Softball team opens conference play, 1-3

The Geneseo women's softball team had a rough start to their conference play, winning only one of four games this past weekend.

On Friday, the squad went to bat against the Buffalo State Bengals, but were swept 3-1 and 6-0. In the opener, the Bengals struck first in the opening inning, but the Knights managed to tie it up as senior Katie Holm scored on an RBI double by freshman Jessica Steubing. The visitors then scored in the third and fourth innings for the win.

Junior Janine Montera allowed seven hits and four walks with seven strikeouts. The lack of offensive support was apparent as the Knights managed only three hits of their own.

In the next game the Knights failed to score despite generating some offense. Geneseo totaled seven hits by seven different players, but Buffalo State scored two runs in the first, third and fifth innings to finish off the sweep.

Head coach Tony Ciccarello said in the end, "It comes down to hitting the right spot. We're getting some hits but we're not getting them with people on base." He added that despite this, the team had vastly improved in several areas of their game that had they had worked on since their spring break trip to Florida. "We're getting the bat on the ball more, we're working the count more," he said. "We're definitely improving."

Sophomore Mary Bostwick took the loss after allowing five hits, three walks and four earned runs, along with four strikeouts, in five innings. "This is her first year with us," Ciccarello said, "she didn't pitch much last year and she's learning." Freshman pitcher Katie Gallagher allowed one hit with three strikeouts in the final two frames.

The next day, the team recorded their first conference victory of the season as they beat SUNY Fredonia 2-1 in the second game. In the opener the Knights squandered a 2-0 to fall 5-2.

Defense was the team's undoing as they allowed three runs, two unearned in the fifth and then two more in the seventh. Montera allowed 10 runs, adding to the loss. Freshman Alexa Salzman got the final two outs in the seventh.

Junior first basemen Megan Pogemiller was the hero of the day as she slapped an RBI single up the middle in the bottom of the seventh of the second game to score pinch runner junior Chrissy Fretthold.

Bostwick bounced back from a disappointing performance the day before to earn the victory, allowing three hits and four strikeouts. She had help as her teammates put together the late rally to secure the win.

Ciccarello is faced with the prospect of going into the heart of a tough SUNYAC division with a team featuring only three seniors. "We are young at some key spots but they're really stepping it up," he said. "Half of the starting line-up could be freshman or sophomores."

Pointing to the fact that conference schedule is the most important part for the team, Ciccarello suggested that part of the team's struggles could be mental. "They press a little bit and try and do too much," he said.

This weekend the Knights take on a tough road trip. The team visits SUNY Cortland on Friday and then SUNY Oswego on Saturday. Tuesday, the Knights travel to Keuka College. The team is 8-8 overall and 1-3 in conference play.