With the 2010 season more than halfway finished, the Geneseo women's softball team seems to have turned the corner.
The Knights won three out of four games this past week, improving their SUNYAC conference record to 4-6 on the season.
On Friday, the Knights got a much needed split with SUNY Brockport, winning the first game 2-1 in eight innings and falling in the second game 13-3.
Senior Katie Holm put the Knights on the board with a solo homerun in the top of the sixth inning, but Brockport responded with a run of their own in the bottom of the frame. Sophomore KK Schaus played hero, making a fantastic defensive stop to prevent a run from scoring in the bottom of the seventh and later belted a solo homerun in the top of the eighth to seal the win for the Knights.
"That play really stands out," said Geneseo head coach Tony Ciccarello. "It's the seventh inning, the winning run is on second base and she went horizontal, got dirty and stared [the runner] down. Those are the things we've been working on," he said.
On the mound, junior Janine Montera was dominant, allowing only one unearned run on five hits and three walks with 11 strikeouts, allowing her to notch the seventh win of the season. Senior second baseman Karen Wagner also made some spectacular plays in the field that had her coach making some pretty lofty comparisons. "Karen had some huge plays in the first game at second," Ciccarello said. "Plays that you see Robinson Cano making at second - going into foul territory down the line after a foul ball, you don't see that in softball very much."
The second game was a much different story, however, as Geneseo gave up nine runs with two errors in the third inning in a losing effort against the Golden Eagles. Senior Bree Crossett and junior Megan Pogemiller each went 2-2 in the loss and freshman Stephanie Rosenberg went 1-3 with an RBI.
"It just wasn't meant to be in the second game," Ciccarello said. "That third inning really set the tone and it was really tough to bounce back from it. You can't beat good teams that way and that is nothing my players have not heard. The first game though, that shows you just how good we can be."
Geneseo went back into action on Tuesday after having a series against Medaille College postponed over the weekend. The Knights again returned to impressive form as they swept Nazareth College, 3-2 in nine-innings for game one and then 4-3 in game two.
Crossett, who caught the entire nine-inning marathon, smashed an RBI double plating junior Sam Guarrera in the walk-off, come from behind victory. The Knights began their comeback down 2-0, with two runs off of two doubles in the bottom of the sixth inning. Montera was again spectacular, allowing only five hits with five walks and 15 strikeouts. Her only blemish was a two-strike, two-out, two-run homer in the first inning.
Sophomore Mary Bostwick followed suit in the second game, allowing only four hits and one earned run with seven strikeouts. Schaus was once again key, going 2-4 with two runs and two RBI and freshmen Jess Steubing and Lexi Williams each racked up some hits, going 2-3 in the win.
The Knights improved to 16-12 overall, however, the road towards clinching a playoff berth will be an intriguing one. With Cortland alone atop the SUNYAC division, only three games separate the second and eighth place teams, providing some late season drama that even the American League East couldn't think up.
"Our conference is really interesting," Ciccarello said. "You can't figure it out but the one thing we do know is our destiny is in our hands."