Dukes rally to spoil Palmer Park debut, 10-3

Courtesy UVA Media Relations

Photo: twitter.com/UVACoachBronco

Virginia softball jumped to a 2-0 lead, but James Madison rallied in the fifth and sixth innings to earn a 10-3 victory in the first game at Palmer Park.

Ashley Jennings, Tori Gilbert and Katie Goldberg provided the RBI for the Cavaliers, who dropped to 8-9 on the season. Goldberg also added a run scored to her line on the evening. Freshman Molly Grube carried a no-hitter into the fifth but took the loss in the circle for Virginia.

JMU (10-4) was led at the plate by Madison Naujokas, who went 2 for 5 with two RBI. Sara Jubas added a two-hit night with two runs scored for the Dukes. Alexis Bermudez went the distance to earn her third win of the season in the circle.

KEY INNING

Hannah File singled home a pair with the bases loaded in the top of the fifth to tie the game. Lynsey Meeks pushed another across for JMU on a fielder’s choice to give the Dukes a 3-2 lead. Hannah Shifflett followed with a hot shot down the third-base line to extend the JMU lead before a walk made it 5-2.

UVA football coach Bronco Mendenhall was one of 718 fans in attendance, and took a moment to tweet the view from his seat inside the new park:

HOW IT HAPPENED

Virginia opened the scoring in the second inning, using two hits to take the lead. Arizona Ritchie lined a single to right field to record the first base hit at Palmer Park before Jennings drove her home with a double to left field for the stadium’s first run.

The Cavaliers added another in the third to extend the advantage to 2-0. Gilbert singled to center field to drive in Goldberg from second.

JMU rallied in the fifth, capitalizing on a bang-bang call at second base to score five runs. After a lead-off walk, a ground ball up the middle appeared to be an out at second, but the umpire ruled the runner safe. The Dukes used the opportunity to score five runs on four hits.

The Dukes scored four more in the sixth to build a 9-2 lead. Jubas singled to center field and scored as the ball skipped away to the wall. A pair of walks led to two more runs when Naujokas tripled. A wild pitch allowed her to score for the seven-run advantage.

JMU tacked on an unearned marker in the seventh before the Cavaliers strung together a rally to score one of their own in the bottom half on Goldberg’s RBI-single.

ON THE LINES

  • Mikaila Fox went 2 for 2 with a walk and run scored.
  • Donna Friedman had her 11-game hitting streak snapped in the loss but walked to extend her reached base streak to 12.
  • Grube struck out five Dukes in the loss.

Box Score

UP NEXT
Virginia continues its homestand with a three-game ACC series against No. 19 Virginia Tech. First pitch in the series opener on Friday is set for 4 p.m. on ACCNX.

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