Softball: Batavia surprises Geneva

 
 
Updated 4/26/2016 9:08 PM
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It certainly wasn't perfect softball, but Batavia will take it.

The Bulldogs made 5 errors Tuesday at Geneva, yet overcame them for a 7-3 Upstate Eight Conference River Division win.

Jaelen Lisberg pitched around those mistakes, stranding 11 runners -- 8 in scoring position. Geneva (13-5, 6-3) left at least 1 runner on base in every inning.

"My changeup was working great," Lisberg said. "My plan was to mess with their heads, throw a lot of change-ups, mess with their timing."

Like Batavia (10-6, 7-2), Geneva's defense was shaky, especially early. The Bulldogs capitalized with 2 unearned runs in the first, a rally started by a Toni Galas single and Lisberg drawing a walk.

"We didn't get a good start defensively," Geneva coach Greg Dierks said. "We got what we deserved today. They outplayed us. Jaelen pitched well. She made pitches to strand runners. She earned the win for sure."

After Geneva tied the game 2-2 after one, Batavia took the lead for good in the third 3-2 on Lisberg's single and Rachael Lovestrand's double to the left-center gap.

The Bulldogs broke the game open with a 4-run fourth, chasing starter Rachel Fanella. Ashley McNamara, Breiann Cruz and Jessica Kleist all singled. Galas drew a bases-loaded walk, courtesy runner Lauren Wencewicz scored on an illegal pitch, Lisberg delivered a sacrifice fly, and Lovestrand made it 7-2 with a run-scoring single.

"It was huge we got those two runs right off the bat," Batavia coach Lupe Castellanos said. "We kept positive and we continued to hit the ball hard. We didn't get down on ourselves. Yes there was some plays we could have made there but we didn't allow that to affect us."

After Fanella's web gem at third base ended the seventh, Geneva finally got on the board again in its last at-bats on Annika Radabaugh's third hit of the day, a double, and Molly Wrenn's single.

It was too little, too late, as Lisberg again stranded 2 more runners to end the game.

"Just about every inning they had runners on base and our defense did a nice job making plays," Castellanos said.

The Vikings will try to rebound Wednesday against St. Charles East.

"We've got a tough week here," said Dierks, whose team is missing Kaitlyn Plocinski (knee). "If we come out and win tomorrow it will go a long ways to forgetting today. Too many at-bats we gave away."

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