The Geneseo varsity softball team kicked off the 2012 season with two non-conference victories this past week over Moline and Rockridge.
Geneseo vs. Moline
A two-run home run by Taylor Wise and tough defense in the bottom of the seventh helped seal the 5-2 victory for the Lady Leafs March 20 against defending 4A state champs Moline.
“I was very encouraged by the fact that they got the lead, gave it up in the fifth, immediately responded in the top of the sixth and then shut Moline down in the bottom of the sixth with the bases loaded,” said head coach Bob Pettit. “It was back and forth until we shut the door on them and Moline didn’t have any fight left.?It was a good way to fight a battle.”
The Lady Leafs put the first run on the board in the top of the first with two outs and no body on off three consecutive hits for the 1-0 lead.
Geneseo held on to its 1-0 advantage through the next three and a half innings until Moline’s Maranda Marion parked a two-run home run to put the Maroons up 2-1 in the bottom of the fifth.
The Lady Leafs countered in the sixth on a two-run hit by Darian Gillette with the bases loaded to take the 3-2 lead.
Wise put the Lady?Leafs up by three in the top of the seventh when she crushed a two-run homerun to give Geneseo the 5-2 advantage.
“Taylor is a natural hitter and is hitting in the three position for a reason. She is just hitting the ball hard and her hard work in the offseason is paying off,”?said Pettit. “Darrian has incredible bat speed and hits the ball as hard as anyone. Her hit against Moline was off the handle of the bat and went to the fence. She just hits the ball that hard. I expect her to get better and better.”
Geneseo’s defense managed to hold off Moline in the bottom of the seventh to claim the win.
Jena Redding recorded the win for Geneseo to improve to 2-0 on the season. Emily Zaderaka also contributing pitching for the Lady Leafs.
“Both pitchers pitched fine games against Moline and to hold Moline to one shot was exceptional pitching,” said Pettit.
Wise (2 RBIs) led the offensive effort for the Lady Leafs with four hits, including a home run.
Gillette (2 RBIs) added two of the team’s nine hits, while Olivia Goethals, Kassi Anderson (1 RBI) and Zaderaka finished the game with one hit apiece.
Geneseo vs. Rockridge
Trailing 8-6 in the bottom of the seventh, Zaderaka knocked a two-run RBI double with two outs to hand Geneseo its first win of the season, 9-8 over Rockridge March 17.
“I was not happy that we gave up the single runs in the sixth and seventh, but we have a lot of fight and are an experienced team. We never looked at the game as over,” said Pettit. “I have confidence everywhere in the lineup that we are capable of scoring runs.”
The Rockets struck first with one run in their opening at bats and drove in another three runs in the top of the second. Geneseo got on the board in the bottom of the second off a home run by Gillette for a 4-1 Rockridge lead.
Rockridge added another run to their lead in the top of the third, but the Lady Leafs responded in the bottom of the frame with three runs to make it a 5-4 ball game in favor of the Rockets.
The Rockets extended its lead to two in the top of the fourth with one run for a 6-4 score, but Geneseo tied the game up off a two-run home run by Wise.
Rockridge drove in two more runs in the top of the sixth and seventh innings to regain control of the lead, 8-6.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Lady Leafs scored on a wild pitch to bring them within one, 8-7 and with two outs?Zaderaka crushed a two-run double to win it for the Lady Leafs.
Reddig recorded the win for the Lady Leafs, while Zaderaka and Jessica Murray also pitched for GHS.
Murray and Wise (3 RBIs) led the offensive charge with three hits apiece, which included a home run by Wise.
Goethals (1 RBI), Anderson (1 RBI), Zaderaka (2 RBI), Karissa Herrman, Gillette (1 RBI) and Haley Cathcart, all contributed one hit with a double from Zaderaka.
The Lady Leafs (2-0 overall) will be in action tonight at 5 p.m. against Ottawa at Edwards Field.
“The No. 1 thing I?want to see is each player playing to the best of her ability and doing what the team needs,” said Pettit. “To this point after two games, I am very pleased with the team effort each individual has made.?They stepped up when needed and stepped aside when they needed to. I?am very proud of them for that.”