Geneseo softball wins regional title

Amy Boldt
IHSA Regional Champs the Geneseo Lady Leaf softball team defeated the Alleman Pioneers May 24 in Rock Island to advance to sectional competition.

The Lady Leaf softball team knocked off two Western Big 6 foes, Rock Island and Alleman, in regional playoff action this past week.

Geneseo vs. Alleman

It was a battle to stay alive May 24 as the Lady Leaf softball team defeated Alleman, 2-0 for the regional championship in Rock Island.

“We weren’t sure how many runs we were going to score, but we knew we had to hold them and buckle down on defense,” said head coach Bob Pettit. “We had to keep them from getting momentum. We knew we couldn’t get a lot of runs against this pitcher so our key was our pitching and our defense.”

The game was held at a 0-0 stalemate through six innings, despite Geneseo having runners in scoring position several times.

“We used it (having runners on base, but not scoring) as a positive that we would eventually score,” said Pettit. “And we got our hits when we needed them and didn’t get discouraged.”

Geneseo finally pushed two runs across the plate in the top of the sixth to take the lead. Then the Lady Leaf defense took over to preserve the win. Chelsea Bickett pitched the entire game for Geneseo and recorded the victory.

“I think the first batter’s double was a wake up call for Chelsea and then she grabbed hold and buckled down,” said Pettit.

Bickett and Katie Lenz led the offensive effort as each stretched out doubles, while Robin?Schaefer and Alli Rivera (2 RBIs) also added one hit apiece.

“The girls stepped up real well and we didn’t commit an error in the regional,” said Pettit. “It was a tough regional and we buckled down. The girls put in so much effort that you don’t want to see it end.”

Geneseo vs. Rock Island

After trailing early in the first round against Rock Island, Geneseo fought its way back to win 7-3 May 21 to advance to the regional championship.

The Lady Rocks jumped out to a 2-0 lead to start the second inning, but the Lady Leafs cut the lead to one with a run in the bottom of the frame.

The game was held at 2-1 through the third and fourth innings.

“We didn’t feel the pressure to hold Rock Island to zero,” said Pettit. “Rock Island gives up runs and scores runs and we knew they were going to get some, we just hoped we got more. We were confident in our offense.”

Geneseo gained control of the lead in the bottom of the fifth as the squad drove in three runs for a 4-2 advantage. The Lady Leaf defense held off the Lady Rocks for the remainder of the game. Geneseo plated three more runs in the bottom of the sixth to capture the win.

Brooke Nienhaus recorded the win for Geneseo and the Lady Leaf offense finished the game with 12 hits.

At the plate, seniors Kristie Lutz (1 RBI) and Rivera (3 RBIs) led the way with three hits apiece. Nienhaus helped her cause with two hits, while Schaefer (1 RBI), Katie Hirschfelder (1 RBI), Jenna Mickley and Lenz all finished with one hit.

The Lady Leafs (29-7) played Morton May 28 in the Metamora Sectional, please see next week’s Republic for coverage of the sectional contest.

Katie Lenz crushes a hit for the Lady Leafs during their May 24 win over Alleman.