Click here to Skip to main content
James Madison Softball Camps
James Madison Softball Camps

 COACHING STAFF

Loren LaPorte  |  Assistant Coach

Loren LaPorte, formerly Loren Messick is in her third year as an assistant softball coach at James Madison University.

In her twos seasons in Harrisonburg, the Dukes have compiled an 87-32 record, including a 33-6 mark in Colonial Athletic Association play. She helped the program knock of a three ranked opponents, pick up its first-ever Top-25 ranking and earned a pair of NCAA Tournament berths.

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 fourth season as an assistant coach with JMU softball in 2012-13. 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 three seasons in Harrisonburg, the Dukes have compiled a 135-42 record, including a 52-6 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 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.

 

Jailyn Ford  |   Volunteer Assistant Coach

2016 as a Senior
•   NFCA First Team All-American
•   Senior All-American First Team 
•   NFCA First Team All-Region 
•   CAA Player of the Year
•   First Team All-CAA
•   Senior CLASS Award Finalist
•   CAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player and All-Tournament Team
•   ECAC Player of the Year
•   ECAC First Team All-Star
•   First round draft pick (#3 overall) in the 2016 NPF Draft to the Akron Racers
•   Named a USA Softball Top-25 Player of the Year Finalist
•   ASA/USA Softball and NFCA National Pitcher of the Week 2/23/16
•   USA Softball Player of the Year Top 50 "Watch List" selection
•   Broke JMU all-time career records for home runs, runs scored, runs batted in, total bases, walks and intentional walks
•   Broke JMU all-time career records this season for appearances, innings pitched and batters faced, strikeouts looking
•   CAA Player of the Week 4/25/16
•   CAA Pitcher of the Week 2/23/16, 3/8/16, 4/11/16
•   Second in the CAA in on base percentage, opposing batting average, batters struck out, wins and runs allowed
•   Recorded double-digit strikeouts five times this season
•   Recorded 11 multi-hit games this season
•   Led the team in triples, home runs, total bases, slugging percentage, walks and on base percentage
•   Tied for first on the team in stolen bases (17-21)
•   Second in the CAA in ERA, opposing batting average, batters struck out and wins
•   Eighth in the nation in strikeouts per seven innings
•   JMU Macado's Invitational All-Tournament Team 
•   CAA Commissioner’s Academic Award recipient

2015 as a Junior:
•   NFCA Third Team All-American
•   CAA Player of the Year
•   First Team All-CAA
•   NFCA First Team All-Northeast Region
•   ECAC First Team All-Star
•   VaSID State Player of the Year
•   VaSID First Team All-State
•   CAA Championship All-Tournament Team
•   CAA Player of the Week (4/27)
•   CAA Pitcher of the Week (2/17, 3/17, 4/20)
•   ECAC Pitcher of the Week (3/17)
•   Started all 58 games this season
•   Broke two JMU single-season records for on-base percentage (.485) and strikeouts per seven innings (9.83) while holding opponents to second-best batting average (.165)
•   Set four JMU career records for wins, shutouts, strikeouts and complete games
•   In regular season, ranked 13th in the country in hits allowed per seven innings (4.2), 15th in strikeouts per seven (9.5), 19th in walks allowed per seven (1.18) and 39th in saves (3)
•   Tied for CAA lead with 32 walks while ranking second in strikeouts, opposing batting average, on-base percentage and triples (5)
•   Hit .383 this season with 11 home runs, 44 RBIs, 44 runs and a .704 slugging percentage
•   Went 16-5 in the circle, going over two months without a losing decision between March 8 and May 16
•   Part of JMU's fourth-best pitching staff in the country during the regular season with a combined 1.60 ERA ~ held a 2.30 ERA in 32 appearances
•   Toss JMU's first-ever perfect game on April 15 in a 13-0 win at East Carolina, which she struck out 13 of 21 batters
•   Struck out at least 10 batters in seven games, including a season-high 14 in a one-hit effort versus Butler on March 14
•   Had one more one-hitter on April 11 in an 8-0 victory over UNCW, striking out 12 of 17 batters
•   Produced 16 multi-hit games, including six games with three base hits
•   Had 13 multi-RBI games, including five games with three or more RBIs
•   Reached base safely in 20 straight games during one point of the season
•   Hit 3-for-3 with a triple in JMU's 2-1 loss to Fordham in the NCAA Harrisonburg Regional
•   Went 3-for-4 with two home runs and five RBIs in JMU's 9-0 win over Elon on April 25
•   Named MVP of the UCF Spring Fling Tournament, which JMU went 5-0 at
•   CAA Commissioner's Academic Award (Spring 2015)
•   Dean's List (Spring 2015)

2014 as a Sophomore:
•   NFCA Second Team All-America (first All-American in program history)
•   CAA Pitcher of the Year
•   First Team All-CAA
•   NFCA First Team All-Region
•   CAA All-Tournament Team
•   ECAC Pitcher of the Year and ECAC First Team Division I All-Star
•   College Sports Madness Fourth Team All-America
•   Five-time CAA Pitcher of the Week
•   NFCA Leadoff Classic All-Tournament Team
•   2014 Pepsi Rainbow Wahine Classic co-Most Valuable Pitcher
•   ECAC Pitcher of the Week (4/7)
•   College Sports Madness Preseason Player and Pitcher of the Year
•   Started all 60 games for the Dukes at pitcher, designated player of first base
•   Hit .268 with nine doubles, a team-high nine home runs, 29 RBIs, 36 runs and nine steals
•   Set a school record with 34 walks on the season
•   In the circle went 24-7 with a 1.26 ERA, adding nine shutouts, two combined shutouts, 21 complete games and four saves
•   Struck out 233 and walked 40 while holding opponents to a .200 batting average against in 228 2/3 innings pitched
•   Set or tied program records for wins, strikeouts, starts, innings pitched, appearances and shutouts.
•   Was the only pitcher in the nation to shutout Women’s College World Series participants Oregon and UL Lafayette during the regular season
•   Dean's List Fall 2014
•   CAA Commissioner's Academic Award
•   JMU Athletics Director Scholar-Athlete

2013 as a Freshman:
•   Represented USA as part of the Jr. National Team as the ISF Junior World Championships, earning a silver medal
•   CAA Rookie of the Year and two-time First Team All-CAA (P and 1B)
•   CAA All-Rookie Team
•   CAA All-Tournament Team
•   NFCA First Team All-Region
•   ECAC Division I All-Star
•   VaSID Rookie and Pitcher of the Year and First Team All-State
•   Three-time CAA Pitcher of the Week and four-time CAA Rookie of the Week
•   Started all 59 games for the Dukes either at pitcher of first base
•   Hit .373 with 11 doubles, one triple and 15 home runs
•   Added 38 runs, 49 RBIs, 15 walks, one sacrifice fly and nine steals
•   In the circle went 24-6 with a 1.61 ERA
•   Threw 23 complete games, nine shutouts, one save and struck out 209 in 191 innings pitched
•   Set school record for wins (24), strikeouts (209), games started (31), innings pitched (191.0), complete games (23) and shutouts (nine)
•   Set JMU rookie records for home runs (15), RBIs (49), total bases (121), slugging percentage (.716) and on-base percentage (.434)
•   Ranked 16th in the country in hits allowed per seven innings (4.47), 17th in shutouts (nine), 23rd in ERA (1.61), 31st in wins (24), 53rd in strikeouts per seven innings (7.7), 56th in strikeouts (209), 59th in slugging (0.716), 69th in home runs (0.25/game) and 124th in RBIs (0.83/game)

High School:
•   MaxPreps.com Small School First Team All-American Pitcher
•   2012 Single A State Pitcher of the Year
•   Four-time Pioneer District Player of the Year
•   Four-time First Team All-State
•   Four-time All-Region C and two-time Region C Pitcher of the Year
•   Two-time All-Timesland Pitcher of the Year and four-time First Team All-Timesland
•   Roanoke Times Pitcher of the Year
•   Four-time Virginian Review Player of the Year
•   Fourth all-time in VHSL records with 1,065 career strikeouts
•   Helped lead Bath County to back-to-back Virginia Division I State championships (first state championships in a female sport in school history)
•   2012 VHSL East-West All-Star game MVP
•   Offensively added a career batting average of .568 with 21 home runs and 120 RBIs

Personal:
•   Daughter of Christie and Jeff Ford
•   Also was a First Team All-Pioneer District basketball player
•   Played her club ball for the Williamsburg Starz under coach Tom Bunn
•   Enjoys fishing and basketball
•   Majoring in sport and recreation management