Knights Battle Through Tournament, Face Cortland Sunday for SUNYAC Championship

GENESEO, N.Y. - The SUNY Geneseo softball team split a pair of State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) Tournament games on Saturday, defeating Oneonta, 7-5, before falling to Cortland, 5-4, in extra innings.

GAME ONE - Geneseo 7, Oneonta 5

Oneonta took a 4-0 lead in the second inning when Geneseo committed three costly errors.

The Knights began the comeback in the third inning when junior infielder Anna Merante drove in a run with a single.

The hosts strung together four hits and punished a pair of Oneonta errors to tie the game, 4-4, in the fourth inning. Persich and Tucker each ripped RBI singles and sophomore infielder Brooke Wolff came home on an error as the Knights drew even.

Oneonta took a 5-4 lead in the fifth, but sophomore pinch-hitter Abbey Whitney laced an RBI single to tie the game in bottom of the inning.

In the sixth, Geneseo plated two runs to take their first lead of the game on RBI singles by junior outfielder Danni Napoli and Merante. Kersch shut down the Oneonta bats in the seventh to close out the victory.

GAME TWO - Cortland 5, Geneseo 4 (9 inn.)

Cortland took a 2-0 lead in the second inning, but Geneseo tied the game in the fourth inning when senior infielder Tori Fahie roped a two-run double down the left-field line.

The Red Dragons regained the lead with a single run in the fifth, and tacked on another in the seventh to gain the advantage, 4-2, heading into Geneseo's final at-bat.

In the bottom of the seventh, the Knights rallied behind another pinch-hit single from Whitney and a Cortland error. Persich drove home a run on a sacrifice fly and Tucker laced an RBI single into left-center to tie the game and force extra innings.

Cortland scored the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth inning and kept the Knights off the board to earn the win.

QUICK FACTS

Tucker went 5-for-8 with two RBI in the two games combined while Abbey Whitney improved to 3-for-3 in the tournament, with each at-bat coming as a pinch-hitter.

The Geneseo pitching staff combined to allow just three earned runs over 16 innings pitched. The Knights committed eight errors in the two games combined, bringing home seven unearned runs.

WHAT'S NEXT?

Geneseo and Cortland will play on Sunday at 12:00 p.m. in the final game of the SUNYAC Tournament, with the winner earning the conference championship and an automatic-qualifying bid to the NCAA Tournament.