Softball: Geneva rallies twice for walkoff win over Batavia

Geneva rallied twice in the late innings Friday to pull out an 8-7 win over Batavia.

Trailing 6-5 in the bottom of the sixth, the Vikings pushed across two runs to retake the lead, 7-6. The Bulldogs responded with a run in the top of seventh to tie the DuKane Conference contest.

Down to the team’s last out, Kaitlyn Sprague’s infield single plated Paige Cornell for Geneva’s first conference win of the season.

Geneva coach Annie Plackett was pleased with her squad’s determination.

“A big thing we’ve been working on is that self-confidence to go out there and not give up when you’re down,” said Plackett. “They are not giving up and they are backing each other up. That’s all you can ask for.”

The Vikings initially took the lead in the second inning. The Bulldogs scored two runs in their half of the frame on starting pitcher Emily Reagan’s squeeze bunt. Jordan Vander scored on the play. Teagan Sullivan also scored after an errant throw to first base.

Geneva (3-9, 1-3) responded in its at-bat with four runs. Maddie Parson’s bases loaded double to left field brought home the first two runs.

Batavia (1-10, 0-4) got back one run in the top of the fifth inning.

The Vikings extended their lead to 5-3 in the bottom of the frame when Hailey Hornick blasted a Reagan pitch over the left field fence.

“I had two strikes on me, so I was swinging at anything close,” Hornick said of the solo home run. “But right off the bat, I knew it was a good hit.”

The Bulldogs scored three runs on three hits and a walk in the top of the sixth to go up, 6-5. Grace Sartain’s single to left scored Bella Zagotta for the go-ahead run.

RBI singles by Caroline Winsininski and Reagan Krohe put the Vikings back on top in their half of the inning..

Reagan smashed a one-out double to left to open Batavia’s seventh inning. The right-hander advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored the tying run on Lilly Willuweit’s ground out to short.

Geneva relief pitcher Nora Faulkner wiggled out of a bases-loaded jam by inducing Bella Zagotta to fly out to right field for the third out of the inning. Faulkner replaced starting pitcher Elise Strohm in the sixth inning.

“We just left too many runners in scoring position during the game,” Batavia coach Torry Pryor said. “Our pitcher did a great job, we put the ball into play, but we just didn’t get that hit when we needed it.”

Cornell led off the Vikings’ half of the inning with a single to left. Two batters later, the senior advanced to third on a passed ball and a wild pitch.

Sprague came to bat after a strikeout. The junior popped up Reagan’s first pitch. The ball landed between Reagan and shortstop Gwen Shouse who fielded the ball, but Sprague beat the throw to first allowing Cornell to score the winning run.

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