GENESEO, N.Y. – The SUNY Geneseo softball team travel to Cortland to compete in the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) Tournament, beginning on Thursday. The second seed Knights face fifth-seeded Oswego at 11:00 a.m. in Thursday in the opening round of the double-elimination tournament.
Geneseo (30-8, 14-4 SUNYAC) enters the tournament as the second seed with hopes of defending its conference crown. The Knights completed the regular season with a split against Plattsburgh, but earned their 30th win, reaching the milestone in back-to-back seasons for the first time in program history. In the latest National Fastpitch Coaches' Association (NFCA) Top 25 poll, Geneseo rose to 20th as voted by coaches around the nation. Geneseo will face Oswego at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday and with a win would advance to an 11:00 a.m. game on Friday, but a loss would force them to play in an elimination game at 3:00 p.m. Thursday afternoon.
GENESEO IN THE SUNYAC TOURNAMENT
The Knights have qualified for their 10th SUNYAC Tournament in the past 11 seasons, and their 21st overall appearance in the conference postseason. The Knights went 4-1 in the tournament last year on their way to a conference title, including a victory over Oswego, whom they face in their first game. Geneseo has won at least two games in each of its last three conference tournament appearances and have posted a 24-37 overall record in the SUNYAC Tournament. In addition to last season's conference crown, the Knights also won the 2002 championship, their only other SUNYAC title in program history.
NATION TAKING NOTICE
After receiving votes for several weeks, the Knights finally returned to the NFCA Top 25, voted 20th this week as they enter the conference tournament. The Knights rank 10th in the nation with 12 shutouts while their 2.45 team ERA ranks within the top 50 in the country.
Geneseo has relied heavily on its seniors for production this season, both at the plate and on the mound. Senior outfielders Danni Napoli and Alyssa Persich along with senior infielder Kylie Papagelos and senior catcher Taylor Fedor have each started at least 33 of the Knights' 38 games this season, while senior pitchers Taylor Moore and Jasmine Petrishin have made 15 pitching appearances each.
DON'T SLEEP ON NAP
Senior outfielder Danni Napoli has batted .388 on the season, including a .481 batting average in conference play. Against SUNYAC competitors, Napoli has ripped nine doubles, a triple and three home runs for 19 RBI and 21 runs scored. Her .852 slugging percentage against conference opponents leads the league while her .574 on-base percentage in conference play also tops the conference.
ARMED AND LOADED
The Geneseo pitching staff has combined for a 2.45 ERA this season, led by junior pitcher Ashlyn Kersch. Kersch has recorded a 12-2 record with a conference-best 1.58 ERA, allowing just 20 earned runs over 88.1 innings pitched. Senior Jasmine Petrishin has gone 6-0 with a save, compiling a 2.94 ERA while senior pitcher Taylor Moore owns a 6-4 record, including a 4-2 mark against conference opponents. Moore twirled a complete-game shutout of top-seed Cortland earlier in the year, leading the Knights to a 1-0 victory.