Sylvester takes reins for softball

After a season of uncertainty, Geneseo’s softball team is looking to pick up right where it left off. This time, however, the players will know who is leading them. Last season, on short notice, assistant coach David Sylvester stepped up and led the Knights to one game short of the SUNYAC championship. During the offseason, Sylvester was officially named head coach of the team and is looking for his players to have another successful season.

Sylvester, who has been part of the program since 2010, led the Knights to a 22-13 record and the program’s fifth-straight appearance in the SUNYAC tournament. Making their 15th postseason appearance in 16 seasons, the Knights battled their way back from a first-round loss to SUNY Plattsburgh (7-4) with two victories over SUNY Oswego (6-0) and Plattsburgh (5-4), again, before falling to SUNY Cortland 8-7 in an elimination game to finish as runner-up.

Sylvester spent three seasons as the Knights’ pitching coach before being elevated to interim head coach prior to last year’s campaign. Geneseo has compiled an overall 88-68 (.564) record, including a 43-29 in the SUNYAC, with Sylvester in the dugout.

“I am really looking forward to the opportunity to continue what I have been a part of for the last five years,” Sylvester said. “We had a good season this past year, and I’m excited to keep building on the successes we’ve had and moving the program forward.”

To continue the success, Geneseo will look to players such as junior Samantha Brown and senior Samantha Trapasso. Both players were named to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association East Region all-star team as second-team selections last year.

A first-team pick to the SUNYAC all-star team last spring, Brown started all but one game for the Knights at shortstop and led the team with 55 hits. She batted .401 with 38 runs scored, 12 stolen bases and an on-base percentage of .453 – ranking second on the team in all four categories.

Trapasso was one of the conference’s top power hitters, leading the SUNYAC with a .740 slugging percentage and 45 runs batted in. She led Geneseo in both categories, as well as in batting average (.423), on-base percentage (.467), home runs (eight), doubles (13), total bases (91) and extra-base hits (22). Trapasso ranked second in the league in doubles, home runs and total bases and ranked third with 52 hits.

This season, the Knights look to get past nationally ranked powerhouse Cortland. Last season, Geneseo lost by one run in the SUNYAC finals to the Red Dragons, who went on to a successful NCAA tournament. Playing under the same coach in a familiar system should help Geneseo potentially reach this goal.

The Knights kick of their season with the Dot Richardson Spring Games in Clermont, Fla. starting on March 16.