Snow. It?s a demon that plagues upstate NY spring sports year after year. Of all the teams affected, it seems like softball and baseball teams always are hardest hit by weather woes.
When the softball team stepped onto SUNY Geneseo?s muddy diamond, it was the first time the team had played ? or even practiced ? outdoors since its spring break trip to Florida over three weeks ago.
The Knights, who are 12-5 overall, proved to be a formidable opponent for the Yellowjackets, as they opened their northern schedule with two losses. The defending ECAC North Champions shut out UR 8-0 in each game.
?It was the first time we?ve played outside since Florida,? said junior shortstop and co-captain Nellie Coats.
?[The game] showed us what we have to work on. We?re definitely looking forward to the rest of the season and bringing home some wins. We just need to step up the intensity and concentrate on the little things.?
In the first game, Geneseo?s sophomore pitcher Sarah Taub struck out seven en route to a complete game one-hit shutout.
UR improved its effort in the second game and was able to get more hits, but still failed to get in a run as the Knights once again dominated in a second 8-0 loss.
?We absolutely played much better in the second game,? said head coach Kris Shanley. ?We hung in there and played much better defense, had less strikeouts and started putting the ball in play. Now it?s just a matter of putting it in the holes.?
The weather has scrambled UR?s schedule and created a three-day set of double headers against local opponents next week.
The team travels to SUNY Brockport for a 3 p.m. start Monday April 9. Tuesday, he jackets host the Tigers from the Rochester Institute of Technology for a 3 p.m. game in the team?s home opener. Wednesday?s match pits UR against the defending Southern Upstate New York Athletic Conference Champions in a 3 p.m. game at Buffalo State.
Of the trio, coach Shanley is most interested in seeing how her team performs against RIT.
?We?ve played RIT twice already this year ? once in the fall and then again in an indoor scrimmage this spring,? said Shanley. ?They?ve got some outstanding hitters and decent pitching. We know what they have, and can certainly play with them.?
The game is also UR?s ?Strike Out For Cancer With Softball Day.?
There will be an opportunity to donate money to support the American Cancer Society of Monroe County in between games.
All-UAA awards were also recently announced. Sophomore third baseman Irene Lippa, freshman catcher/outfielder Sara Dial and freshman infielder Rebecca Ryszkiewicz all earned second-team honors.