HARRISONBURG, Va. – Behind four home runs, top seed James Madison earned a 9-1 victory over the second-seeded Elon University softball team in the opening game of the semifinal round at the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament on Thursday, May 9, at Veterans Memorial Park.
The Phoenix (32-19-1) could not overcome a three-run top of the first from the Dukes (46-7), with JMU earning its 18th straight win. Elon will face the winner between College of Charleston and Drexel later today at 5 p.m. for a chance to advance to the championship round tomorrow versus the Dukes.
At the Plate: Elon had three hits in the game plated by three different players…Tia Mitchell provided a RBI double for the Phoenix, her seventh two-bagger of the season.
In the Circle: Elise Walton (3-4) was saddled with the loss in the circle for the Phoenix, pitching 2.2 innings with six hits and five runs allowed with four of those being earned…Hailey Jomp pitched 1.2 innings in relief and gave up five hits and four runs.
James Madison got on the board first in the bottom of the opening inning. The Dukes hit a one-out solo home run to plate the first run and tacked on a couple more on a two-out, two-RBI single up the middle to take a 3-0 advantage after the first.
The Dukes added a run in each of the next three innings, taking a 6-0 lead into the top of the fifth. Elon finally got a run on the board in the fifth frame while looking to rally. Lauryn Clarke reached on a leadoff walk and was joined on the bases by Rebecca Murray on a bloop single to shallow right field. Mitchell took position in the batter’s box and drove a double down the right field line, scoring Clarke on the play, but Murray was tagged out at home on the relay from the outfield. Despite a runner on scoring position with one out, Elon’s next two batters were retired as the score stood at 6-1.
JMU came back with a three-spot in the home half of the fifth. The Dukes had back-to-back one out solo home runs to take an 8-1 lead before a single and a double place a pair of runners into scoring position. On the next at bat, the Dukes hit the ball to second with a runner moving from third looking to score. The Phoenix delivered the ball to the plate, but the runner was able to avoid the tag and scored the walk-off run as the Dukes took the run-rule 9-1 victory.