KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WFXR) — Liberty needed to win twice in order to advance to its first ever Super Regionals in program history.
James Madison doused the Flames before they could even force a winner-take-all contest.
The Dukes defeated Liberty, 8-5, to win the Knoxville Regional title and clinch a spot in the Super Regional round for the second straight tournament.
“Wow, I still can’t believe it before the game we told the team that it was going to take everything and it was going to take everyone, we knew it was going to be a battle,” head coach Loren LaPorte said. “Liberty’s offense is so good and so strong and their pitchers did a nice job against us as well but I just feel like it was a full team win.”
JMU rallied from behind, scoring five runs in the fifth inning. Sara Jubas took the batter’s box with the bases loaded, one out and shot a two RBI single to left center to give JMU its first lead of the game. Odicci Alexander followed with a RBI single through the right side to tact on another run for JMU, 5-3. Logan Newton brought in the final run in the frame by hitting a sacrifice fly out to right field to make the score 6-3.
“So they just connected, we went through four different pitchers so they got it done, well deserved,” Liberty head coach Dot Richardson said. “They out hit us. We went down fighting and that’s all you can ask.”
James Madison (37-1) extended its winning streak to 27 games, the longest active winning streak in NCAA Division I softball.