Loren LaPorte | Assistant Coach
Loren LaPorte, formerly Loren Messick is in her fifth year as an assistant softball coach at James Madison University.
In her four seasons in Harrisonburg, the Dukes have compiled a record 185-48, including a 70-7 mark in Colonial Athletic Association play. She helped the program knock of a three ranked opponents, pick up its first-ever Top-25 ranking, earn four straight NCAA Tournament appearances, host an NCAA Regional each of the last two years, and advance to and host its first-ever NCAA Super-Regional.
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 recogintions, 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 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 under now-JMU Head Coach 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.
Jennifer Herzig | Assistant Coach
Jennifer Herzig is in her fifth season as an assistant coach with JMU softball in 2016-17. She was hired by Head Coach Mickey Dean on Sept. 5, 2012. Herzig works specifically with the catchers and the outfield.
“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 four seasons in Harrisonburg, the Dukes have compiled a 185-48 record, including a 70-7 mark in Colonial Athletic Association play. JMU has set new single-season win totals each season, including a 48-10 record in 2015. She helped the program knock off five nationally-ranked opponents, reach the top 20 in both major softball polls and three NCAA Championship berths. The Dukes have won a game in all three NCAA tournament appearances.
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.