Royals fans are getting a unique opportunity this weekend to see the softball team play at Division I James Madison University. The doubleheader will take place on Sunday, Oct. 1 at 1:00pm.
The competition between the Royals and the Dukes will close out the non-traditional fall season for EMU.
The program has not competed against JMU for over three years. In his 15th season with the Royals, head coach J.D. McCurdy is looking forward to the challenge of competing against a nationally ranked team.
“It is an honor to play against a Division I team, especially one that is in the top 12 in the country,” McCurdy said. “It gives our women an opportunity to see the speed of the game, as well as where they need to improve and raise their level of play; overall it is a win-win for us.”
With a young team last season, a majority of the roster will return for the Royals. After graduating three seniors, EMU welcomes eight first years to the team this fall.
“It is beneficial for us to compete after nearly four weeks of practice to see where our freshmen are, we have some really athletic newcomers and want to see how they react to collegiate play,” said McCurdy.
Without any seniors on the team, junior captains Tiffani Shaheen (Fluvanna, Va./Fluvanna County) and Sydney Reath (Chambersburg, Pa./Mercersburg Academy) are expected to step up in big ways. The sophomores this year return with a substantial amount of playing experience and are also expected to contribute greatly.
There is no fee to non-traditional date of competition, which is held at Veterans Memorial Park. Royals fans are encouraged to wear Royal blue to the doubleheader to participate in the fan-wide Blue Out.