#21 James Madison Softball 2018 Preview

James Madison Dukes
Overall Rank: #21
Conference Rank: #1 CAA
James Madison Logo
James Madison followed up their trip to Super Regionals in 2016 with a 52-win season and a trip to the Waco Regional. The Dukes took Baylor down to the wire in the Regional Final but fell short against the Bears by a score of 1-0. Then, in the offseason James Madison lost their head coach Mickey Dean to Auburn after the Tigers forced Clint Myers and his staff out the door amid off the field scandals. So, the Dukes elevated Loren LaPorte to the head coach position in Harrisonburg after serving the last five years as an assistant coach in the program. 
2017: 52-8, 18-2
2017 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Loren LaPorte
Key Departed Players:
Niki Prince, UTIL, .371 BA, 9 HR, 47 RBI, 15 SB
Taylor Newton, OF, .340 BA, 11 HR, 49 RBI
Madyson Moran, IF, .327 BA, 8 HR, 41 RBI
Key Returning Players:
Megan Good, P/IF, .383 BA, 12 HR, 60 RBI, 0.63 ERA, 38-3 W-L, 244.2 IP, 35 BB, 271 SO
Morgan Tolle, IF, .375 BA, 6 HR, 28 RBI
Cambry Arnold, IF/OF, .340 BA, 0 HR, 8 RBI
Odicci Alexander, P/IF, .333 BA, 7 HR, 36 RBI, 2.35 ERA, 11-5 W-L, 92.1 IP, 24 BB, 83 SO
Madison Naujokas, IF, .288 BA, 1 HR, 26 RBI, 13 SB
Jessica McCabe, P/IF, 2.76 ERA, 2-0 W-L, 38.0 IP, 7 BB, 15 SO
When taking over a program as a head coach it always helps to have one of the best two-way players in college softball on your team. Whether it be on the mound or at the plate, Megan Good is one of those players that can absolutely dominate games. Good was 38-3 in the circle last year with 0.63 earned run average and struck out 271 batters in 244.2 innings of work. At the plate, Good is an excellent hitter. She hit .383 last season with 12 homeruns and 60 runs batted in.  Morgan Tolle and Odicci Alexander will provide additional power to keep teams from pitching around Good. Madison Naujokas stole 13 bases and drove in 26 runs and Cambry Arnold hit .340 last season with 15 sacrifice bunts as well. The schedule will involve a ton of early season travel as James Madison will start the 2018 season at the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge. UCF, California, BYU, Virginia Tech, and North Carolina highlight the rest of the non-conference schedule. Bottom line, the pitching should still be very dominant and set the Dukes for a shot at winning 50 games and hosting a regional in 2018.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Softball Tournament
Madness 2018 Draft Rankings:
#4 Megan Good