CORTLAND, N.Y.– SUNY Geneseo junior Abby Dennett had a two-out, base-loaded double in the third to reclaim the lead, helping the third-seed Knights to the 8-6 win over second-seed Plattsburgh at the SUNYAC Championships on Friday. First-year Danni Napoli had a two-run home run in the first inning to give Geneseo the early lead and first-year pitcher Taylor Moore went 5 2/3 innings in relief to get the win.
The victory moves the Knights to 2-0 in the double-elimination tournament and improved their season record to 25-15. They'll next face the number-one seed, Cortland, in a game scheduled for 3 p.m. this afternoon. The host Red Dragons are also 2-0 with today's 9-7 win over Oneonta. [Schedule update: rain has caused the cancellation of play on Friday afternoon. The Buffalo St. versus Plattsburgh game will resume play at 10 a.m. on Saturday, while the Geneseo-Cortland contest is now scheduled for 12 p.m. tomorrow.]
Geneseo jumped out to an early lead in the initial at-bat when Napoli drove in first-year Alyssa Persich with her homer to left center. It was Napoli's eighth of the year, tying her with Audrey Kuhl '07 for home runs by a first-year player, as well as knotting her with three others for second place in the Geneseo record books for most in a single season.
The Knights added to their lead in the second. With Dennett on third and first-year Taylor Fedor on first, Geneseo pulled off the two-out double-steal, with Dennett scoring to make it 3-0.
Plattsburgh responded with four in the second to take the lead, resulting in Moore coming on in relief of senior starter Mikayla Moore. The Cardinal lead was short-lived, however, as in the next inning, Dennett delivered her clutch two-out double to put the Knights back in front, 6-4. Geneseo had loaded the bases on consecutive walks to Napoli and seniors Cat Krok and Jenna Phillips.
The Cardinals pulled to within 6-5 in the fifth, combining back-to-back doubles. The Knights again responded in their next at-bat, rebuilding the two-run lead on a two-out RBI-single by sophomore Emily Martin, scoring junior Alyssa Presutti who had a pinch-hit double to right center.
Geneseo pushed the lead to 8-5 with a single tally in the top of the seventh, when sophomore Claire VanNewkirk, on first base after her single, advanced toward second and remained in a run-down long enough for junior Marisa Motisi to score from third.
A one-out triple and single brought Plattsburgh to within 8-6 in the bottom of the seventh, but Moore (8-2) retired the last two batters on infield groundouts to preserve the win. She scattered nine hits and stranded eight Cardinals, while being charged with two runs while walking one and striking out one.
Plattsburgh, with one loss, moves on to face Buffalo St., also with a defeat, for a game scheduled for 1 p.m., with the loser being eliminated from the tournament. Geneseo and Cortland will close out the day's games with a contest scheduled to begin at 3 p.m., but will most likely start later due to the length of some of the earlier games. Live Stats and video links for the game are available on geneseoknights.com's Championships Central page, as well as a link to the SUNYAC Tournament page.