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JMU softball huddles at the pitchers mound on March 14, 2021 against Rhode Island.

JMU softball took down Rhode Island twice Sunday, improving to 6-0 on the season. The Dukes dominated the Rams from start to finish and are preparing to welcome East Carolina to Veterans Memorial Park March 19-21.

Game 1

The Dukes took the first of two matchups against Rhode Island Sunday, improving to 5-0. In the short, five-inning game, JMU defeated the Rams 11-0.

The scoring didn’t start until the second inning, and Rhode Island was on the board first. Redshirt senior infielder Erica Robles hit the game’s first home run, but it was all JMU after that. In the bottom of the second, redshirt sophomore infielder Hannah Shifflett homered to center field and redshirt sophomore infielder Hallie Hall scored off the bases to make the score 2-0.

While there was no scoring in the third inning, the Dukes piled it on in the fourth to activate the mercy rule. First, freshman catcher Lauren Bernett hit a home run, allowing redshirt senior infielder Madison Naujokas to score. Then, redshirt junior outfielder Michelle Sullivan had her first home run of the game, resulting in freshmen outfield Grace Lutz putting a run on the board. The scoring didn’t stop there, as redshirt senior outfielder Kate Gordon hit a double, and Shifflett ran in to make the score 6-1.

Redshirt junior Sara Jubas singled in the bottom of the fourth to let Gordon get home again, and she scored off redshirt junior infielder Lynsey Wells’ home run. Finally, Lutz hit a home run and Naujokas scored off the bases to take the win, 11-0.

Naujokas, Lutz, and Shifflett all finished with two runs each, and nine different Dukes’ had a hit in the game. JMU played Rhode Island again in the second half of the doubleheader at 2:30 p.m. at home.

Game 2

Game 2 was even more dominant than the first for JMU, as the team won 20-0 against Rhode Island. In the five-inning game, JMU scored early and often to take the victory. 

Gordon was 3-for-4 at-bat in the contest, hitting two home runs and five RBI. The scoring started heavily in the bottom of the first, Gordon getting it started with her first home run. It was the first of nine runs the Dukes put up on the Rams to start the game, as there was constant motion on the bases for JMU. Gordon had her second home run in the same inning, while Newton, Meeks, Naujokas, Bernett, Shifflett and Sullivan scored as well.

The scoring only continued in the second, with three more home runs added to the board from Dukes’ bats. Hall and Bernett both had home runs to add to the score, and JMU was up 11-0.

It didn’t stop there. The Dukes added six more runs in the third to go up 17-0. Philips and Boseman homered while Storey, Hennessy and Hall scored through control of the bases. 

In JMU’s last at-bat, Hennessy and Hall had their turns at home runs, and Naujokas added a run on base. After the beginning of the fifth, the mercy rule was applied, and the Dukes took the win. 

Gordon led the team with five RBI in the contest, followed by Hall with three. Gordon and Hall  had three hits as well, and both had multiple home runs. JMU had 14 different players with hits and Humphery finished with nine strikeouts.

JMU swept the JMU invitational, winning all four of its games against Stony Brook and Rhode Island. It prepares for ECU March 19.

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