Softball Splits First Two Games In Florida To Open Season

CLERMONT, Fla. - SUNY Geneseo's softball team started its season Sunday with a win and a loss at the Foundation Academy in Clermont, Florida.

Six Knights recorded a hit to lead the squad to a 11-3 victory in five innings over New England College. 

Senior Kayleigh Blersch opened the scoring for Geneseo with a double in the bottom of the first to score seniors Sami Brown and Ashley Fillmore, giving the designated home team a 2-0 lead.

After a scoreless second inning, junior Jenna Phillips singled down the left field line to start a four-run inning for the Knights. Blersch would score on a passed ball before sophomore Abby Dennett doubled to center field to bring home Emily Martin and Phillips to make it 6-0 going into the top of the fourth.

Junior Brittney Distante tripled for the Pilgrims and eventually scored after a single by junior Maranda Johnson to make it a 6-1 game. Geneseo responded with two runs in the second half of the inning to take a 8-1 lead. Fillmore scored on a pass-ball and Blersch hit a sacrifice fly to bring home Brown.

After New England College put two runs on the board, 8-3, in the top of the fifth, the Knights tacked on three more to take an eight-run lead, ending the game after just five innings. Dennett, first-year Holly Drasser and sophomore Alyssa Presutti all walked to load the bases. Fillmore was hit by a pitch to bring in Dennett while Brown walked to score Drasser. Junior Cat Krok hit a sacrifice fly to center to score Presutti and seal the season-opening win.

In the second game of the afternoon, the Knights held a 4-1 advantage at the end of six innings but Southern Maine scored five runs in the seventh to take the lead. Geneseo tallied two runs to force extra innings but were unable to outscore the Huskies to come away with another victory.

Trailing, 1-0, in the bottom of the third, Blersch singled to left center to score Brown while junior Courtney Budynas brought in another run with a double to left center in the next at-bat to make it a 2-1 game.

Geneseo tallied two more runs in the fifth to take a 4-1 lead which held into the seventh inning. After an error and a walk scored two runs for the Huskies, first-year Courtney Davis doubled to left center to bring home two more. A pop-up allowed junior Mary Caron to tag third and score, giving Southern Maine a 6-4 edge heading into the bottom of the seventh.

Budynas doubled down the left-field line to score Martin and sophomore Marisa Motisi to send the game into extra innings. Motisi pinch-ran for Krok who singled to center field while Martin reached on a double to right.

The Huskies totaled two runs in the bottom of the eighth but the Knights responded with two runs of their own as senior Katie Muller singled to center field to bring home Dennett and Presutti.

Each team added a run to keep the game tied after nine innings of play. After another Southern Maine run in the 10th inning to make it 10-9, Muller singled once more to drive in Dennett.

After a scoreless 11th innining, each team had a one-run 12th inning to make it a tied game, 11-11, going into the 13th. The Huskies went on to score four runs to secure the win.