James Madison fell behind early but came on strong to top DePaul 6-1 in the opening game of the NCAA Softball Tournament regional at the University of Kentucky's John Cropp Stadium in Friday night.
A Jailyn Ford go-ahead single to shallow left field broke open a 1-1 game in the third inning.
DePaul left-hander Kirsten Verdun (30-6) gave up back-to-back bases-loaded walks to make it 4-1 an inning later.
Taylor Newton made it seem all but over in the fifth with her solo home run to left field. Erica Prince knocked in another insurance run in the sixth.
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Ford (24-6) pitched seven innings, giving up one run on six hits for James Madison, champions of the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament and regular season.
The Dukes (45-13), who won their 16th in a row, will meet the winner of the Kentucky-Ohio University game at 1 p.m. on Saturday.
DePaul (41-10) moves to the losers' bracket of the double-elimination tournament and will play at 3:30 p.m.
Six different Dukes batters had a hit, including Caitlin Sandy, who had two.
Verdun had three of the Demons’ six hits, including two doubles.