Devils split at Geneseo

GENESEO – Fredonia State pushed across the deciding run in the top of the seventh inning in the second game of their SUNYAC softball doubleheader Thursday with the Geneseo Blue Knights. A ball hit by Lindsey Forness brought home the tie-breaking run in the Blue Devils’ 5-4 road win. Geneseo won the opener, 7-2.

Kelsey Gannett was the winning pitcher for the Blue Devils, improving to 6-11 overall and 3-5 in the conference. She scattered seven hits, struck out four, and issued no walks. Only three of the runs she allowed were earned.

The Blue Devils took a 4-0 lead in the third inning. Maddy Stavish drew a lead-off walk. Following a sacrifice by Kate Nicholson, Kim Lotocki singled to center to put runners on the corners. Alyssa Morgan brought in the first run on an infield grounder. Cherise Gunnell then singled to again put runners on first and third. Jess Lauck cracked an RBI single to right before a throwing error on a ball hit by Erin Mushtare brought in the last two runs.

Geneseo edged closer with one run in the last of the fifth and drew even with a three-run sixth. The Blue Devils, who had loaded the bases yet failed to score in the sixth, re-took the lead in the top of the seventh. A single up the middle by Gunnell and a walk to Madeline Medina put runners on first and second. Mushtare reached on a fielder’s choice to load the bases before Forness blooped a ball over second base. While Gunnell scored, the runner trying to advance to third was thrown out, and the next two batters were retired to end the inning.

Gannett closed out the game with a 1-2-3 seventh inning. She improved to 5-5.

In the opener, Geneseo jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning and never looked back. Down 5-0 through five innings, the Blue Devils broke through for two runs in the sixth on a one-out double by Lotocki, an error, an RBI single to center by Gunnell, and a sacrifice fly by Lauck. Geneseo chased Blue Devil starting pitcher Alyssa Brognano after three innings. Alyssa DiBiase pitched the final three innings for the Blue Devils. She was making her first collegiate pitching appearance.

Morgan went hitless in three at-bats during the first game to stop her season-high hitting streak at nine games. She connected for an opposite-field double down the line in left in her first at-bat of the second game.

The Blue Devils, in the stretch of three conference doubleheaders in three days, entertain Oswego State starting 3 p.m. Friday at Blue Devil Field. They are also play at home Saturday against Cortland. Both teams will wear pink and there will be a silent auction of sports memorabilia as part of Strikeout Cancer Day. Brognano, the lone Blue Devil senior, will also be recognized between games.