By: Payam Agha-Ghassem, Staff Writer
Towson began conference play this weekend against the James Madison Dukes. After winning both games of a doubleheader on Saturday, the Dukes (22-6, 3-0 Colonial Athletic Association) secured the sweep on Sunday with a 6-2 win.
“JMU did a really good job in all three games of having timely hitting and that’s one part we didn’t execute,” senior infielder Hailey Balk said. “On the other hand, it was good to see how well we matched up against them.”
Senior pitcher Missy McCormick took the mound for the Tigers (9-10, 0-3 CAA) and allowed four earned runs in three innings pitched. With the loss, she dropped to 5-4 on the season with a 3.34 earned run average.
The Dukes got their offense going early with three first-inning runs. After scoring on a walk, a two-run single by infielder Hannah Hayes gave the Dukes a 3-0 lead.
They tacked on two more runs in the fourth inning to increase their lead to 5-0.
The Tigers responded with two runs in the bottom of the fourth with a little help from the Dukes’ defense, which committed two errors.
However, Dukes’ freshman pitcher Megan Good was too much for the Tigers. She threw a complete game and improved to 12-0 on the season. Her earned run average sits at 0.91. She leads the CAA in wins, earned run average, innings pitched and opponent batting average.
Good also threw a complete game in the second game of the doubleheader on Saturday when the Dukes beat the Tigers 5-1. Good allowed zero earned runs and three hits.
However, the Tigers were close to ending Good’s perfect season.
The Tigers took a 1-0 lead into the final inning, but the Dukes tied the game with an RBI double down the right field line.
The Dukes blew the game open in the eighth inning with four runs to take a 5-1 to lead. Good retired the Tigers in order in the bottom of the eighth.
The first game on Saturday also came down to the final innings. With her team down 2-0 in the fifth inning, freshman outfielder Kendyl Scott hit a three-run home run to give the Tigers a 3-2 lead. It was Scott’s first career home run.
With two outs in the top of the seventh, the Dukes tied the game with an RBI triple off of Tigers’ freshman pitcher Megan Dejter. Two batters later, catcher Erica Field put the Dukes on top with a double to right field.
With a runner on second base in the bottom of the seventh inning, junior outfielder Olivia Yarbrough flied out to left field, giving the Dukes the 4-3 win.
“The two games on Saturday were really good games from both teams,” Balk said. “Unfortunately, we didn’t string it together and close out the wins.”
The games this weekend were technically homes games for the Tigers, but they were played at the University of Maryland softball field in College Park. The Tigers have yet to play on their new home field because of weather-related delays.
The Tigers look to snap their six-game losing streak when they take on the Villanova Wildcats in a doubleheader on Wednesday in Villanova, Pennsylvania. First pitch is set for 3 p.m.
“We have been struggling to find out who we are, but I think we know now that we can beat anyone,” Balk said.