GENESEO, N.Y. -- The Geneseo softball team brings back 13 players from last
year’s 22-19 edition. A total of 11 newcomers are on the roster to go along
with a change in coaches. Dave Sylvester, who spent the previous three years as
an assistant with the Knights, was named interim head coach in January
following the departure of Tony Ciccarello, who led the program for 11 seasons.
Sylvester has experienced player at nearly every spot on the
diamond, including three veterans among a pitching staff that numbers nine
Senior Katie Gallagher (Gansevoort/Schuylerville) has the most experience, winning 10 games over the past three seasons with nearly a strikeout an inning. Gallagher won a career-high seven games last spring, fanning 80 batters in 82.2 innings. She completed five of her 15 starts and has appeared in 41 games during her career.
Classmate Alexa Salzman (East Meadow/East Meadow) has pitched in 16 games in her three years, will continue pitching in relief in addition to seeing time in the outfield. Sophomore Nicole Zimmerman (Canandaigua/Canandaigua) has improved on her rookie season – when she compiled a 3.23 ERA in six appearances – and Sylvester expects she’ll be an integral part of the rotation. Another sophomore, Katie Muller (Manlius/Fayetteville-Manlius), will make appearances on the mound in addition to seeing time in the infield. She pitched in four games a year ago with a 3.50 ERA.
Among the five newcomers to the pitching staff is senior Corrin Spallone (Greece/Greece Arcadia), a transfer from Nazareth. She pitched in 10 games for the Golden Flyers, striking out 35 batters in 39.2 innings. Four first years also join the program: Katie Brennan (Pittsford/Pittsford-Mendon), Paula Janowsky (Syosset/Syosset), Mikayla Moore (Stillwater/Stillwater) and Anna Sams (Cooperstown/Cooperstown).
Senior Jessica Steubing (Fairport/Fairport) is Geneseo’s most veteran infielder. A career .304 hitter in 103 games, she returns at third base after hitting .313 last season. Steubing walked twice as many times as she struck out as a junior while starting 26 times. Junior Elise Porreca (Lancaster/Lancaster), who’ll also see time at third, made just four errors in 31 games.
Junior Samantha Trapasso (Garden City/Garden City) will move to first base this spring after seeing most of her time behind the plate. A first-team all-conference and all-region selection, she led last year’s team with a .413 batting average, a .683 slugging percentage and an on-base percentage of .470 as well as in hits (43), doubles (11), home runs (five), extra-base hits (17) and runs batted in (27).
Three Knights are candidates for playing time at shortstop. Sophomore Jenna Reilley (Williamsville/East) was a .318 hitter in 29 games as a rookie, making just three errors. First years Samantha Brown (Canton/Hugh C. Williams) and Jenna Phillips (Angola/Lakeshore), who spent her winter with Geneseo’s basketball team, are also in the mix.
Junior Kayleigh Troia (Phoenix/John C. Birdlebough), who played in 26 games last year, will share time at second base with first year Kathryn Krok (Buffalo/Williamsville East).
In the outfield, senior Lexi Williams (Waterford/Shenendehowa) and sophomores Kayleigh Blersch (Lancaster/Lancaster) and Abby Weiss (Hamburg/Hamburg) all saw starting action last spring. Williams, who’s expected to start in right field, has played in 111 games in her three-year career, starting all but nine. Blersch started 36 games as a rookie, batting .250 with a .351 on-base percentage, and is the probable starter in center field. Weiss appeared in 33 games in her first season at Geneseo and has the inside track at the starting spot in left field.
First years Catherine Heacox (Smithtown/Smithtown) and Melissa Mastoridis (New Hyde Park/New Hyde Park Memorial) will also push for playing time in the outfield.
Sophomores Jami Cohen (East Amherst/Williamsville East) and Ashley Fillmore (Getzville/Williamsville North) are candidates for playing time at catcher, with Trapasso also seeing action there. Fillmore hit .394 with three home runs and 12 runs batted in last year.
The Knights open their season with four games at Salisbury’s Sea Gull Invitational and play eight games in Clermont, Fla. Over spring break. The northern portion of their schedule includes three 2012 NCAA playoff teams: Cortland, Keuka and Plattsburgh.