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James Madison Posts 12-2 Win Over Liberty
James Madison plated four runs in both the first and sixth innings, downing the Liberty Lady Flames, 12-2, in six frames during game two of a doubleheader, Wednesday at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
JMU (33-10) earned the doubleheader sweep, extending its winning streak to five games. The Lady Flames (19-25) fell for the fourth straight game, dating back to Monday's twin bill versus Longwood.
Jailyn Ford (17-2) pitched all six innings for the Dukes, allowing two runs on five hits while striking out five. She also excelled at the plate, as she went 3-for-4 with a double, a home run and five RBIs.
Sammi Shivock hit 3-for-3 with a double, a homer and two RBIs, boosting her team-leading RBI total to 35 on the season. Megan Robinson and Katie Zavodny both added hits, with Zavodny, the conference leader in stolen bases, stealing her 35th base on the season.
In addition to Ford, five Dukes registered two hits apiece. Sarah Mooney went 2-for-3 and drove in five runs.
Chandler Ball (8-11) drew the loss, yielding three earned runs on five hits in 1/3 of an inning. Annah Jo Brittingham then pitched four innings, and Alyssa DiMartino followed with 1 1/3 innings of relief. Both Brittingham and DiMartino allowed four runs.
Liberty threatened during the top of the first, as Shivock hit a two-out single and Hanna Nichols followed with a walk. Ford then fanned Kelby Allen to get out of the jam.
JMU struck for four runs in the first inning, with Heath and Butler both recording bunt singles and advancing on a wild pitch. Mooney plated both runners with a one-out single. After a stolen base and an error, Ford made it 3-0 with an RBI single. Sandy then reached on a bunt single, and Ford scored by way of an errant throw by catcher Kelby Allen on the play.
The Dukes added a tally during the second, on a one-out RBI single by Butler.
Liberty narrowed the gap in the top of the third inning. Zavodny singled and stole second, and the Lady Flames put two runs on the board when Shivock blasted a homer, her sixth of the season, with two outs.
Brittingham retired the Dukes in order during the third stanza, and Ford returned the favor in the top of the fourth.
JMU tacked on one run in the fourth when Hannah Hayes hit a homer to straightaway center field.
The Dukes extended their lead to 8-2 during the fifth frame, with an RBI double by Ford and a run-scoring single from Caitlin Sandy.
Shivock led off the sixth inning with a double down the right field line. A groundout by Kelby Allen moved Shivock to third, before Ford struck out Kassidy McCoy for the third out.
JMU put the game out of reach during the bottom of the sixth. Cassidy Clayton reached on a leadoff error. With runners on the corners, Mooney hit an RBI single. Ford followed with a three-run homer, ending the game via run rule, 12-2.
The Lady Flames remain on the road, and will head to Rock Hill, S.C., for a weekend Big South series at Winthrop, Friday and Saturday. Friday's doubleheader is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m., while Liberty and Winthrop will face each other at 1 p.m. on Saturday at Terry Field.