GENESEO, N.Y. - SUNY Geneseo team will travel to Pittsford, N.Y. to play Mt. St. Mary in the NCAA Division III Softball Regionals, hosted by St. John Fisher, on Friday, May 11 at 12:00 p.m.
The Knights enter the NCAA Tournament with a record of 30-7, reaching the 30-win plateau for just the fourth time in program history, and the first time since 2002 when the team finished 36-6. They have recorded eight shutouts this season and have held opponents to two or fewer runs in 22 out of 37 contests.
Geneseo defeated Cortland, 5-1, to win the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) Championship on Sunday to earn an automatic bid to its first NCAA Tournament since 2002. Sophomore pitcher Ashlyn Kersch was named Tournament MVP after earning three vicories and only allowing two earned runs (0.72 ERA) over 19.2 innings. Junior outfielder Alyssa Persich was named to the All-Tournament Team after finishing 9-for-20 with six RBI and four runs scored during the five-game set.
Persich leads the team with a .379 batting average with 44 hits, including seven doubles, three triples and a home run. Junior infielder Anna Merante is batting .363 while sophomore infielder Maddison Tucker owns a .361 average. Senior outfielder Claire VanNewkirk leads the team with 22 RBI and 15 extra-base hits, including a pair of home runs.
Kersch ranks sixth nationally with a 0.92 ERA, only allowing 13 earned runs in 99.0 innings pitched, as Geneseo stands 18th in the country with a 1.91 team ERA. Junior Taylor Moore has allowed 31 earned runs in 93 innings for a 2.33 ERA and junior Jasmine Petrishin has allowed 11 earned runs over 37.0 innings for a 2.08 ERA.
The host Cardinals will take on Immaculata (Pa.) at 2:30 p.m. on Friday to make up the other half of the four-team double-elimination regional, which will continue on Saturday and Sunday, if necessary. The winner advances to play an opponent to be determined in a best-of-three Super Regional (May 18-19) with a berth in the NCAA Division III College Softball World Series at the USA Softball Hall of Fame Complex in Oklahoma City, Okla. (May 24-29) on the line.
Geneseo made its only other NCAA Tournament appearance in 2002, defeating Manhattanville, 8-0, in the opener before falling to host Ithaca, 1-0. Despite defeating King's College (Pa.), 3-0, in an elimination game, Ithaca advanced out of the regional based on its head-to-head win over the Knights after the tournament was halted due to rain. The Bombers went on to win the national championship.