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Softball

Game Two Rally Gives Softball the Doubleheader Sweep Over RIT

Junior Claire VanNewkirk.
Junior Claire VanNewkirk.

GENESEO, N.Y.– SUNY Geneseo sophomore Claire VanNewkirk hit a three-run, pinch-hit home run, keying a six-run rally as the Knights came from five runs down to top RIT 6-5 in the second game of a doubleheader on Wednesday. The win gave Geneseo the sweep on top of its 4-1 win in the opener behind the five-hit pitching of junior Alexis Kidder. Geneseo improves its record to 15-13 in capturing its 10th win in its last 14 games.

Game 1: Geneseo 4, RIT 1
First-years Alyssa Persich, Danni Napoli and Taylor Fedor each had two hits in support of Kidder's pitching performance.

Geneseo put runners in scoring position in the first two innings but didn't break through until the fourth. First-year Kylie Papagelos led off with a opposite-field single to right and two outs later, stole second. She scored on Persich's line-drive base hit to center field.

The Knights added on in the fifth. Senior Cat Krok doubled inside the left-field line and after being sacrificed to third, came home on a single by junior Abby Dennett. Dennett then stole second, advanced to third on a passed ball and crossed the plate on Fedor's RBI single, making it 3-0.

The visiting Tigers combined a double and single to cut the margin to 3-1 in the top of the sixth, but Geneseo answered in the bottom of the inning to rebuild the three-run margin. Napoli singled to center, stole second and with two out, scored when junior Alyssa Presutti tripled to right center, a line drive over the second baseman that rolled all the way to the wall.

Kidder (2-2) allowed one run on five hits, walking only one and striking out three.

Game 2: Geneseo 6, RIT 5
The Knights didn't get their first base hit until the fifth inning and trailed 5-0 until a six-run rally in the sixth delivered the come-from-behind win. Junior Marisa Motisi had the game-winning RBI in the comeback.

RIT struck with three in the first and two in the second and looked to add more in the fourth with bases loaded and no out. First-year Taylor Moore, who relieved starting pitcher sophomore Olivia Furness, coaxed a pop-out, and ground-out erasing a runner at home and a strike out to keep the Tiger lead at 5-0.

Centerfielder Napoli saved a run an inning later with a sliding catch on the warning track in right center with two outs and a runner on second. Moore stranded another runner in the sixth by getting an inning-ending comebacker with a runner on third.

Geneseo was held hitless until the fifth when Fedor beat out an infield chop to third, but the Knights remained scoreless until the sixth. Napoli started the rally with a single up the middle, taking second on a mis-play by the center fielder. Krok walked and senior Jenna Phillips singled to left, driving home Geneseo's first run. VanNewkirk came in to pinch-hit and after fouling off a pair of two-strike pitches, drove one over the wall in right-center to bring Geneseo within 5-4.

With still no out, senior Courtney Budynas singled through the right side, followed by Dennett's solid line-drive single to center. After both runners advanced on a wild pitch, Motisi singled to score two and give the Knights a 6-5 lead.

The Tigers put two aboard via hit-by-pitch in their last at-bat, but Moore responded with a strikeout and a game-ending ground out to second.

Furness went three innings, allowing five runs on seven hits with a walk and a strikeout. Moore (4-2) earned the win with her four innings of work, giving up three hits, hitting two, walking two and striking out four.

The Knights return to action for a pair of important SUNYAC doubleheaders this weekend. They'll face Oneonta on Friday, April 22 at 3 p.m. and New Paltz at 12 p.m. on Saturday, April 23.

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