James Madison University

James Madison University Athletics
Godwin 206A (261 Bluestone Dr.) / MSC 2301 Harrisonburg, VA 22807
Division 1 Virginia Northeast
Public Large National competitor

Coaches

Email coach

Loren LaPorte

Loren LaPorte, formerly Loren Messick is in her seventh year with the softball team at James Madison University. She served an assistant coach for five years and was elevated to head coach in September of 2017.


In her six seasons in Harrisonburg, the Dukes have compiled a record 280-70, including an 107-11 mark in Colonial Athletic Association play. She helped the program pick up its first-ever Top-25 ranking, earn five straight NCAA Tournament appearances and the program’s first-ever NCAA Super-Regional appearance in 2016.


In her first season as head coach in 2018, LaPorte guided the Dukes to a 43-14 overall record, including 19-2 in Colonial Athletic Association play. The 2018 Colonial Athletic Association Coach of the Year, LaPorte helped JMU earn its seventh overall and sixth consecutive NCAA Regional appearance. Under her guidance, Odicci Alexander and Kate Gordon where named to the NFCA All-America Third Team. She also coached Alexander 2018 CAA Player of the Year and boasts five NFCA All-Region and four All-CAA student athletes.


LaPorte guided four of JMU’s starting infielders to All-CAA recognitions over the 2017 season. She led Morgan Tolle, Niki Prince and Madyson Moran to NFCA First-Team All-Region honors as the Dukes led the country with a total of eight NFCA All-Region selections. JMU set a program and conference record for wins with a 52-8 finish, which included victories of No. 17 Missouri and No. 2 Auburn. The Dukes claimed their fourth CAA Championship after dominating the tournament field, marking the first time in school history JMU had won back-to-back softball titles. JMU earned a bid to the Waco Regional, but fell to the host Lady Bears in the Regional Final with a 2-2 postseason record.


In 2016, LaPorte helped three of the Dukes' starting infielders pick up All-CAA recognitions. She also helped three Dukes earn NFCA All-Region honors with Megan Good and Morgan Tolle earning first-team honors and Madyson Moran earning third-team honors. JMU won a school-record 50 games and claimed its third CAA championship after sweeping through the conference tournament. The Dukes then hosted the programs second NCAA Regional and advanced to and hosted their first ever Super Regional.


In 2015, LaPorte helped Morgan Tolle and Niki Prince earn All-CAA, First Team NFCA All-Region, and First Team VaSID All-State honors. JMU won a record 48 games, breaking the record they had set in the previous year. The Dukes finished first in the CAA in the regular season with a perfect 19-0 conference record and second in the conference tournament. This play earned Madison the No. 15 overall seed in the 2015 NCAA Championship.


In 2014, LaPorte helped all of the Dukes' starting infielders pick up All-CAA recognitions, including CAA Player of the Year honors for shortstop Caitlin Sandy. JMU won a school-record 45 games and claimed its second CAA championship after sweeping through the conference tournament.


In her first season, she helped guide the Dukes to a 42-17 record and an 18-3 mark in the CAA. JMU finished second in the CAA regular season and conference tournament and picked up the program's first ever NCAA Tournament at-large bid. Madison traveled to the Knoxville Regional at the University of Tennessee and picked up the program's first-ever NCAA Tournament with a 5-0 win over Longwood. The Dukes placed seven players on the two All-CAA teams, two on the All-Rookie team and had the CAA Player and Rookie of the Year


Prior to coming to Harrisonburg, LaPorte spent the previous three seasons as an assistant coach at Radford University her predecessor Mickey Dean, including serving as the recruiting coordinator. During her time at Radford, LaPorte assisted Dean in leading the Highlanders to a 110-59 overall record, a 48-9 Big South Conference record and three consecutive Big South Conference Regular Seasons. During her tenure, Dean also was named the Big South Coach of the Year all three years, with him crediting his entire staff for the award. She was also a part of the 2010 Big South Tournament title and NCAA Regional Appearance, where RU picked up a pair of wins, including one over No. 24 Florida State, and finished as runner-up in the Regional.


LaPorte, a former Roanoke College standout, joined Radford after spending the 2009 season as an assistant coach at her alma mater. She made a successful transition from player to coach, serving as the Maroons' infield instructor and helping them to a 24-11 overall and 12-6 ODAC (Old Dominion Athletic Conference) record.


As a player, LaPorte enjoyed a highly successful four-year career in a Maroon form. The four-time First Team All-ODAC shortstop left Roanoke ranked in the top ten in sacrifice hits (2nd, 41), batting (5th, .383), assists (5th, 233), hits (7th, 180) and runs (7th, 135). A mainstay in the starting lineup, LaPorte was a key factor in Roanoke winning a pair of ODAC championships (2005 & 2006) and earning NCAA regional bids both seasons, reaching the finals in 2006. The Maroons, who finished ranked 21st nationally in 2005 and 2006, posted an impressive 118-38 overall and 57-15 conference record during Messick's four-year career.


LaPorte has also served as an assistant coach with a pair of Virginia summer-club teams; the 2009 U-23 Renegades and the 2007 U-16 Northern Neck Rage.


Loren Messick married her husband, Josh LaPorte, in the summer of 2013, and the two are parents to a son, Holden, born in November of 2015.

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Jennifer Herzig

Jennifer Herzig is heading into her seventh season with JMU softball. She was hired by Head Coach Mickey Dean on Sept. 5, 2012. Herzig works specifically with the catchers and the outfield.


In July 2018, Herzig was promoted from assistant coach to associate head coach.


“We are extremely happy to have Coach Herzig join our staff,” Dean announced. “She brings a great deal of experience and will be a huge asset in helping our program reach the high standards we have set.”


In her six seasons in Harrisonburg, the Dukes have compiled a 280-70 record, including an 107-11 mark in Colonial Athletic Association play. JMU has set single-season win totals, including a 52-8 record in 2016. She helped the program reach the top 10 in both major softball polls and five NCAA Championship berths. The Dukes have won a game in all five NCAA tournament appearances, including taking the Harrisonburg Regional title in 2016 to advance to the program’s first NCAA Super Regional.


In 2017, Herzig guided Kate Gordon to the program's first ever outfielding NFCA All-America accolade. Gordon also received All-CAA First Team, VaSID All-State First Team and NFCA All-Region First Team. She helped the Dukes to their seventh overall and sixth consecutive NCAA Regional appearance as JMU captured a 43-14 record, recording 19-2 in conference competition.


Herzig guided Taylor Newton to All-CAA honors over the 2017 season as Newton went on to set JMU and the Colonial Athletic Association’s RBI record. Freshman catcher Kierstin Roadcap and outfielder Cambry Arnold earned CAA All-Rookie honors under Herzig’s tutelage. All three Dukes were honored with NFCA All-Northeast Region First Team honors. JMU finished the season with a 52-8 mark with an 18-2 record in conference play. JMU swept the conference tournament to win the 2017 CAA Championship, marking the first time in program history that the Dukes have won back-to-back conference titles. The Dukes went 2-2 in the Waco Regional, falling to the host Lady Bears in the finals.


In 2016, Herzig helped two Dukes earn All-CAA honors in Erica Field and Taylor Newton. Field was named CAA Defensive Player of the year for the third straight season and both she and Newton earned NFCA All-Northeast Region honors for the second straight season. The Dukes finished the season 50-6 along with an 18-1 record in CAA play. This earned the Dukes the No. 7 overall seed for the 2016 NCAA Championship.


In 2015, Herzig helped two Dukes make the All-CAA First Team in Erica Field and Taylor Newton. Field was tabbed CAA Defensive Player for the second straight season and both she and Newton were recognized on the NFCA All-Northeast Region Team. The Dukes went 48-10 on the year and a perfect 19-0 in league play to earn the No. 15 overall seed for the NCAA Championship.


In 2014, Herzig helped a pair of rookie outfielders to All-CAA status, which included CAA Rookie of the Year Niki Prince. Prince was a First Team All-CAA selection while Newton made the Second Team. JMU went 45-15 overall and 15-3 in CAA play, while also claiming its second CAA tournament title after going 3-0 in the conference tournament.


In her first season, she helped guide the Dukes to a 42-17 record and an 18-3 mark in the CAA. JMU finished second in the CAA regular season and conference tournament and picked up the program's first ever NCAA Tournament at-large bid. Madison traveled to the Knoxville Regional at the University of Tennessee and picked up the program's first-ever NCAA Tournament with a 5-0 win over Longwood. The Dukes placed seven players on the two All-CAA teams, two on the All-Rookie team and had the CAA Player and Rookie of the Year


Herzig comes to JMU after serving the previous seven seasons as the head coach at UNCG where she won 173 games. In her time in Greensboro, the Spartans made their first ever appearance in the Southern Conference championship game. Four times in her seven seasons, her team upset the SoCon tournament’s top-seeded team, including becoming the first No. 8 seed to beat the No. 1 seed in consecutive seasons (2006-07).


In addition to success at the SoCon tournament, Herzig has coached 24 National Fastpitch Coaches Association Scholar-Athletes and 21 Academic All-Southern Conference selections. She recruited and coached UNCG’s career leader in hits (Alex Emeterio) and strikeouts (Amber Harrell) as well as coaching two members of the Puerto Rican national team and one Canadian junior national team player. Under her tutelage, 12 players were named All-Southern Conference, four were named to the All-Freshman team and seven made appearances on the All-Tournament team, including the 2010 tournament MVP in Harrell.


Prior to taking her position at UNCG, Herzig served as an assistant coach at Charlotte under head coach Aimee DeVos. She worked primarily with the infielders, catchers and hitters while also coaching first base. Herzig also worked as a graduate assistant coach at East Tennessee State and briefly served as the university’s interim head coach from August to December in 2002.


Herzig played at Charlotte from 1997-2001. She was a four-year letterwinner at first base and catcher and an NFCA Academic All-America selection.

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Email coach

Libby Morris

Libby Morris is in her second season with the Softball team at James Madison University, serving as an assistant coach, with a focus on pitching.


In her first season in Harrisonburg, Morris helped the Dukes to a 43-14 overall record, including 19-2 in Colonial Athletic Association play. She instructed both the CAA Player of the Year (Odicci Alexander) and the CAA Rookie of the Year (Payton Buresch) in the circle. Buresch was also named VaSID Rookie of the Year and named a Top-25 finalist for NFCA's Freshman of the Year under Morris' direction.


Morris came to JMU after spending a year at Jacksonville University as a graduate assistant manager, before being promoted to assistant coach in the summer of 2017. The former Longwood University standout took over the pitching coach duties for the Dolphins after her promotion to assistant coach.


While at Longwood, Morris helped the Lancers to a pair of Big South Championship titles and two NCAA Regional appearances in 2013 and 2015. Her stellar pitching career included 61 games won, and was highlighted by a 21-win season as a sophomore. She was a two-time Big South Conference Tournament Most Valuable Player (2013, 2015) and left Longwood fourth on the program’s all-time wins list and ranking in the top five in career strikeouts with 327.


Morris graduated in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and worked as a family services specialist with the Bedford Department of Social Services. She also served as a volunteer assistant coach with the Randolph College softball team in her first year after graduation. At Randolph, she focused on creating pitching workouts for the pitching staff. She is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Leadership and Learning online from Jacksonville University.

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