CLERMONT, FLA. – SUNY Geneseo junior Alexis Kidder pitched five shutout innings and first-year Alyssa Persich increased her hitting streak to eight games, but the Knights dropped two contests on Thursday, losing to Ithaca, 6-2 and Rensselaer 3-0. Both losses came to opponents who were regionally-ranked last season. Geneseo fell to 4-4 for the season, with its last two Florida games on Friday.
Game 1: Ithaca 6, Geneseo 2
Kidder allowed only one hit in 5 1/3 innings of scoreless relief, but despite outhitting the Bombers, Geneseo couldn't overcome an early 6-1 deficit.
The Bombers struck for four runs on three hits in the top of the first against Knights' starter senior Mikayla Moore (2-1), the key hit a two-run triple. They were the first runs given up by Moore this season.
Geneseo chipped away at the Ithaca lead with a solo tally in the bottom of the first. Persich led off with a single, stole second base, and scored on senior Cat Krok's single to left center.
Ithace padded the margin to 5-1 in the second on a hit and three base on balls, which led to Kidder's entrance into the game. After allowing one more run on a walk, Kidder closed out the inning and held the Bombers scoreless in the remaining five frames, allowing one hit while striking out six.
The Knights added a run in the bottom of the third courtesy of consecutive pinch-hits to make the score 6-2. Danni Napoli tripled to right field and scored on a single by fellow first-year Kylie Papagelos. Junior Jacqueline Santilli and first-year Anna Merante had the other Geneseo hits in the game.
Ithaca improved to 6-3 on the campaign, following a 21-14 season a year ago, which earned them a No. 4 regional ranking in the Northeast.
Game 2: Rensselaer 3, Geneseo 0
The Engineers shut down Geneseo on only three hits, leading to the 3-0 victory in the second game. Persich had one of the Knights' hits, giving her at least one in each of her eight games this season.
Rensselaer scored early, putting two on the board in the first and one in the second off first-year starter Taylor Moore (2-1). The Knights' offense went down in order until the top of the sixth, when Persich had team's first base hit of the game. With another runner on board by an Engineer error, Geneseo had an opportunity to cut into the lead, but left two on base.
The Knights had another chance in the seventh after Krok and Mikayla Moore started the inning with back-to-back singles, but both were left aboard as Rensselaer closed out the shutout by retiring the next three hitters. The Engineers raised their record to 8-1 on the year.
Geneseo will close out the Florida portion of its schedule with games on Friday vs. Framingham St. at 9 a.m. and Benedictine (Ill.) at 11 a.m.