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WCWS Hero Sara Jubas Looks To Lead UNC To Similar Magic

(Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

Many softball fans will remember James Madison’s historic run to the semifinals of the 2021 Women’s College World Series. Some may also remember Sara Jubas, the Dukes’ shortstop who was a force to be reckoned with in Oklahoma City.

In her redshirt junior season for James Madison, Sara Jubas started all 45 games for the Dukes, compiling the highest batting average on the team (.397) and the fewest strikeouts (6). Jubas also finished the 2021 season leading her team in doubles and ranking second in home runs, with 12 apiece.

Most notably, softball fans may remember Jubas’ name from when she helped her unranked team earn a first-round WCWS victory over the top-ranked Oklahoma Sooners. When the Dukes and Sooners were tied going into the third inning of their opening game in Oklahoma City, most softball fans expected the Sooners to break the tie first. But it was in fact Jubas, who was able to do the damage after giving her team a 3-0 lead by blasting Shannon Saile’s pitch over the centerfield wall. After the Sooners eventually tied up the game, it was Jubas’ teammate, Kate Gordon, who secured the Dukes their first-ever Women’s College World Series win.

Jubas continued to be a force at the plate against Oklahoma, when the Dukes found themselves competing against them for a spot in the championship series. This time, the Dukes fell behind by three, and Jubas changed that with one swing of the bat, launching her second three-run home run of the World Series.

“Sara, honestly, all year has been our most clutch hitter,” James Madison head coach Loren LaPorte said following Jubas’ three-run blast. “She is so composed, and she loves that moment.”

Jubas’ clutch hitting will certainly be remembered for years to come, not only by JMU fans, but also by several softball fans in general. After an extraordinary career, and 2021 World Series, Jubas is leaving her name in the JMU record book, remaining at the top of the leaderboard in several categories. She is one of the top-three record holders at JMU in batting average (.381) and slugging percentage (.679), and she also sits in the top five in runs scored (160) and total home runs (38).

While many thought Jubas would be ending her softball career after helping her team to the Women’s College World Series during the 2021 season, Jubas made the decision this offseason to use her extra year of eligibility in Chapel Hill, N.C.

As a graduate student at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, Jubas will have the chance to continue her softball career as she plays for UNC head coach Donna Papa.

"We're extremely excited about adding Sara to our roster and her playing her final season in a Carolina uniform,” Coach Papa said. “(Her) experience playing for JMU and her appearance in the 2021 Women's College World Series will have an immediate positive impact on our roster and help us compete for championships this spring."

With Women’s College World Series heroics under her belt, Jubas will be adding a lot of experience to the Tar Heels’ roster this spring. Coming off a first-round defeat in the ACC Tournament, UNC will be looking to improve on last year’s results with a new key asset in Jubas. And though she is new to Chapel Hill, Jubas is certainly not new to heroics on the softball field, which she will likely show Tar Heel fans this spring.

donna papa photo by unc athletics.jpg

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