James Madison’s fast starts too much for Hofstra softball in double-header
The Hofstra softball team dropped both contests of a doubleheader against their Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) rival the James Madison University Dukes at Bill Edwards Stadium in Hempstead on Saturday, April 6, falling 9-4 in Game 1 and losing 16-2 in five innings in Game 2.
The Dukes (26-6, 7-1 CAA) jumped out to leads that proved to be insurmountable in both games, opening up a 9-0 lead in the first tilt and plating the first 12 runs of Game 2.
Overall, the Pride needed to do a better job of limiting the damage.
“We didn’t pitch or play defense well enough and just put ourselves in a hole,” said Hofstra head coach Jay Miller.
Madison Burns, who started Game 1for the Pride, (16-17, 3-5 CAA) held James Madison off the scoreboard for the first two frames, working around a walk in the first inning and back-to-back singles in the second inning.
Burns issued two free passes to open the third inning. JMU sophomore Sara Jubas then scored the first run of the afternoon on Kate Gordon’s base hit to left field.
After Megan Good struck out, the Dukes extended their lead to 3-0 following an Odicci Alexander groundout and a Logan Newton single.
Hofstra’s defense committed a pair of errors in the top of the fourth, costing the team six runs. Gordon hit a long fly ball into the right field corner. Madison McKevitt got there in time to get her glove on the ball, but couldn’t complete the catch, allowing Madison Naujokas to score from second base.
Hofstra shortstop Kristin Hallam also made an error in the fourth, keeping the inning alive. Newton followed by driving in a run with one of her four hits in game one.
James Madison catcher Kierstin Roadcap then hit her fourth home run of the season over the left field fence, putting the Dukes ahead 9-0.
The Pride answered with four runs in the bottom of the fourth off Good. Hofstra scored on a two-run single from Angelina Ioppolo, a sacrifice fly from Jaycee Ruberti and a solo home run off Devyn Losco’s bat.
Good had not allowed a run in her previous three outings.
Payton Buresch replaced Good and recorded the final 10 outs of the contest, giving the Dukes a 9-4 victory.
Buresch returned to the circle for Game 2 and threw a complete game.
James Madison’s offense exploded at the start of the second game, plating seven runs off Hofstra starter Mackenzie Suto in the first inning.
The Dukes scored in all five innings in Game 2. Hofstra tried to chip away at the deficit, collecting eight hits, but could not take advantage, leaving nine runners on base.
Miller said he liked some of what he saw from Hofstra’s offense.
“We try to get people on base and make some things happen,” Miller said. “Unfortunately, it wasn’t a close enough game to be able to do much with that.”
Even though the results were not what his team wanted, Miller recognizes that it was a learning experience on Saturday, specifically for his two pitchers who are both freshmen.
“Freshmen have got to grow up and they’ve got to get a little tougher and realize that when they make mistakes, it comes back to haunt them a little bit,” Miller said. “You can’t get away with it at this level.”
The Pride will look to get back into the win column and gain their first win of the three game series against JMU on Sunday, April 7.
Photo Courtesy of Hofstra Athletics