Unranked James Madison Pulls Historic Upset In The School’s First-Ever Women’s College World Series Appearance

James Madison University Softball WCWS

James Madison University Athletics

James Madison University softball is no slouch. The Dukes have made eight-straight NCAA tournaments and reached a Super Regional in 2016 and 2019. However, until this year, they had not reached the Women’s College World Series.

Despite the team’s one-loss record in the regular season, JMU was not selected as one of the top-16 seeds for the post season. As a result, the school did not host a regional and traveled to Knoxville, Tenn. to face No. 9 Tennessee, Liberty and Eastern Kentucky. The Dukes went 3-0 to sweep the Regional and advanced to play No. 8 Missouri in the three-game Super Regional series.

Friday saw a 2-1 win and Saturday saw a 1-7 loss, setting up an all-important Game 3 with a WCWS birth on the line. James Madison flipped the script on Sunday with a 7-2 win to clinch the program’s first-ever WCWS appearance on the road.

WCWS History!

Of the seven other teams in the field, all but JMU had made an appearance in Oklahoma City. As the lowest-ranked team, the Dukes were tasked with top-seeded Oklahoma to begin their first chance at a national championship in front of a full crowd.

It was a tough draw and it started out in favor of the Sooners with great defense.

And then the momentum shifted. James Madison opened the scoring with a three-run BOMB.

The lead didn’t last long, as Oklahoma answered with a three-run shot of its own.

And then things got tense. Both teams were doing everything they could to keep runners off of the base path.

Tied at 3 through seven innings, it would take extra innings to decide a winner. Kate Gordon, who struggled throughout the postseason, got hot at the right time and gave her team the lead.

From there, it was all Odicci Alexander in the circle. She carried a 1.28 ERA all season and retired the last three Sooner hitters to give James Madison its first-ever Women’s College World Series win in its first-ever WCWS game.

JMU will face the winner of No. 5-seed Oklahoma State and fellow unseeded opponent Georgia in the winner’s bracket.