After beating Missouri on Sunday to clinch the Los Angeles Regional, the UCLA Softball team faces the James Madison Dukes tonight in Game 1 of the Los Angeles Super Regional at Easton Stadium in Westwood. Tonight’s game will be broadcast on ESPNU.
James Madison got to this weekend’s Super Regional by beating 15th seeded Michigan twice on Monday, 3-0 and 2-1. The wins move the Dukes to 51-8 for the season.
At first glance, JMU’s record looks impressive because they have fewer than 10 losses on the season, but a closer look shows that there’s absolutely no way that the Dukes should take this weekend’s series.
The Dukes lost just one game in the Colonial Athletic Association all season. Their most impressive win of the season came against then-#6 Tennessee back in February.
They did play a bunch of games against Pac-12 opponents this season. They lost to UC Berkeley, Arizona (in extra innings), and Arizona State, while they were able to beat Oregon.
So, while there’s no way they should take the series this weekend, it doesn’t mean they won’t. If they are able to capitalize on some mistakes by UCLA, strategic or otherwise, then the Bruins could find themselves in trouble.
JMU has relied on three pitchers all season long and each of them have ERAs below 2.00. Odicci Alexander is 24-1 overall with a 1.73 ERA. The junior has started more game for the Dukes than anyone else. Meanwhile, redshirt senior Megan Good has started almost as many games as Alexander. She has a 21-6 record, but her ERA is just 1.38. Sophomore Payton Buresch is JMU’s third option, but she tends to pitch much more in relief situations.
Offensively, the Dukes have two players batting over .400 in sophomore Sara Jubas and junior Kate Gordon. Gordon is the big bat for JMU. She leads the team with 22 homers while Jubas leads the team in RBIs.
This is your UCLA vs. JMU Los Angeles Super Regional Game 1 open thread.