ONEONTA, N.Y.- On the day, first-year Emily Martin had six hits and three RBI, senior Sami Brown had five hits and four RBI, and senior Ashley Fillmore added four hits and four runs, leading SUNY Geneseo softball to a 13-10 (9 innings), 5-2 doubleheader sweep of Oneonta on Saturday. The Knights finished the SUNYAC schedule at 14-4, clinching second place and the No. 2 seed in the upcoming conference tournament. It's Geneseo's highest finish since the 2005 team also finished second. The Knights improved their overall record to 25-10, the most victories since the 2010 squad finished with the same number.
The two teams came into the day in a virtual tie for second in the conference. Oneonta (23-12, 11-6), the defending SUNYAC champion, was ranked third in the Northeast in the most-recent NCAA poll.
Game 1: Geneseo 13, Oneonta 10 (9 innings)
The Knights never trailed, but Oneonta came back from multi-run deficits three times, including the bottom of the seventh, when the Red Dragons scored two to send the game into extra innings. Geneseo scored five in the top of the ninth, with the key hit being sophomore Abby Dennett's bases-loaded home run. Martin had four hits while Brown added three, including a triple, and two RBI.
Geneseo opened the scoring in the top of the first. Senior Kayleigh Blersch doubled to score Fillmore, who had led off the inning with a walk. Fillmore figured in the scoring the next inning as well. With two aboard, including junior Mikayla Moore after her two-base hit, Fillmore doubled to left center, driving in two and giving the Knights a 3-0 lead.
Oneonta answered with three in the bottom of the third on four hits, including two doubles and a home run. The Knights immediately reclaimed the lead in their next at-bat. With Martin and junior Cat Krok on base after singles, Dennett reached on an infield error with two runs scoring. Two outs later, Brown singled home Dennett and Geneseo again led by three, 6-3.
The host Red Dragons again responded with a three-run inning, knotting the score at 6-6 after five innings. Geneseo retook the lead in the top of the sixth, all with two outs. Fillmore singled through the right side and scored on Brown's RBI-triple. Junior Courtney Budynas followed with a single to score Brown and the Knights were up 8-6.
Oneonta rallied to tie the game for the third time with a pair of runs in the bottom of the seventh, sending the game to extra frames. The Red Dragons had a runner on second with one out, but failed to score and for the second straight game, the Knights would score the deciding runs in the ninth inning.
With one out, Budynas reached on an infield error, and Blersch followed with a single and junior Jenna Phillips with a walk, loading the bases. Martin plated one with her fourth hit of the game, and after a fly out, Dennett delivered her grand slam to give the Knights the 13-8 lead. Oneonta made it interesting in the bottom of the ninth by scoring two quick runs, but senior starter Corrin Spallone recorded the final outs.
Spallone (14-5) went all nine innings, allowing seven earned runs on 10 hits, while walking one and striking out five.
Game 2: Geneseo 5, Oneonta 2
After the offensive output of the opener, the second game was a tight affair before the Knights added two in the seventh. Martin, Fillmore and Brown had two hits apiece, with Fillmore scoring twice and both Martin and Brown driving in two. Moore pitched a six-hitter for her 10th win of the season.
Fillmore and Brown led off the game with back-to-back hits, and after a walk to Budynas, Martin hit a sacrifice fly to right field to score Fillmore. The senior duo also had consecutive hits in the next inning to help the Knights build the lead to 3-0. Senior Jami Cohen singled to left with two out and moved to third on Fillmore's double. Brown singled up the middle, scoring both.
Geneseo maintained the lead until the bottom of the fifth, when the Red Dragons scored twice to cut the lead to 3-2. That score held up until the top of the seventh, when the Knights added two insurance runs. After sophomore Jacqueline Santilli reached on a fielder's choice with one out, Blersch doubled to left to drive her in. Martin followed with an RBI single to right center.
Moore (10-3) allowed two runs, one earned, on six hits and two walks while striking out five.
The double-elimination SUNYAC tournament will be hosted by top-seeded Cortland, Thursday April 30 - Sunday, May 3. The Knights first game will be Thursday at 11 a.m., against the No. 5 seed, who is not yet determined. Oneonta and Brockport have a single contest tomorrow, as cold weather limited their scheduled Friday doubleheader to only one game. The outcome of that contest will impact the final SUNYAC standings and tournament seeding.