Image courtesy of JMU Athletics Communications
By Bennett Conlin (This content was originally published in our newsletter)
Lots of runs – Across three games, JMU scored 35 runs. With the quality of pitchers on their roster, the Dukes will win almost any game where they score more than five runs. Averaging more than 11 runs per game is plenty for this JMU team.
Logan Newton – The sophomore had a great series, going 7-10 with 8 RBIs. Newton launched two home runs and destroyed Hofstra’s pitching across the three-game series.
Alexander returns – After missing a few games, Odicci Alexander is back in the lineup. That’s great news for JMU.
Game 1 – JMU beat Hofstra 9-4. The Dukes raced out to a 9-0 lead before giving up four runs with the game well in hand. Megan Good struggled a bit batting (0-5, 3 Ks) and pitching (She gave up four runs, two earned, across 3 2/3 innings), but Payton Buresch threw 3 1/3 perfect innings in relief. The sophomore is finding her pitching groove after a few shaky outings to start the year.
Game 2 – Buresch took the ball in the circle and cruised to a victory, as the Dukes won 16-2 in five innings. The offense was clicking. Kate Gordon, Michelle Sullivan and Newton all homered. Good tallied a hit and walked twice.
Game 3 – JMU won 10-5. Good, Newton and Hannah File all hit homers for the Dukes. The pitching and defense weren’t perfect, but it was clear throughout that the Dukes were the better team.
Up next – JMU plays at Virginia Tech in a Wednesday doubleheader. This is a massive opportunity for JMU. The Dukes need resume-boosting wins if they want to host an NCAA Regional and earn a top-16 seed in the postseason. Virginia Tech sits around No. 30 in RPI and is a quality team. Beating the Hokies once or twice would go a long way toward JMU earning a top-16 seed.