Softball back in playoff hunt with five SUNYAC wins

The Geneseo softball team got back into the thick of the playoff race this week, winning five of six games including a Senior Day victory over No. 17-ranked SUNY Plattsburgh. "Things are starting to go our way," said head coach Tony Ciccarello. "We're staying in games and putting ourselves in situations to win."

The Knights started off their impressive run with two convincing victories over SUNY Potsdam on Friday, 9-6 and 5-0. In the opener, sophomore Lexi Williams went 3-4 with two runs and an RBI.

Senior Janine Montera pitched both games, giving up a total of 12 hits with 12 strikeouts and earning the win in both. Because the team struggled earlier in the season, Montera is being asked to take on a heavier workload, pitching most if not all of the team's upcoming conference match-ups.

"Of course, Janine being Janine, she was all for it; she's not the first pitcher to do it and she won't be the last," Ciccarello said. "My feeling is if it doesn't work I won't second-guess myself because we lost with our best."

Montera pitched again in Saturday's opener against Plattsburgh, allowing one earned run on four hits with five strikeouts and one walk. The Knights scratched across two runs in the bottom of the seventh on a sharp bases-loaded ground ball to third base by freshman Patty Callahan to earn the 2-1 victory.

In the second game, the Knights had trouble bunching their hits together, falling 0-2. Montera only allowed one earned run on six hits with seven strikeouts.

"They're really showing their heart," Ciccarello said. "They're starting to buy into the fact that there isn't a clock in this game and you're never out of it; you can score with two outs in the seventh and still win."

On Tuesday, the Knights trounced SUNY Oswego, 7-1 in game one and then earned a thrilling 10th inning come-from-behind victory in game two. The biggest hit came from freshman Sam Trapasso, who tied the game at one in the bottom of the ninth with a solo home run.

"That home run was huge," Ciccarello said. "We were almost three outs away from kissing our season goodbye."

"We're in playoff mode here on out and they've really taken to the challenge," Ciccarello said. "I'm really proud of them. They've done everything we've asked them as a staff."

Geneseo improves to 16-14 overall and 7-7 in SUNYAC play. The Knights are set to face off against SUNY Oneonta and SUNY New Paltz on Friday and Saturday, respectively.

Ed. Note:

The Knights were swept in a two-game series against Rochester Institute of Technology on Wednesday, 7-5 and 10-1. Geneseo falls to 16-16 on the season.