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Courtesy: CAA
James Madison's Ashley Burnham

JMU Avoids Elimination, Beats Delaware 6-3

Courtesy: CAA
          Release: 05/11/2012
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HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (May 11, 2012) - Second-seed James Madison scored four runs in the seventh inning, beating fourth-seed Delaware, 6-3, in an elimination game of the 2012 CAA Softball Championship at the Hofstra Softball Stadium in Hempstead, N.Y. on Friday afternoon.

JMU improved to 30-25 on the season and moves on to face third-seed Georgia State in another game on Friday afternoon, slated to start at 5 p.m. The winner of that matchup will advance to the finals to face top-seed Hofstra on Saturday.

Delaware ends its season with a 15-41-1 record. Freshman third baseman Jessica Grisler led the Blue Hens, going 3-for-4, including a solo home run. Junior pitcher Chenxi Jiao took the loss, falling to 8-25 on the season.

The Dukes played long ball in the last inning, getting home runs from three different players in Caitlin Sandy, Haley Johnson and Jasmine Butler. CAA Freshman of the Year Heather Kiefer picked up the win, pitching a complete game and improved to 14-6 on the year.

CAA Player of the Year Ashley Burnham broke open a scoreless tie in the top of the fifth inning for the Dukes with a double to left center field. The shot scored sophomore Anna Klumpp and Sandy to give JMU a 2-0 advantage.

Delaware struck back in the bottom of the sixth, as sophomore Morgan Culver singled up the middle, driving in two runs and evening the game at 2-2.

With both teams on the brink of elimination, the Dukes dug in deep in the final frame as Sandy homered down the left field line to give JMU a 3-2 advantage. Three batters later, Johnson connected on a deep shot to push the lead to 4-2. After a walk, Butler sent her dinger over center field to extend the James Madison lead to 6-2.

Grisler started a Delaware rally with a solo shot in the bottom of the seventh to cut the lead to 6-3. The Blue Hens were able to bring the tying run to the plate, with runners on first and second base, but the shortstop Burnham made a diving stop for JMU and recorded the game's final out.