Geneseo, N.Y. - The SUNY Geneseo softball took both games of a non-conference doubleheader against Keuka on Tuesday, 6-0, 5-3. Home runs by seniors Kayleigh Blersch, Ashley Fillmore and first-year Claire VanNewkirk accounted for five of the six runs in the first game. Junior pitcher Mikayla Moore stranded 10 Wolfpack baserunners in the second game, with sophomore Taylor Knowles adding a key two-run single. The Knights have now won four straight games and five of their last six.
Game 1: Geneseo 6, Keuka 0.
The Knights (8-9) took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second on a solo home run by VanNewkirk. The shot to straight-away center field was the first of her college career. Geneseo added to the lead in the bottom of the fourth when Blersch led off the inning with a home run to left field. First-year Emily Martin followed with a single to right and was sacrificed to second by sophomore Alyssa Presutti. VanNewkirk then doubled off the wall in right-center to score Martin and increase the lead to 3-0. Sophomore Allie Dananberg got aboard with an infield single and Fillmore followed with a three-run home run to left center to close out the scoring.
Senior Corrin Spallone (5-4) scattered four hits to earn the win. She struck out eight, allowing only three runners to reach scoring position. Fillmore, VanNewkirk and Dananberg each had two hits, with VanNewkirk just missing a third hit in the sixth when the Keuka first baseman made a fine play on a hard-hit line drive. The Knights played error free in the field and recorded a double play in the fourth when right fielder Dananberg caught a line drive and threw out the Keuka baserunner heading back to first base.
It was Geneseo's first multi-home run game of the season and doubled the team total. The five extra-base hits tied for the second-highest output this spring.
Game 2: Geneseo 5, Keuka 3
Keuka (2-4) scored first, pushing across a single tally in the top of the second on a single and a double. The Knights answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning. After singles by junior Jenna Phillips and Moore, first-year Julia Lalka doubled to right field to score one and Knowles followed with a hard-hit, two-run single past the second baseman. It was Knowles first collegiate hit and RBI.
The Wolfpack tied the game with single runs in the fourth and the fifth. Moore, who issued six walks in the game, limited the damage in both innings, leaving the bases loaded in the fourth, and stranding two runners in the fifth.
Geneseo broke the 3-3 deadlock in the bottom of the sixth. Pinch-hitter Martin led off the inning with a walk and advanced to third on a throwing error on Blersch's sacrifice bunt, with Blersch safe as well on the misplay. Junior Courtney Budynas drove in one with a single up the middle and two outs later, Lalka singled to center, with the run scoring on a throwing error by the Keuka centerfielder.
Moore (3-3) allowed eight hits and issued six walks, but struck out eight. She had key strikeouts in the fourth inning, when she fanned two with the bases loaded, and the sixth, when she struck out the last two batters with a pair of runners on.
Lalka was the only Knight recording two hits in the game, as Geneseo was outhit 8-6. The Knights continued their strong defensive play from the first game. Sophomore second baseman Jacqueline Santilli had a diving stop on a ground ball in the third, throwing out the runner, and also started the game-ending double play in the top of the seventh. With a runner on first, she fielded a grounder, tagged out the runner and threw to first to complete the twin killing.
Geneseo's next doubleheader is scheduled for Wednesday, April 8 at home against Nazareth. The Knights will return to SUNYAC competition on Friday, April 10 with a home contest against Brockport.