The Geneseo softball team is off to an unusually slow start this season. Starting with a string of losses in Florida, the squad dropped its first two games back in New York, 6-5 and 10-9, against SUNY Fredonia on Wednesday April 1. In his third season as head coach, David Sylvester explained that he saw many encouraging signs that point to a winning season during the team’s annual trip to Florida.
“I don’t think [the trip to Florida] went poorly, we learned a lot,” Sylvester said. “It’s tough coming out of the gym where the highest ball you’re going to hit is 30 feet in the air, then automatically stepping out on the dirt and playing a college team who already had 10-15 games under their belts.”
There were also many encouraging signs that Sylvester noted; things he thinks the team can learn from and build upon. “We got a chance to see the distancing in the outfield and, when we came out of Florida at the end of the week, our timing was much better between players,” he said. “Our hitting remained about the same, being pretty productive.” He added that the Knights were a different team leaving Florida at the end of the week compared to when they entered the tournament.
Sylvester noted that he is excited to have a diverse team, as there will be new opportunities for players at all positions this year. “We have an incredible amount of depth this year,” he said. “In years past, we had decent depth defensively, but we realistically had x-number of players than could play offensively. This year, there are a tremendous amount of players that I can go to on the bench––I can recall two occasions down in Florida where I subbed two girls in and they hit a double and a triple.”
Sylvester added that he is happy to see all class years—especially the first and second year athletes—producing both offensively and defensively. He spoke of how both groups are pretty good hitters and talented with the glove out in the field. Sylvester emphasized that his team’s diversity is a key component of the team’s chemistry.
“We are losing six very good seniors at the end of the season, but at the same time, I think we gained six first-year players,” he said. “We are very well-balanced as far as who is on the field, from first-years all the way up to the senior class. We make an effort to keep the team balanced from season to season so we never see a dip in the talent.”
Looking toward the SUNYAC Tournament, Sylvester explained it will come down to simply who plays the best softball. “It’s as balanced as I ever have seen it,” he said. “Once you get out of first and second place, I think three through eight are very talented and well balanced.”
The Knights will look to reach the top of the standings as they continue their season on Thursday April 2 at the University of Rochester.