GENESEO, N.Y. - The SUNY Geneseo softball team travels to Crestview Hills, Ky. to compete in the NCAA Tournament, facing Dickinson (Pa.) at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, May 10 in the first game of the NCAA Regional hosted by Thomas More University. Geneseo enters the tournament with a 33-10 record and was ranked as high as 20th in the National Fastpitch Coaching Association poll last week. Dickinson, Thomas More and Wilson College complete the NCAA Regional pod, with the winner advancing to the NCAA Super-Regionals.
Geneseo placed four players on the SUNYAC All-Conference teams, led by senior outfielder Danni Napoli, who was voted SUNYAC Player of the Year. Junior pitcher Ashlyn Kersch was named first team All-SUNYAC while junior outfielder Hannah Elmer and junior infielder Brooke Wolff were each second team selections.
Geneseo has relied on seven seniors to carry the team this season, with four of them featuring in at least 38 of the Knights' 43 games. Senior outfielders Danni Napoli and Alyssa Persich have patrolled left and center field, respectively, all season while senior infielder Kylie Papagelos has been the Knights' starting second baseman and Taylor Fedor has caught 38 games for Geneseo. Senior pitchers Taylor Moore and Jasmine Petrishin have anchored the pitching staff, combining for a 13-5 record in 35 appearances.
BRINGING THE HEAT
With a 2.48 ERA, the Geneseo pitching staff ranks 10th in the country, combining for 13 shutouts this season. Junior pitcher Ashlyn Kersch leads the team and finished second in the SUNYAC with a 1.78 ERA while senior pitcher Jasmine Petrishin holds a 2.80 ERA and senior pitcher Taylor Moore has tossed a 3.67 ERA. Kersch leads the team with 78 strikeouts and has walked just 22 batters.
TO THE BACKSTOP
Senior catcher Taylor Fedor has been the Knights' primary catcher for the past four seasons. Fedor has committed just 15 errors on 720 total chances for a .979 career fielding percentage. She has also thrown out a total of 23 runners attempting to steal, including five runners caught stealing out of 13 this year.
AGAINST THE FIELD
Geneseo is 2-0 all-time against Dickinson, defeating the Red Devils, 6-4 and 4-0, in a doubleheader on March 18, 2001. The Knights have never faced Thomas More nor Wilson College. The Knights faced four NCAA Tournament qualifiers during the regular season, posting a 4-4 mark against NCAA Tournament teams. Geneseo went 2-3 in five games against conference rival Cortland, fell to Calvin, 7-5 (March 18), but defeated Framingham State, 3-0 (March 17), and Lake Forest, 7-3 (March 16).
Senior outfielder Danni Napoli ranks first all-time in Geneseo history with 23 career home runs including seven this season. Her .383 batting average ranks seventh in program history while her 175 career hits places her fourth. She ranks third all-time in runs (123), second in doubles (39) and seventh with 100 career RBI.
POP IN THE BATS
Geneseo has hit 78 doubles this season, just five shy of the program-record, led by senior outfielder Danni Napoli, whose 14 doubles this season rank fourth in program history. The Knights have recorded 110 extra-base hits this season, 11 shy of the program record.
Junior outfielder Hannah Elmer has had a breakout season, improving her career batting average from .239 entering the season to .375 after going 55-for-130 (.423) this season. She leads the Knights in RBI (41), home runs (7), slugging percentage (.692) and ranks second on the team with 12 doubles.
IN THE CLUTCH
Geneseo has driven in 218 RBI on the season, including 64 RBI with two outs. Junior pitcher Ashlyn Kersch and junior outfielder Hannah Elmer share the team lead with nine two-out RBI apiece, while senior infielder Kylie Papagelos and senior outfielder Danni Napoli each have seven. The Knights are batting .282 with two out this season, led by Elmer with a .421 clip (16-for-38).
RISP-ECT MY AUTHORITY
Geneseo has compiled a .318 batting average with runners in scoring position (RISP), led by junior pitcher Ashlyn Kersch (20-for-39, .513) who has driven in 30 RBI this season. Elmer has a team-high 21 hits with RISP (.368) while Napoli has 19 (.413) and senior outfielder Alyssa Persich has 14 (.359).
JUMPING OUT EARLY, FINISHING LATE
The Knights have outscored opponents 33-5 in the first inning of games and 121-38 in the first three innings combined this season while outscoring opponents, 246-115, overall. Geneseo holds a 27-3 record when it scores first and has won 23 out of 24 games when winning after six innings.
WINNER, WINNER, CHICKEN DINNER
With a 33-10 mark, the Knights have recorded 30 victories for just the fifth time in program history and in back-to-back seasons for the first time ever after posting a 32-9 record last spring. The Knights went 36-5 in 2002 and finished 31-7 in 1998.
PUT A KERSCH ON THE BATS
Junior pitcher Ashlyn Kersch has led the Knights pitching staff this season, posting a 14-3 mark from the circle while compiling a 1.78 ERA. In three seasons, Kersch has compiled a 1.99 career ERA with a 33-12 mark and two saves in 303.0 innings pitched. She ranks tied for ninth in program history in innings pitched, fourth in career ERA, third in career win percentage and fourth in shutouts (12). On May 2, she threw the Knights' first no-hitter since the 2016 season and the program's first seven-inning no-hitter since 2015 as she led the team to a 5-0 victory over Oswego in the SUNYAC Tournament opener.