Softball Clinches Playoff Spot with Doubleheader Split Against Buffalo St.

GENESEO, N.Y.– A grand slam by SUNY Geneseo first-year Danni Napoli sparked a seven-run inning which helped the Knights to a 13-5 game two win, earning a split of their SUNYAC doubleheader with Buffalo St. on Friday. The visiting Bengals took the first game, 9-5. Geneseo moves to 21-15 on the season and 10-6 in the SUNYAC, and with the victory, clinched a spot in the conference playoffs.

Game 1: Buffalo St. 9, Geneseo 5
The Knights outhit the Bengals 15-8, but the visitors used two home runs in a seven-run sixth inning that secured the win. Napoli, junior Abby Dennett and sophomore Claire VanNewkirk had three hits each for Geneseo.

Buffalo St. combined a single, walk and double in the third to take a 2-0 lead. Geneseo responded with a two-out run in the bottom of the inning. Napoli and senior Cat Krok got on with back-to-back singles and Napoli was driven in on a base hit by senior Jenna Phillips.

The Knights claimed the lead in the bottom of the fifth. Sophomore Emily Martin doubled and scored on Napoli's single. Phillips again brought in with Napoli with another base hit and Geneseo had a 3-2 lead.

The Bengals put sevens run on the board in the sixth, however, with the primary damage being a pair of three-run home runs.

Geneseo put up a pair in the bottom of the sixth, when VanNewkirk drove in Dennett, who had singled to lead off the frame. VanNewkirk later scored on a wild pitch to make the final score of 9-5.

Senior Mikayla Moore (9-6) took the loss, giving up eight runs on six hits, striking out four and walking two. Junior Alexis Kidder pitched 2/3 of an inning in relief, giving up a run on two hits.

Game 2: Geneseo 13, Buffalo St. 5 (five innings)
The Knights scored all their runs in two innings—seven in the third and six in the fourth—to put away the Bengals and earn the doubleheader split. Napoli had a home run and four RBI, Martin had three hits, while Krok and first-year Taylor Fedor each had a pair of base hits.

Buffalo St. took the early lead with a run in the first and held the 1-0 margin going into the third inning. In the bottom of the stanza Geneseo loaded the bases with consecutive singles by Fedor, Persich and Martin. Napoli then unloaded a shot to dead-center field, her first career grand slam, to give the Knights the 4-1 lead. Geneseo put runners back in scoring position with a double by Krok and a Phillips walk, with both scoring on a dropped fly ball to center off the bat of VanNewkirk. Fedor then drove in VanNewkirk for the seventh run of the inning.

The Bengals got one back in the top of the fourth, but the Knights put six more runs up. Phillips, VanNewkirk, Budynas, Martin and Dennett all had RBI in the inning, Van Newkirk on her third double of the day.

Buffalo St. put up three in the top of the fifth and had the bases loaded with two out with an opportunity to extend the game but Kidder, on in relief of first-year starting pitcher Taylor Moore, got the final out.

Moore (7-2) got the win, allowing five runs on eight hits in 4 1/3 inning. Kidder pitched a scoreless 2/3rds of an inning.

The win gave the Knights their eighth-consecutive appearance in the SUNYAC Tournament, with final place in the standings and seed for the tournament to be determined by results tomorrow. Geneseo will close out its season with a home doubleheader against Fredonia, starting at 1 p.m. The Knights' Class of 2016 will be honored in ceremonies between the two games.