The Geneseo varsity softball team’s season came to end this past week at sectionals after the Lady Leafs won the Dunlap Regional title.

The Geneseo varsity softball team’s season came to end this past week at sectionals after the Lady Leafs won the Dunlap Regional title.

Geneseo vs. East Peoria

The Lady Leafs suffered a heartbreaking loss in the Metamora Sectional June 3 as the girls fell to East Peoria, 3-0.

“I think the contest was tighter than a 3-0 score would indicate,” said head coach Bob Pettit. “We did have a little let down once we got behind, but it was one pitch and one swing the really determined the game and set the tone of the game. We had good swings, but just couldn’t get the big hit we needed.”

Geneseo and East Peoria were locked in a close battle even after East Peoria freshman Remi Ferguson hit a solo shot to center to put East Peoria up 1-0 in the second.

The Lady Leafs battled, but just couldn’t push any runs across the plate; while in the bottom of the sixth East Peoria plated two runs to go ahead 3-0.

Geneseo was unable to respond in the top of the seventh to end the Lady Leafs’ season.

Jena Reddig pitched the complete game for the Lady Leafs and ends her season with a record of 21-4. In the game she gave up eight hits, three runs and struck out three.

Geneseo was held to only two hits for the entire game, which came from Rachael Varland.

“We just couldn’t move the ball the way we should. It was just one of those days,” said Pettit. “I am at a loss for words because we are such great hitters and when someone comes in and shuts us down, I am speechless. We just couldn’t get something rolling.”

Geneseo vs. Streator

A solo home run shot in the third by Maddy Shoemaker sparked the Geneseo offense on the Lady Leafs’ way to a 3-0 win over Streator May 31 to win the regional title.

“The opposite of what happened in the sectional game (happened against Streator),” said Pettit. “We battled and battled and as soon as Maddy hit the home run Streator had a let down. The home run was really critical and changed the way the game was played and we also had great defensive plays.”

After two scoreless innings, Shoemaker knocked out a solo homer in the third to put the Lady Leafs on the board. Later in the inning, Geneseo pushed two more runs across the plate to give the Lady Leafs the 3-0 advantage.

Geneseo’s defense was able to fend off the Bulldogs through the next four innings to earn the win.

Reddig pitched a one-hitter for the win as she allowed no runs, one hit and struck out nine.

Shoemaker (1 RBI) led the team at the plate with two hits, which included a home run.

Sierra Ricketts, Jena Reddig, Darian Gillette (1 RBI), Varland (1 RBI) and Jennifer Yager contributed the team’s other five hits with doubles from Gillette and Varland.

The Lady Leafs end the season at 27-8-1 overall and 9-1 in the NIB 12 to share the conference title.

“It was a rebuilding year last year, but the reward was it was worth rebuilding and going through those pains,” said Pettit. “We essentially had the same players who turned the season completely around. The pain we lived through last year was worth it. They are fighters and came back. They really fought to get better and did not settle. I give them all the credit in the world. They fought and fought and never quit competing.

“This group of seniors had a tremendous amount of heart and soul, and had talent, too, but enormous heart and soul. They are people who cared for their teammates and tried to do the right thing every day. They are good players, but mostly good people. They will be very difficult to replace.”