Softball Drops Pair At Rochester in Final At-Bats by Matching 4-3 Scores

ROCHESTER, N.Y.– SUNY Geneseo first-year Danni Napoli had a double and home run in the second game, while sophomore Claire VanNewkirk's two hits in the opener included a home run, but the Knights' softball team lost both games at Rochester by identical 4-3 margins. Geneseo, which falls to 5-7 on the season, outhit the Yellowjackets on the day but left 17 runners on base and committed eight errors between the two games.

First-year Alyssa Persich had hits in both contests, stretching her hitting streak to 12 games.

Game 1: Rochester 4, Geneseo 3
VanNewkirk had two hits, including a solo home run, as the Knights scored all their runs in the fourth inning to take a 3-2 lead. The host Yellowjackets rallied with single runs in the fifth and seventh to claim the win, while Geneseo left 10 runners stranded on base.

Rochester opened the scoring with two unearned runs in the bottom of the third off junior starter Alexis Kidder on one hit and pair of errors. Geneseo got on the board in its next at-bat when VanNewkirk hit a solo opposite-field shot to left field, the Knights' first home run of the season. After two outs, Geneseo put a pair of runners on after a walk to senior Mikayla Moore and a single by first-year Taylor Fedor. Junior Jacqueline Santilli reached on a Rochester error, with Moore scoring the tying run and Persich followed with an infield single that scored Fedor to give the Knights a 3-2 lead.

The Yellowjackets tied the game 3-3 with an unearned run in the bottom of the fifth and had the opportunity to take the lead after a two-out double, but sophomore Olivia Furness (0-4) relieved Kidder and struck out a Rochester pinch-hitter to end the inning.

Geneseo featured strong defense behind Furness in the sixth to keep the game knotted at three. Junior Abby Dennett scooped a low throw at first for the first out, Santilli charged in to claim an infield pop up for the second and Napoli handled a line shot in left field for the final out.

The home side started the bottom of the seventh with a pair of singles and the Knights brought in their third pitcher of the day, first-year Taylor Moore. After an infield error loaded the bases, the Yellowjackets ended the game with a clean single through the left side.

Game 2: Rochester 4, Geneseo 3
The second game was almost a mirror image of the first, with the Knights taking a 3-2 lead only to be countered by Rochester tallies in the fifth and seventh. Santilli started a pair of double plays in the field, while at the plate, Napoli had a home run, double and two RBI and Dennett added two hits.

Geneseo opened the scoring in the second. Napoli led off the inning with a hustling double to center field, advanced to third on an infield out and scored on Dennett's single.

Rochester took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the frame courtesy of a two-run home run off starter Mikayla Moore (3-2). The Knights responded in their next at-bat with a pair of two-out runs to reclaim the lead at 3-2. After VanNewkirk was hit by a pitch, Napoli hit her first career collegiate home run, a drive into the batting cages behind the left-field fence.

Rochester put the lead-off runner aboard in the bottom of the fourth, but Santilli handled a infield grounder, tagged out the runner and tossed to first for the double play. The Yellowjackets tied the game at three the next inning, combining a double and a pair of errors. With runners on second and third and one out, Rochester had an opportunity to take the lead, but the Santilli snagged a line drive and doubled off the lead runner with a strong throw to third.

The Knights put runners in scoring position in both the sixth and seventh innings but couldn't break the tie, three of the seven runners they left on base for the game. Rochester tallied the winning run in the bottom of the seventh. With one out, a single and double put runners on second and third. An infield grounder scored the winning run as the throw to the plate was not in time.

Geneseo opens its SUNYAC schedule next weekend with a pair of road doubleheaders. The Knights will face defending conference champion Cortland on Friday, April 1 starting at 3 p.m., followed by a match-up with Oswego at 12 p.m. on Saturday, April 2.