Loren LaPorte (copy)

Loren LaPorte led the Dukes to a 3-2 record in her first games as head coach.

JMU softball was tabbed No. 22 in the ESPN/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 and No. 23 in the USA Today/National Fastpitch Coaches Association Top 25 preseason polls, announced on Tuesday. The Dukes are the only CAA team that achieved a top-25 ranking.

In 2018, JMU went 43-14 (19-2 CAA) in head coach Loren LaPorte’s first season at the helm. The Dukes were CAA runners-up and made it to the regionals of the NCAA tournament.

JMU will face 12 teams that are either ranked or receiving votes in the preseason polls, including No. 8 Tennessee and No. 13/15 Kentucky. JMU starts the season playing in the St. Pete/Clearwater Elite Invitational, with its first game being against California on Feb. 15.

Defending CAA champions Hofstra received votes in both preseason polls. The Pride and Dukes meet for a three-game series on April 6 in Hempstead, New York.

Contact the sports desk at breezesports@gmail.com. For more softball coverage, follow the sports desk on Twitter @TheBreezeSports.