The tradition of winning is in full effect this season for Geneseo’s softball team. The Knights have won their past 18 games, improving to an 11-3 conference record and a 22-9 record overall. In the midst of this success, the Knights focused their attention to their annual effort to increase breast cancer awareness on Friday April 17 during a doubleheader against SUNY Plattsburgh by donning special pink uniforms. Sophomore catcher Taylor Knowles explained why this day was especially significant this season.
“Every year we do a cancer game and one of our former teammates who played with us last year, her mom passed away last week from her battle against breast cancer,” she said. “We put her name on the back of our jerseys and we wore bows for whatever cancer we were playing for. I was playing for esophageal cancer.”
Knowles emphasized that she is proud to take part in this annual tradition, as it allows her and her teammates to play for those impacted by the disease. “It’s to honor everybody that you know and love,” she said.
The individuals watching also got an opportunity to take part in the recognition efforts. “We all wrote a small blurb on a sheet that we gave out to all the spectators about who we are playing for, the various cancers we are playing for and there was a nice ceremony before the game,” Knowles said. “One of our past athletic directors also threw out the first pitch—she recently won her battle with what I believe was breast cancer.”
Sophomore outfielder Alyssa Presutti and freshman outfielder and pitcher Holly Drasser also explained how meaningful and good-natured these games were. “The pink jerseys are always really special for us to wear,” Drasser said. “We wore ‘Reilley’ on the back this year.” Presutti agreed that the games are special to her as well, noting that she played for head, neck and colon cancer.
The Knights used the occasion to motivate themselves to sweep Plattsburgh 3-2 and 7-4. With the season coming to a close, the Knights now have to focus all their efforts into the SUNYAC Tournament.
“We need to focus on the little things and to strengthen everything as a team,” Presutti said. “The focus is basically to keep the intensity up. [We can’t] become complacent—even if we are on a 16-game win streak—we are still going to play like we’re losing and we need the wins,” Knowles added.
The Knights will hope to continue to get those wins as they face SUNY New Paltz on Friday April 24 at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. in New Paltz, New York