CLERMONT, FLA. – SUNY Geneseo first-year Taylor Moore recorded her second consecutive shutout and sophomore Claire VanNewkirk had three hits and three RBI, helping the Knights defeat Amherst 4-0 and earn a split of their games on Tuesday. Geneseo opened the day with a 2-0 loss to undefeated William Paterson, but bounced back with the win in the second game to raise its record to 4-2 on the season.
Game 1: William Paterson 2, Geneseo 0
First-year Alyssa Persich had the Knights' only two hits, as Geneseo couldn't solve Pioneer starting pitcher Allison Podmajersky, who has yet to allow a run this season in winning four games.
William Paterson put up single runs in both the second and fourth innings off starter sophomore Olivia Furness (0-2). The Knights almost escaped in the second; after the Pioneers' lead-off triple, Furness struck out the next two batters, but an infield error allowed the run to cross. Furness went five innings, allowing two runs (one unearned) on just three hits, striking out three and walking two. Junior Alexis Kidder came on in relief and pitched two scoreless innings, giving up one hit and striking out one.
After Persich off the game with a single, the next 17 Geneseo hitters went down in order until the first-year singled again in the bottom of the sixth. She was the only Knight to reach base in the game.
William Paterson improved to 5-0, with four wins by shutout. The Pioneers' 2015 squad posted a 30-13-1 record with a No. 6 ranking in the East Region and qualified for the NCAA Tournament, bowing out in the regional final.
Game 2: Geneseo 4, Amherst 0
VanNewkirk had three hits and three RBI, all driven in with two out, while Persich and sophomore Emily Martin added two hits apiece in support of a strong pitching performance by Moore (2-0). The first-year pitcher shut down an Amherst squad that had won its first five games and was averaging 7.6 runs per game.
The Knights broke their scoreless string early in their second game of the day. They loaded the bases in the bottom of the first via a Persich base hit, followed by a bunt single by Martin and a walk to junior Alyssa Presutti. With two outs, VanNewkirk drove in the pair with a single to right field.
Geneseo increased the lead to 3-0 with a two-out tally in the third. With senior Cat Krok on second after a single and sacrifice, VanNewkirk again delivered in the clutch, doubling to left field to score the run.
The Knights pushed across their final run in the fourth. With two out, Persich stole second to get into scoring position and crossed the plate on Martin's second hit of the game.
After allowing hits to the first two Amherst batters, Moore settled in and pitched efficiently, allowing only four hits after the first inning. The Knights' defense helped her in the fifth, when, with one out, Persich cut down a runner at third attempting to stretch a double. Amherst's best chance to score came in its last at-bat, putting a runner on third with a one-out triple. Moore coaxed a foul out on the infield for the second out and fanned the last batter to preserve the shutout, her second of the season and career. For the game she struck out four and walked none.
Persich notched her fifth multi-hit game in five starts and has hits in all six games this season, leading Geneseo with a .600 average. The Knights' pitching staff has a 0.35 ERA in the young season, recording four shutouts.
Geneseo is off on Wednesday, but returns to the field on Thursday March 17 with two games against regional opponents. The Knights will face Ithaca at 9 a.m. and will have a rematch with Rensselaer at 11 a.m.