Searcy blast seals Geneva's win
Kristen Searcy has not seen too many inside pitches lately.
"I get a lot of outside pitches," the Geneva senior said.
But the Vikings' third baseman produced the coup de grace Monday afternoon in Batavia, blasting a 3-run home run to right-center field with two outs in the sixth-inning to double the Vikings' lead over the host Bulldogs.
Haley Orwig recorded the final five outs for Geneva in relief of Emily Plocinski as Geneva captured the Upstate Eight Conference River Division softball game 9-4.
"I have been working on going with the pitch," Searcy said of her third home run of the spring that also scored Orwig and Amanda Ebert. "I (initially) thought it was another (routine) pop-up. I have been getting underneath the ball a lot."
Allicia Mueller, Natalie Offutt and Brieann Cruz had consecutive base hits for Batavia (2-11, 1-8) in its half of the sixth, but Orwig stranded the bases loaded and another pair of runners in the seventh to seal the triumph for Geneva (8-10, 4-6).
Batavia starter Mueller certainly deserved a better fate in the Vikings' first at-bat.
Three of the first four batters -- Anna Geary, Searcy and Madison Keith -- all reached on infield errors.
Bridget Weitzel had an infield single from the second slot, and all four runners scored.
Ebert later capped the 6-run first-inning explosion for Geneva with a two-out single the other way to score McKenna Schimmel and Plocinski.
"I like being in the end of the lineup," the Vikings' ninth-place hitter said. "I like starting there because I know I can keep (an inning) going."
"I don't know if we came out (too) relaxed," Batavia coach Lupe Castellanos said. "You take away that first inning, and we probably win the game."
Batavia did respond in its half of the first as Dayton-bound three-year standout Katie Ryan plated Sami Villarreal with a triple to the deepest reaches of right center; the Bulldogs' senior leader later scored on an Erin Costigan infield single.
From there the two starters would settle down much more comfortably.
Batavia third baseman Selena Kweder turned an unassisted double play to snuff out one Geneva threat, and the Bulldogs also successfully executed two pickle plays.
Plocinski faced only one over the minimum in the second and third innings; Batavia then inched closer with an unearned run in its fourth.
But the Searcy drive, one batter after Villarreal snared a vicious line drive off the bat of Weitzel, completely altered the flow of the game.
"We got stuck (after the 6-run first)," Geneva coach Greg Dierks said. "(The Searcy home run) takes the pressure off. It makes the pitching and defense better when you're up five."
Geneva finished with 11 hits to the Bulldogs' 7, and its defense committed 4 fewer errors.
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