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Hofstra surrenders walk-off homer in sweep-sealing loss to JMU

A three-run homer from Keirstin Roadcap proved to be the fatal blow as Hofstra fell to the Dukes of James Madison University 11-8 on Sunday afternoon, sealing the sweep for JMU in dramatic fashion.

Hofstra hit the road down south to Harrisonburg, Virginia this weekend with a 17-game win streak, an undefeated record in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) and a hold on first place in the CAA standings.

In just three games, the Dukes have stripped Hofstra of all three of those things, with Sunday’s dramatic victory giving JMU a one-game lead in the conference standings after Hofstra dropped the first two games of the series on Saturday.

The action was back-and-forth all afternoon, with lead changes and momentum swings aplenty as Hofstra looked to stave off the sweep and maintain their perch atop the CAA.

After seven innings of softball weren’t enough, the two teams battled through extra innings all the way to the 10th.

In the top half, Brielle Pietrafesa socked a two-run double into left field, scoring Michaela Transue and Kristin Hallam and giving Hofstra a 8-6 lead that, at the time, seemed enough to secure the victory.

But the Dukes came roaring right back in their half of the 10th, rattling off four straight hits against reliever Sophie Dandola, who had come on in place of Sarah Cornell in the seventh inning. Before the freshman could even record a single out, JMU had knotted the game up at eight.

Anderson re-entered Cornell into the game on the mound in an attempt to silence the Dukes’ bats and force an 11th inning. Cornell got the first out, but Roadcap stepped up to the plate and blasted one to left-center, putting the exclamation mark on a wild win and shocking sweep for James Madison.

It was JMU’s third homer of the afternoon. The first, off the bat of Madison Naujokas, put the Dukes up 5-2 in the fifth inning. The second came in the bottom of the seventh, as Kate Gordon hit a solo shot to save James Madison from defeat, tying the game 6-6.

The game-tying homer had been necessitated by a Hofstra surge in the sixth inning. Hofstra found themselves down for most of the ballgame, and entered the sixth down 5-2. The Pride’s first two batters went down, but then a pair of singles and a walk made it a 5-3 game.

With two runners on, Courtney Scarpato stepped up and cleared the bases with a three-run homer to put Hofstra on top 6-5.

It was Scarpato’s seventh home run of the season, and her third in the last four games.

Pietrafesa also homered on Sunday, a solo shot in the third that accounted for Hofstra’s first run of the game. Pietrafesa had a monster day, going 3-4 with three RBI and two runs scored. The senior is enjoying an incredible season, hitting .384 with 13 homers and 53 RBI, all team highs.

The loss drops Hofstra to 35-11, 15-3 in the CAA. James Madison improved to 36-10, 16-2 in conference action.

The Pride will look to shake off this sweep with a non-conference road matchup against Rutgers University on Wednesday afternoon at 4 p.m.

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