Softball Withstands Late Rallies in Both Games to Sweep Buffalo St. 4-2, 3-2

BUFFALO, N.Y.- Strong pitching and timely hitting were again key ingredients as the SUNY Geneseo softball team captured two wins at Buffalo St. on Sunday, 4-2, 3-2. Senior Corrin Spallone took a no-hitter into the sixth inning and withstood a late Bengal rally to record the Game 1 win, while RBI hits by senior Jami Cohen and junior Courtney Budynas helped Spallone and junior Mikayla Moore combine for the victory in the nightcap.

The Knights captured their 16th-straight victory, tying the 1998 team for second best in program history. Geneseo moved into first place in the SUNYAC with an 11-3 mark and has an overall record of 20-9.

Game 1: Geneseo 4, Buffalo St. 2

Spallone (12-4) retired the first eight hitters before a Bengal reached base on error, then set down seven more in a row before allowing her first hit, a single in the sixth. The Knights scored single runs in the third and fourth innings, and two insurance runs in the top of the seventh were needed, as Buffalo St. (15-14, 9-7) put the winning run aboard in the bottom of the seventh.

Geneseo's first run was set up by junior Cat Krok, who led off the third with a single through the right side. A bunt single by Moore, followed by a sacrifice bunt by senior Ashley Fillmore moved Krok to third. Senior Sami Brown grounded out to first, scoring the run.

Krok played a part in the Geneseo run in the fourth. With the bases loaded after singles by senior Kayleigh Blersch and sophomore Abby Dennett, and a walk to first-year Emily Martin, Krok drove in the run with a fielders' choice.

The Knights added two more in the top of the seventh. After Fillmore got on with a single, she scored on a misplay on a ball put in play by Brown. Brown ended up on third and was subsequently driven in by a Budynas double to left, putting Geneseo up 4-0.

The Bengals rallied in their last at-bat. After the first two batters of the inning reached with singles, Spallone retired the next two hitters. Two more singles and a base on balls, Spallone's only walk of the game, made it 4-2 with the bases loaded and two out. Spallone left all three stranded by retiring the last hitter on a fly ball to Blersch in center.

It was Spallone's 12th win of the season, surpassing her 11 wins last season for a new career high. She is also 8-1 in SUNYAC play, with her win total best in the conference.

Game 2: Geneseo 3, Buffalo St. 2

The Knights again led the entire game but had to withstand late challenges by the home team. Cohen had a two-RBI single to give Geneseo the early lead, and a seventh-inning single by Budynas provided the winning run.

Geneseo put two runs on the board in the second. Junior Jenna Phillips led off the inning by drawing a walk, then advanced to third on a sacrifice and a ground out. Moore walked and advanced to second on a passed ball. With Knights on second and third and two out, Cohen singled to left center, driving in both and giving Geneseo a 2-0 lead.

Spallone started game two and pitched into the fourth inning. After she surrendered two lead-off singles, Moore took over on the mound. After a sacrifice put Bengals on second and third with one out, Moore ended the inning with a strikeout and a foul out. Two innings later, Buffalo St. cut the lead to 2-1 on a double, sacrifice bunt and wild pitch.

The Knights scored what turned out to be the winning run in the top of the seventh. Consecutive singles by Fillmore, Brown and Budynas increased the lead to 3-1. It was Budynas' team-high 21st RBI of the season, and her three hits on the day raised her average to .378, second highest on the team.

In the bottom of the seventh, the Bengals cut the lead to 3-2 and put the tying run on first with two out, but Moore recorded the final out on a grounder to Budynas at second. Moore (7-3) was credited with the win, allowing two runs on five hits, striking out two and walking two.

Geneseo's team ERA of 2.08 in conference games leads the SUNYAC. The Knights' 11-3 conference mark put them on top of the SUNYAC standings with 22 points, although they have played two more games then second-place Cortland, which has 20 points.

Geneseo will face RIT on the road on Wednesday, April 22, before closing out the regular season with SUNYAC doubleheaders at New Paltz on Friday, April 24, and Oneonta on Saturday, April 25.