As students return from spring break, the Geneseo softball team returned from a trip to Florida that kicked off its 2015 season. Led by head coach David Sylvester, the Knights came back to Geneseo after compiling a 3-6 record against universities from throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic in Florida. The Knights got off to a running start, beating New England College 11-3 on March 15 in their first game. The strong start did not carry over, as the Knights dropped their next six games before finishing strong. They shut out their last two opponents––Lancaster Bible College and McDaniel College––5-0 and 2-0, respectively.
Hailing from Canton, New York, senior infielder Samantha Brown is one of six seniors that Sylvester will rely on to lead his team. Brown explained that softball has always been a part of her life.
“[I’ve played] for a long, long time––over 15 years,” she said. Through hard work and dedication, she was named to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association East Region All-Star team as a second-team selection two years ago. She also earned a spot on the SUNYAC All-Academic team as both a freshman and sophomore. Last season, she led the Knights in batting average at .326.
With regards to the team’s annual Florida trip, Brown noted there were a lot of encouraging signs that she believes will contribute to a successful season for the Knights as they hope to make it back to the postseason.
“Our trip to Florida overall went well,” she said. “We saw a lot of things that were very good. We saw a lot of things from new faces that we were excited to see.” The Knights added six freshmen to this year’s team.
To build a playoff-ready team, the Knights commit themselves every day to intense practices both on the field and off the field with a weight lifting regiment. “For the first time putting it together after being in the gym for two months, I felt like we did a lot of good things [in Florida],” Brown said. “There were a lot of good things to take away from it entering the SUNYAC season.”
Along with a stringent practice schedule, the Knights build their success from being a close-knit team that works well together. “Everybody is very close on the softball team; we are like a little family,” Brown said. “Even though Florida was like a business trip, it was still fun being together. At the end of every game, we get into a little circle and yell, ‘GSUSB woo!’ and no matter how the game went––good or bad––we are still here for each other regardless of what just happened out there.”
She also noted that the team has a good working relationship with Sylvester. “We like him,” she said. “He pushes us to be our best and gets wins out of us—hopefully a few more than we got over the Florida break.”
The Knights will hope to start to get those wins when they continue their season on Friday March 27 against SUNY Fredonia.