University of Delaware Softball Closes Out Regular Season This Weekend at James Madison
HARRISONBURG, Va. -- The University of Delaware softball team will close out its 2014 regular season this weekend when the Blue Hens travel to league-leading James Madison for a three-game Colonial Athletic Association series with the Dukes.
Delaware and James Madison will play a doubleheader on Saturday beginning at 3 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Park, before a single game on Sunday starting at 2 p.m.
The Blue Hens climbed back over the .500 mark on Wednesday and improved to 23-22 by sweeping a non-conference doubleheader from Saint Peters’, 4-1 and 3-2, in their home finale. Delaware is 5-9 in CAA play, and needs to win at least one game this weekend to remain in contention for the four-team league tournament which will be held on May 7-9.
James Madison enters the weekend with a 35-13 overall record, and the Dukes lead the conference standings with a 9-3 league mark. JMU has won six consecutive games and 11 of its last 13, including a twinbill sweep of Virginia on Tuesday.
Delaware continues to be led by freshman third baseman Giovanna Kolofer, who ranks fourth in the CAA with a .361 batting average during her rookie campaign. Kolofer’s four triples are tied for the league lead, while she and junior rightfielder Jessica Grisler have each driven home a team-leading 22 runs. Grisler is batting .327 for the Blue Hens with team-highs of 48 hits, 30 runs scored and nine doubles, while sophomore centerfielder Gabby Klecko is hitting .302 on the season with 12 stolen bases.
Sophomore righthander Kelly Lupton allowed just one run to Saint Peter’s on Wednesday to pick up the win, and is now 7-7 on the campaign with a 2.52 earned run average. Freshman Carolyn Szymanski also earned a victory over the Peacocks to improve to 12-11 on the season, while sophomore Kiersten Coffman has recorded a 3.08 ERA.
Niki Prince paces the James Madison lineup as she is hitting .325 this season with a team-best 25 runs scored and 12 stolen bases, while Erica Field is also batting .325 to go with a team-leading 49 hits and 31 RBI. Caitlin Sandy brings a .301 batting average into the weekend, while Jailyn Ford has blasted eight home runs.
Ford has also been stellar in the circle for the Dukes with an 18-6 record and a 1.36 earned run average, while Heather Kiefer is 17-7 with a 2.18 ERA.
Delaware and James Madison have met every year since the Blue Hens joined the CAA in 2002, with the Dukes holding a 26-13 all-time advantage. Last season JMU swept a three-game regular season series before also defeating the Blue Hens in the CAA tournament, and has won seven of the last eight meetings.
Saturday’s doubleheader will be available for free via live stream on jmusports.com, while an audio broadcast will be available on Sunday.