, as junior utility Kate Gordon provided the only hits for the Dukes. JMU was unable to capitalize with the bases loaded in the bottom of the first, and ultimately left seven runners on base throughout the contest.
“Liberty’s a great ball team, and we knew that going into today it was going to be one of these type of ball games,” head coach Loren LaPorte said. “I’m super proud of Megan at grinding it out. I’m super proud of our defense for making exceptional plays behind her ... Yes, offensively right now, we have to put more runs on the board. We’re leaving too many runners on base, and we’re doing things that’s not us.”
JMU’s sophomore infielder, Sara Jubas, accounted for the only run of the game when she grounded out to shortstop, driving in sophomore infielder/outfielder Cambry Arnold. Liberty’s sophomore pitcher Emily Kirby and senior pitchers Chase Cassady and Julia Dimartino combined to pitch 5.3 innings, allowing two hits with five walks and six strikeouts.
Good found herself in trouble when Liberty loaded the bases in the top of the third, but got out of it when she forced senior shortstop Sarah Robertson to ground out to end the scoring threat. In the top of the seventh, Arnold made a game-saving catch to preserve the shutout.
“My defense had my back,” Good said. “Especially that catch in the last inning, Cambry had a diving catch and that changed the momentum of the game and I think our defense was solid. It’s nice to know that you can trust the teammates that have your back cause they had my back the whole game.”
JMU continues conference play with a weekend series against Hofstra. Last season, the Dukes swept the Pride to close out the regular season, but Hofstra won the CAA Tournament, defeating JMU 7-4. JMU knows it has to fix its offensive struggles before the series against Hofstra.
“Tomorrow at practice we just have to take it serious,” Gordon said. “Even in practice, lay off balls that aren’t in our zone and know what we need to hit.”
Contact Jason Clampitt at email@example.com. For more softball coverage, follow the sports desk on Twitter @TheBreezeSports.