Softball wins four straight after slow start in Florida

The Knights have earned some much-needed wins since returning to play in New York State. Geneseo split a doubleheader on Thursday April 2 against SUNY Cortland and continued to control its home turf as the Knights swept SUNY Oswego on Friday April 3 and Keuka College on Tuesday April 7. With these victories, the Knights have pushed themselves back to a .500 record in SUNYAC play—they’re 3-3 in the conference and 8-9 overall. Geneseo is fortunate enough to have a diverse mix of players with a relatively even balance between all class years. While the transition from high school to college athletics may take some getting used to, it is necessary to adjust mentally and physically to have the highest chance of success throughout the season. This holds especially true for players that are not used to playing two games a day.

Senior pitcher/infielder Katie Muller—a mathematics major from Manlius, New York—and senior catcher Ashley Fillmore—a psychology major from Getzville, New York—both said they were able to put more wins on the board after returning from Florida. “I think as a team we were able to come together more,” Muller said. “We were more in-sync and used to being outside—because Florida was our first time being outside on the field this season.”

Fillmore agreed, noting how their games in New York are paramount to the team’s success. “There is a bigger motivation to play SUNYAC teams than the teams out of conference,” Fillmore said. “I think we took [the conference games] a little more seriously.”

Both athletes were playing softball long before coming to Geneseo, but they haven’t always played double-headers so consistently. “I like it better this way,” Muller said. “No matter what, we are going to have to play every team twice. If we didn’t do it this way, we would be playing almost every day—with school, that would be impossible.”

Fillmore agreed that having the doubleheader system is best for the team, but it undoubtedly takes a toll on her mind and body. “It is definitely hard to stay mentally focused through both games,” she said. “If we win the first game, it can be harder to win the second game and keep yourself focused throughout the whole thing.”

The Knights are lucky to have formed such strong relationships with their fellow teammates, as well as with head coach David Sylvester in his third year coaching the team. Sylvester takes into account the high amounts of physical and mental vigor associated with daily practice and the doubleheaders on game days.

With many of the players able to play more than one position, Sylvester is able to substitute someone in when another player might need a break. Muller said that doubleheaders also benefit the team socially. “Everybody on the team is very close,” she said.

The Knights’ home doubleheader that was scheduled for Wednesday April 8 against Nazareth College was postponed due to inclement weather. They will face SUNY Brockport at home on Friday April 10 at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.