Knights Open 2016 Softball Season with Pair of Shutout Victories

CLERMONT, FLA. – SUNY Geneseo first-year Alyssa Persich had four hits on the day and senior Mikayla Moore and first-year Taylor Moore each notched pitching wins as the Knights' softball team opened its season with a pair of victories in Clermont, Fla. Geneseo (2-0) defeated Transylvania (Ky.) 1-0 in the first game and followed up with a 5-0 victory over New England College.

Game 1: Geneseo 1, Transylvania 0
Mikayla Moore (1-0) struck out 10 for her sixth-career shutout and scored the game's only run, while Persich had two hits, one which drove in the game-winning RBI in the season-opening win over Transylvania.

The Knights recorded their lone tally in the top of the third, bunching two of their four hits for the game. Moore led off the inning with a walk and one out later advanced to second on a single by junior Jacqueline Santilli. Persich then drove in Moore with a base hit to right center. The Knights almost added more that inning, loading the bases with one out after sophomore Emily Martin drew a base on balls, but couldn't increase the margin.

Moore preserved the lead in the bottom of the frame, working out a bases-loaded, one-out situation by striking out the last two Pioneer batters of the inning. She stranded another Transylvania runner who represented the tying run in the bottom of the fifth. With a runner on third with one out, she got the final two batters on a fly out and strikeout. For the game she allowed five hits, with three walks and one hit batsman.

The Knights had another threat in the fifth, when Persich tripled down the left-field line with one out, but was subsequently picked off third by the Transylvania catcher. First-year Anna Merante had the Knights' only other hit, a pinch-hit single in the seventh inning.

Game 2: Geneseo 5, New England College 0
The Knights' offense awoke early in the second game, scoring one in the first and breaking the game open with four tallies in the second inning. Pitcher Taylor Moore (1-0) recorded the win and had two RBI, while senior Cat Krok had two hits and two RBI and Persich had two hits and two runs.

Geneseo struck first with a solo tally in the first inning. Persich led off the bottom of the inning with a single down the right field line, and one out later, after a hit by Krok and a Pilgrims' error, the Knights had the bases loaded. New England got the second out on a popup, but first-year Danni Napoli followed with an infield single, plating Persich and giving Geneseo a 1-0 lead.

The Knights added to their lead in their next at-bat, scoring all four runs after two outs. With junior Marisa Motisi (on board via error) and Persich (single) on second and third, Krok's infield single scored both. After a double by first-year Taylor Fedor put two more in scoring position, Moore followed with a single to score Fedor and Crok. Geneseo almost had more that inning, but senior Jenna Phillips, who led off the inning with a single, was thrown out at home after the hit by Persich.

Moore recorded key outs with New England runners in scoring position in the second, fourth and sixth innings. In the second, with two out and runners aboard after a walk and single, she recorded the third out with a strikeout. Two innings later, with bases loaded and one out, she coaxed an infield popup for the second out and struck out the New England pinch-hitter to close the inning. In the sixth she stranded a runner at second base with two outs. She closed the game with seven strikeouts, allowing four hits and issuing two walks

Geneseo continues its Florida play with two games on Monday, March 14th. The Knights will face Rensselaer at 9 a.m., followed by a contest against Norwich at 11 a.m.