JMU Advances to CAA Softball Championship Game with 8-1 Victory over Towson
JMU will take on top-seeded Hofstra at 1:00 p.m. on Friday for the conference title. The contest was originally scheduled for a Noon start but was moved after back-to-back rain delay starts the first two days of the tournament. The Dukes, who will need to beat the Pride twice, will be looking to earn their second CAA title and first under new head coach Mickey Dean. Towson completed its season with a 30-28-1 overall record.
Three of JMU’s nine hits in the victory were home runs. Mooney, the CAA Player of the Year, was 2-for-4 at the plate and drove in three runs with her two long balls. Freshman left-handed pitcher Jailyn Ford also hit a home run, while sophomore outfielder Morgan Heath went 2-for-4 with an RBI and run scored and freshman catcher Erica Field was 2-for-4 with two RBI.
Ford improved to 23-4 in the circle while pitching a complete game. She struck out three batters and gave up just one run off six hits. Senior right-handed pitcher Katie Lingmai (18-16) suffered the loss for Towson after allowing six earned runs off nine hits.
Senior outfielder Kelli Lyons led the Tigers offensively by finishing 1-for-3 at the plate with an RBI. Freshman outfielder Olivia Yarbrough collected two hits, while sophomore shortstop Hailey Balk and senior first baseman Bina Abbott each added a hit for Towson.
JMU jumped on the scoreboard early when Field smacked a two-out, two-RBI single that scored Ford and Mooney in the top of the first. The Dukes added to their lead in the second when Heath hit an RBI single that scored junior outfielder Anna Klumpp, who singled earlier in the inning.
Lyons cut the Tigers’ deficit to 3-1 with an RBI single that scored Abbott, who had reached base after getting hit in the head by a Ford pitch.
JMU would strike right back in the top of the third with Mooney’s first home run of the tournament and Ford later scored on a wild pitch by Lingmai as the Dukes extended their advantage to 5-1.
Mooney continued her power surge in the top of the fourth with her second homer of the game and her league-leading 17th of the season to put the Dukes up 7-1. Ford, the CAA Rookie of the Year, tacked on her 14th homer of the season to make it 8-1 in the top of the seventh.
All games throughout the championship will be video-streamed live on CAA.TV for FREE. The streams will also be simulcast on a combination of CSNWashington.com, CSNBaltimore.com and CSNPhilly.com. Live stats will also be available on CAASports.com on CAA Softball Championship Central.