Softball sweeps home openers, will travel to Fredonia next

The Knights split games with the SUNY New Paltz Hawks on Friday March 29, losing 2-0 in the first game and winning 4-0 in the second. The Knights moved on to face the SUNY Oneonta Red Dragons on Saturday March 30. Against the Dragons, the Knights split games again. The first game saw the Knights go down 4-2, but they bounced back for the second game with a 14-3 win.

In the 4-0 win against New Paltz, junior pitcher Ashlyn Kersch pitched a full game shutout, distributed five hits and recorded five strikeouts to earn her fifth win of the season. The Knights scored two of their runs in the second inning and added two more runs in the third to pull away from the Hawks. 

In the 14-3 rout over Oneonta, junior first baseman Abbey Whitney hit two home runs and six RBIs while Kersch struck out five batters across six innings of work on the mound and went two-for-three with a pair of runs scored at the plate. 

Geneseo opened the game with six runs in the first inning. The Knights chalked up seven more runs in a second inning that was fueled by a solo home run from Whitney. Multiple players were able to get on base and make their way around back to home. Another home run came from Petrishin in the third inning to put the Knights up 14-0. 

Junior catcher Hannah Elmer attributes Geneseo’s victories to the team’s batting. 

“Our bats really came alive. After the first game where we didn’t get many hits, we were really focused on attacking the pitches given to us,” Elmer said. “It all came down to our hitting … when we get hits early in the game, this tends to light a fire for our team, and we get more runs across. We are a very talented team, but we have to find a balance in our hitting and adjust better in games where we find ourselves struggling in order to play to our highest potential this season.”

Whitney noted what the team has to do for the rest of the season moving forward.

 “It is more important than ever to take one game at a time … every school is out to beat the defending champs. This means that we have to bring the same heart, focus and desire to the field every day,” she said. “We have greatly improved our team chemistry on and off the field. Communication on the field is key in softball and the chemistry and fun we have as a team really translates to games. We really do become a family.” 

While current players receive the majority of the praise for winning games, Whitney highlighted the positive influence senior infielder Anna Merante has had on the team, despite being sidelined for her senior season due to a knee injury. 

“Anna Merante deserves to be recognized for the contributions she still makes to our team despite her senior season being taken away,” Whitney said. “In previous years, Anna has been a great leader on and off the field. She is an amazing player we could always count on to come up with a clutch hit or play and at the same time cheer the loudest for you when you’re up to bat.” 

The Knights swept the Nazareth College Golden Flyers in their home opening doubleheader on Wednesday April 3. Geneseo won 1-0 in the first game and 9-1 in the second. The team will travel to play SUNY Fredonia for a doubleheader on Friday April 5 for their next matchup this season.